With Yuletide cheer we are featuring a selection of nineteenth and twentieth century illuminated manuscripts. It was during the febrile 1800s that an appreciation of Gothic design and the artistry of the Middle Ages came to full fruition, and both professional artists and gifted amateurs strove to capture the beauty of illumination in books and other artwork. Also, the new form of color printing known as chromolithography was especially well-suited to recreating the richness of the ancient art form.
Our fair schedule resumes in the New Year with the San Francisco Antiquarian Print & Paper Fair on February 1st and 2nd at the Fort Mason Center and the California International Antiquarian Book Fair beginning the following Thursday in Pasadena. More details will follow.
N.d., circa 1850s. Leporello with twelve leaves of colored plates featuring amusing caricatures of types representing most of the letters of the alphabet. Thus we have pictures of an "Acteur", "Bossu" (a hunchback), "Chiffons" (rag-picker), "Decrotteur" (shoe-black), "Enfant", "Gourmand", "Hareng" (fish-wife", "Invalide", and onward. Not all the letters are used in the illustrations. Really, the point is to present a panorama of the colorful characters and trades that might be considered street-life, or perhaps more simply, amuse. The depictions would fail miserably more recent standards of "political correctness", but their power to touch the funnybone has not the least diminished. Listed in Segoline Le Men's "Les Abecedaires francais illustres du XIXe siecle", 297.The leporello panels measure 12 by 11 cm each; when fully, the leporello is 12 by 122 cm. The surface is glossy, as called for (papier glace). It is housed in a more modern quarter leather and marbled boards binding.