SOUVENIR.

([Paris]: ca. 1810). 84 x 55 mm. (3 1/4 x 2 1/4"). [16] leaves (11 of them blank).

EXQUISITE MOTHER-OF PEARL BINDING, cover framed in gold metal with torch and garland cornerpieces, mother-of-pearl boards etched with flowers and vines connecting the cornerpieces, tiny gold metal shield with enamelled blue violet at center of upper board, the word "Souvenir" etched in the board above it, gold metal spine and hinges, inside fore edges of boards with gold metal spiral fastener, through which a small gold pencil is threaded, pink silk endleaves with pockets on front and rear pastedowns, leaves held in place by brown silk cord, all edges gilt. With engraved Cupid on title page and the pages for each of the 12 months with an engraved seasonal vignette. Bifolium of vellum (or very vellum-like stock) at centerfold, the leaves stamped in gold with the days of the week. Very thin crack running diagonally across rear board, small inkstain to front endleaves, just touching fore edges of leaves and edge of rear pastedown, otherwise A FINE SPECIMEN, the gilt bright and untarnished, the iridescent boards gleaming, and the unused leaves clean and fresh.

This charming little gem, with blank pages for recording appointments and other things to remember, is a wonderful glimpse of life among the leisured classes of Imperial France. The page provided for each month features a small engraving of a "Pleasure" (rather than Labor) of the month: racing phaetons, playing lawn games, fishing, skinny dipping, picnicking, ice skating. A bifolium of vellum at center, printed with the days of the week, provides an easily erasable surface for jotting down weekly plans. The slender pencil serves as a recording device and a clasp. The very latest in early Empire technology and fashion, it is a beautifully preserved relic of an elegant era.
(ST15126)

Keywords: Miniature Books