SPL Hand Coloured Rare Book Collection Featuring Norman R Bobins

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SAND, Maurice.
Masques et Bouffons. (Comedie Italienne)

Paris: Frederic Henry, 1862.
Colas 2638; Hiler p.776; Lipperheide 3223.
Paris: Frederic Henry, 1862.

2 volumes. Book. 4to - over 9_. 2 volumes, viii, 356, [2], 384 pp. Rebound in burgundy half leather over fresh marbled boards, fresh spine with gilt, with re-applied original leather spine label. Both volumes tight, with slight cocking (front board overhanging). Some occasional foxing. Generally plates are clean and bright. Please note that many copies of this book do not have hand colouring to the plates. 50 hand coloured plates featuring the stock characters of the improvisational Theatre Italienne such as: Harlequino, Arlechino, Pulcinella, Colombine, Pagliaccio, Pierrot, Pantalon, L'Apothicaire, Le Notaire, Scaramuccia, Pasquariello, etc. Nowadays these characters are most familiar to opera-goers since some of the characters can be found in the comical works of Donizetti, Mascagni, Busoni, Mozart, etc. Most of these characters grew out of the roaming theatrical troupes that originated in Italy of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The costume and basic personality of the character remained stable from one performance to the next, but within those parameters the characters in a troupe, usually following the broad contours of a story line, would improvise bringing in buffoonery perhaps relating to the events of the day, the specific venue where they were appearing, or whatever else might spring into their mind on the spur of the moment. In the eighteenth century the free form went into decline, replaced by more scripted plays, but its influence is very evident in the plays of Goldoni, Moliere (who worked well before the form vanished) and besides the opera buffa, early twentieth century Vaudeville, ballet, and more current comedy. Also, the costume from the Theatre Italienne has never failed to excite enthusiasm, and thus it is often celebrated in the decorative arts, as perhaps most magnificently, in porcelain, beginning in the eighteenth century with Meissen, Nymphenburg and many other makes. Today the style of Harlequin or Arlecchino continue to be emulated in clothes design with some regularity. This two volume celebration of the costume and characters of this theatre was written by Maurice Sand, who was the son of the novelist George Sand, who wrote the preface. Maurice Sand (1823 -1889) was an accomplished illustrator and writer in his own right. *Rebinding and restoration work on this book was carried out by Ron Norman of Hartlepool. (Ronnorm@aol.com)* Coloured plates in order: Volume 1. 1. Frontispiece. La Comedie. 2. Harlequino (1570). 3. Arlechino (1671). 4. Arlequin (1858). 5. Trivelino (1645). 6. Pulcinella (1685). 7. Pulcinelo (1700). 8. Polliciniella (1800). 9. Polichinelle (1820). 10. Meo-Patacca (1800). 11. La Ballerina (1500). 12. Il Capitan. Spavento (1577). 13. Il Capitan. Spezzafer (1668). 14. Giangurgolo (1625). 15. Colombine (1683). 16. Arlequine (1855). 17. Coraline (1744). 18. Pagliaccio (1600). 19. Pedrolino (1673). 20. Peppe-Nappa (1770). 21. Pierrot (1846). 22. Orazio (1645). 23. Ottavio (1688). 24. Lelio (1726). 25. Leandre (1850). Volume 2. 26. Frontispiece. Pantalone (1550). 27. Il Dottore. Baloardo (1653). 28. Biscegliese (1680). 29. Cassandre (1780). 30. La Cantatrice (694). 31. Ruzzante (1525). 32. Stenterello (1858). 33. Menego (1528). 34. Gianduja (1858). 35. Fiorinetta (1533). 36. Isabella (1600). 37. Silvia (1716). 38. Brighella (1570). 39. Beltrame (1613). 40. Scapino (1716). 41. Mezzetin (1682). 42. Narcisino (1650). 43. Scaramuccia (1645). 44. Pasquariello (1685). 45. Coviello (1550). 46. Fritellino (1580). 47. Tabarin (1618). 48. Tartaglia (1620). 49. Le Notaire (1725). 50. L'Apothicaire (1645).