A MASTERPIECE OF FRENCH
FRENCH CALLIGRAPHIC MANUSCRIPT. Recueil de Chansons et Romances. , 108 pp. Square 8vo., 178 x 137 mm, bound in contemporary French red morocco, spine richly decorated with gilt-tooled lyres and floral ornaments in alternating spine compartments, French filet borders on covers, blue silk endpapers and flyleaves, a.e.g. Paris: 1788.
A Superb Calligraphic Manuscript; a masterpiece of eighteenth-century creative text and image. The manuscript is completely written and drawn in black ink on thick papier vergé by a French calligrapher of the Ancien Régime.
The pages of this manuscript contain one image per page, each being an incorporation of words and ornament to create a morphological composition. For example, there appears on page 4 a verse "A Eleonore" where each couplet forms the solid part of a cloverleaf, as a symbol of luck to Eleonore; page 22 is a short verse on the body and soul, set inside a shaped heart composed of a triple floral border; on page 51 one finds a pair of eye-glasses (Les Lunettes) with four couplets of verse in each lens on the subject of seeing matters of life clearly; several pages contain songs with the border ornamentation comprised of musical staves and notes, while the lyrics can be found in the center ornaments. A number of the morphological compositions are shaped into pieces of jewelry, flowers, trees, snowflakes, or furniture (page 50 shows a couplet of verse inside of a table mirror composed of flowers).
The remainder of the pages offer compositions which are purely ornamental in nature, with text and image creating geometric lozanges, circles or a coalescence of circles, partitioned quadrangles, floral rectangles, etc., all of them ornamented with flowers and garlands of a most delicate and exquisite design.
The manuscript is absolutely complete, executed by an exceptional, artistic calligraphic hand. The volume is preserved in a contemporary French red morocco binding in very fine condition.
Item nr. 166935