Intriguing Leather-bound Commonplace Book, Paris - Original 1842 album

An original 1842 album, Intriguing Leather-bound Commonplace Book, Paris.

This is a highly intriguing leather-bound album, entitled “Rebecca 1842” in gold tooling on the front cover. The front endpaper is inscribed “To Rebekah, From her very affectionate Mother, Anne Milliken, Paris le 19 Avril /42.” The book comprises 68 pages, 34 of which have content. There are extensive inscriptions on 30 pages, with a number of interesting poems in beautiful script. There is a poem “Dies irae, dies illa”, inscribed “William Beckford (Author of ‘The Caliph Vathek’)” – there is no other signature with the piece so it is unclear who has penned it. Another poem is by Miss G.M. Farnshawe 1842. Many of the contributions are from prestigious addresses in Paris, including from Caroline Hohbach No.1 rue Matignon and Charlotte de Bechade 19, rue de Monceau. A number of the poems are in French and there is even Arabic script, entitled “Persian song”. In addition, there are 8 pages of pasted newspaper cut-outs; the subjects of these include, amongst others: “Funeral of Mrs Henry Courtenay”, “Funeral of the Dowager Lady Tweedmouth”, “British Rule in India, Jubilee Celebration”, “A Memorial Ode on Milton”.

The front cover has come away from the pages and there are some losses to the top and bottom of the spine. Pages show some age toning, but are generally in fair condition.
16.5cm x 21.5cm.

This book is one of a larger collection of commonplace books we have acquired. They are an eclectic delight of intriguing inscriptions and drawings – often witty poems, proverbs and quotations, and humorous, sweet cartoons. All signed and dated by the contributors – the owner’s friends, family and acquaintances – they tell a personal story and give insight into a past era.


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