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White Fox Rare Books

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Company School” Metamorphic Costume Cards, Watercolors/Gouache on Mica, depicting a variety of Indian Musicians and Dancers

N.d. Circa 1830 to 1850. Nine cards, eight of which are overlay cards made of mica, deliberately leaving out a face, and one, the base card, made of card, featuring one head and a background of sky and plantings. The idea is to lay the mica card atop the base card to create a full portrait, and one which is quite different from the other possibilities. Five of the figures created are male musicians, and three are female dancers. The cards all measure 10.5 by 7 cm. Scarce genre. One comes upon Company School mica painted figures with some regularity, and metamorphic costume overlay cards, the same, but the two genres combined are encountered far far less. These Indian paintings on mica from the early to mid-19th Century have become known as "Company School" paintings because they were typically produced for employees of the East India Company as souvenirs. The genre was supposedly emulating the painting on glass which was the rage in Europe at the time. The nature of mica dictated the size of these paintings. While mica has the wonderful ability to be shaved off into thin slices or sheets, these sheets are also brittle and easily fracture, making a larger format impractical. With what we believe was the original protective paper in which these would have been wrapped at the time of sale. Condition: typical edge chips, cracks or fracturing. Still, the painted work remains bright, fresh, and essentially well-preserved.
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Autographs of Distinguished Artistes, Collected by Mr. T. P. Salt, Birmingham

An incredible assemblage of operatic and classical musician autographs from the 19th century, including autographs of Adelina Patti, Christine Nilsson, Emma Albani, Minnie Hauk, John Parry, Paderewski, Charles Gounod, Nellie Melba, Ferdinand Hiller, Giovanni Belletti, Clara Novello, Mario (Giovanni Matteo De Candia), Giulia Grisi, Therese Tietjens, Marietta Alboni, Pauline Viardot, Marietta Piccolommini, Sims Reeves, and on and on -- 81 in all. Oblong 8vo. 22 by 24 cm. 54 pages with content. (The pages are numbered up to 95, but the pagination has irregularities. The pagination is useful, though, in locating artists whose names appear on the decorative key pages at the front and back.) Usually a full page is devoted to single musician. Along with the inscription and autograph there is an original drawing done presumably by the compiler of the album, Mr. Salt. The paintings evoke the world of Ancient Rome or Greece; mythology, with appropriately, seraphs and the like; Renaissance era clad men and women; etc. -- loosely speaking, the characters prevalent on the opera stages of the day. Some of the inscriptions have additional interest such as a few bars of music. (Some of the bars of music found was surely done by the compiler, while others we tend to credit to the renowned musician signing below.) The artwork, in our view, is pleasingly decorative. We would not consider it on its own visually exciting, or executed at the highest level of artistic skill, yet taken as a totality, the artwork provides a winsome cohesion to the album, and also in a sense conveys the sanctity of the autographs to the compiler. Put another way, we would maintain that the artwork makes the otherwise flat autographs sing raptuous melody. Generally, but not always, the inscriptions are dated. Full black morocco binding, with gilt-impressed fleur-de-lys figures on spine, a band of lotus-themed border decoration on boards, and an oblong diamond-shaped gilt centerpiece on front cover, with gilt title contained within.
Le Trust des Perles Deauville 1921

Le Trust des Perles Deauville 1921

Chastel, Roger. Pochoir (colored) by Jean Saudé No. 58 of 300 copies, on "Grande Fibre de Bambou de Cochin-Chine". Folio, 38 cm square. 24 pochoir plates, 3 of which are double pages, with a brief introductory page and a limitation page at the end. Scarce, with only two institutional holdings reflected on OCLC First Search, both in France. Caricatures bear a superficial resemblance to those of Sem. The subject matter -- the rich, pampered, louche, effete -- come in for gentle drubbing by both artists. But Chastel's caricatures strike us as more cutting edge, more modernist, and compositionally quite virtuosic, in the manner that they can somehow incorporate cubist aesthetics, all the time rendering likenesses that we suspect would have been instantly recognizable by contemporaries. And without being strictly speaking realistic, Chastel recreates convincingly the atmosphere and spirit of scenes depicted. This being an album about the fashionable channel resort of Deauville, we here are shown people at the gaming tables, at the race track, sur la plage, and engaged in drinking, dancing, smoking, and almost always, peacocking -- looking to see and be seen! Condition: chipping of the paper along the spine, as virtually inevitable given the material. Light soiling on the paper pastedown. Some gentle edge creasing of the leaves within, a result of their not having the the exact same measurements and their never having been together. Limp Card. Paper pastedown on card.
Now for T.V. Forty of the Great Warner Brothers "Films of the 50's" from Seven Arts

Now for T.V. Forty of the Great Warner Brothers “Films of the 50’s” from Seven Arts

N.d., circa 1960 (give or take a year). Small folio, 33 by 26 cm. 41 leaves -- title, followed by 40 small posters, one for each of the films being marketed to television stations. Also included are three different long order sheets -- two copies for the films on offer in this binder, and two others for different sets of films produced by Warners. Here all the films date from 1950 to 1958. Television had greatly disrupted the film making business, as is well known. Theater attendance suffered initially as television siphoned off some of the audience, or the willingness of people to buy movie theater tickets when they could be entertained with no incremental cost in their living room in front of a television set. The studios fought back by offering more color, wider screens and the like which could not be replicated on a TV set at the time, and then it occurred to them that they could capitalize on their substantial libraries by selling airing rights to TV stations. And so we have here just such a marketing effort. The surprising element is that the movies being peddled were relatively recent releases, and among them, a few movies that were prestige products, such as Garland's "A Star is Born" and Hitchcock's "Strangers on a Train". The small posters, we believe, are generally different than what was used for the previous theatrical releases, with sometimes the differences quite substantial. Surely of interest to any movie buff, we would add. Condition: split of leatherette along joints. Some abrasions on rear of binder. Interior-wise, fine condition. Leatherette binder. Steel rings as binder.