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Illustrated Manuscript

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Illustrated Manuscript

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Guest Book, Duff, G. E.
1 Duff, G. E. Guest Book
St. Bona's (?) Wraps Very Good Minus 
Thoroughly charming modest homemade book! 8vo. 23.5 by 19 cm. 14 leaves, plus wraps (card stock), with all but one page blank. Essentially, then, this is an unused Guest Book that we conjecture also served as a Christmas Gift, based on the front cover original watercolor of a mistletoe and a wide red ribbon and bow as a decorative binding material. (A string actually does the work of holding the album together.) Within is an eighteen line sentimental welcome poem that also reinforces the holiday spirit of the album. In the margin are vignettes of a star and cross, a mistletoe again and winding road in the hills leading to a cottage as the sun sets. The front cover has gilded edges. Light soiling to the cover. 
Price: 85.00 USD
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2 Greer, G., author of verse. MF (?), artist "Land of Love"
Oakland, CA (?) 1912 (?) NA Very Good 
Fun poem about barbecue picnic outing among redwoods, illustrated with utterly charming vignettes of the various doings of the party. With frame, 54 by 39 cm. The picture itself is 50 by 35 cm. The poem is nine stanzas, each four lines and rhymed fluently in an ABAB scheme, and it captures with levity a lazy afternoon in the country, with good food, friends, and merriment. The artwork is folksy, just like the poem. Together the two capture a wistful "innocent" pleasure offered by the outdoors and cameraderie, and the work evokes a nostalgia even for those who didn't participate, and perhaps, a sharper nostalgia for those who can only be vicariously transported to the time and place. Light scattered foxing. The black frame is simple but appropriate. The dating is based on "12" written below the name of the poet and the initials of the artist, and this date is completely in line with the clothing and other aspects of the work. The artist's initials are not clearly legible -- our best guess is MF, with possibly a middle initial of R, but the initials could be otherwise, and for that matter, the initials tell us little about the identity of the draftsman. 
Price: 750.00 USD
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3 Heidet, S. La vie de garnison a Maubeuge a la veille de la Grande Guerre
Maubeuge (Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France 1900 Hardcover. Chammy spines. Marbled pastedown. Very Good 
Two fabulous albums of 81 original watercolors of French military caricature from the turn of the twentieth century. One of the illustrations is dated 1900, and so we assume the balance were done within a few years prior or post, as they are all of a single piece. Both 4o. One, 35.5 by 23 cm, the other, slightly smaller, 31 by 20.5 cm. 46 and 35 watercolors, respectively. The images are all on separate sheets which are mounted by inserting into diagonal corner slots cut out as in many a photo album. These separate sheets are not of a single size, but generally they measure around 25 by 16 cm, and this applies to both albums. The humorous portraits, sometimes accompanies by captions, depict the soldiers stationed at the garrison as well as the assortment of personages who gravitate to the garrison or are part of the fabric of the soldier's garrison life. Many of the portraits are done in full or partial profile, and this is an unifying element. The figures cast shadows, and there is an occasional dog, child, or non-living prop and furnishings to provide a setting; for the most part, though, the focus is entirely on the figure. The cumulative effect is to give a vivid sense of the soldier's life -- the mix of discipline, sport and hedonism -- during peacetime. The gentle rhythms of that life would a little over a decade later be torn apart with the outbreak of the First World War, of course. hese drawings, to our knowledge, were never printed, and we could find no trace of the artist's work elsewhere, although the work is manifestly of publishable quality. The captions can be gentle as well as arch and acerbic in their tone; never, though, could one imagine these men as anything but harmless characters in a period operetta. A few of the watercolors are loose. Some chipping and minor loss to the marbled paper pastedown on the cover. 
Price: 6000.00 USD
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