• <b>Skinner: Early English Books<br>A Single Owner Sale. July 20, 2018</b>
    <b>Skinner, July 20:</b> Cranmer, Thomas (1489-1556). <i>Catechismus, That is to Say, a Shorte Instruction into Christian Religion...</i> London, 1548. First edition. $12,000 to $18,000
    <b>Skinner, July 20:</b> Donne, John (1572-1631). <i>Pseudo-Martyr.</i> London: Printed by W[illiam] Stansby for Walter Burre, 1610. First edition. $25,000 to $35,000
    <b>Skinner, July 20:</b> Fletcher, Giles (1549?-1611). <i>The Russe Common Wealth, or Maner of Gouernement by the Russe Emperour…</i> London, 1591. First edition. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Skinner, July 20:</b> Gabelkover, Oswald (1539-1616). <i>The Boock of Physicke.</i> Dordrecht: Isaack Caen, 1599. First edition. $12,000 to $15,000
    <b>Skinner: Early English Books<br>A Single Owner Sale. July 20, 2018</b>
    <b>Skinner, July 20:</b> Galileo, Galilei (1564-1642) trans. Thomas Salusbury (d. 1666). <i>Mathematical Collections and Translations the First Tome.</i> London, 1661. First edition of Galileo's works in English. $35,000 to $50,000
    <b>Skinner, July 20:</b> Higden, Ranulphus (d. 1364). <i>Polycronicon.</i> Translated by John Trevisa, with the 1357-1460 <i>Continuation</i> by William Caxton. Southwark, 1527. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Skinner, July 20:</b> Randolph, Bernard (b. 1643). <i>The Present State of the Morea, Called Anciently Peloponnesus…</i> London, 1689. [Bound with] <i>The Present State of the Islands of the Archipelago…</i> $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Skinner, July 20:</b> <i>The Great Herball Newly Corrected.</i> London, 1539. Folio, ESTC lists three U.S. copies; the last copy offered at auction was incomplete and sold in 1949. $25,000 to $35,000
  • <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> SHAKESPEARE, WILLIAM. <i>The Tragedie of Julius Caesar.</i> London, 1623. 1st appearance in print, Complete from the First Folio. Sold for $175,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Ernst, Max. <i>Mr. Knife and Miss Fork</i>. Paris, 1932. DELUXE EDITION. Sold for $15,625
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Cage, John. Autograph musical leaf from his Concert for Piano and Orchestra, NY, 1958. Sold for $18,750
    <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Einstein, Albert. Signed Passport Photo for his US citizenship application. Bermuda, 1935. Sold for $17,500
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Verard, Antoine. Illuminated printed Book of Hours. Paris, 1507. Sold for $7,500
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Wetterkurzschlussel. German Weather Report Codebook - for Enigma use. Berlin, 1942. Sold for $225,000
    <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Morelos y Pavon, Jose Maria. Autograph letter signed to El Virrey Venegas, February 5, 1812. Sold for $6,250
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Milne, A.A. Complete set of <i>Winnie-the-Pooh</i> books. 4 volumes. All first issue points. London, 1924-1928. Sold for $5,250
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> A 48-star American Flag, battle worn flown at Guadalcanal and Peleliu, 1942-1944. Sold for $35,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Locke, John. Autograph Letter Signed mourning the death of his friend, William Molyneaux, 2 pp, October 27, 1698. Sold for $20,000
  • <b>Doyle, online only: Angling Books from the Collection of Arnold "Jake" Johnson. July 13-24, 2018</b>
    <b>Doyle, online only Jul 13-24:</b> Zane Grey, Inscribed photograph album depicting Grey and party at Catalina, fishing, and in Arizona. $700 to $1,000
    <b>Doyle, online only Jul 13-24:</b> Eric Taverner, Salmon Fishing...London: Seeley, Service & Co., 1931. $600 to $900
    <b>Doyle, online only Jul 13-24:</b> The Gentleman Angler. $300 to $500
    <b>Doyle, online only: Angling Books from the Collection of Arnold "Jake" Johnson. July 13-24, 2018</b>
    <b>Doyle, online only Jul 13-24:</b> Ken Robinson, Flyfishers' Progress. [London: The Flyfishers' Club, 2000. $200 to $300
    <b>Doyle, online only Jul 13-24:</b> G. H. Lacy, North Punjab Fishing Club Angler's Handbook. Calcutta: Newman & Co., 1890. $300 to $500
    <b>Doyle, online only Jul 13-24:</b> J. Harrington Keene, Fly-Fishing and Fly-Making for Trout, etc. New York, 1887. $200 to $300
    <b>Doyle, online only: Angling Books from the Collection of Arnold "Jake" Johnson. July 13-24, 2018</b>
    <b>Doyle, online only Jul 13-24:</b> Arthur Macrate, The History of The Tuna Club, Avalon, Santa Catalina Island, California, 1948. $400 to $600
    <b>Doyle, online only Jul 13-24:</b> Joseph D. Bates Jr. Streamer Fly Tying and Fishing. Harrisburg, PA: The Stackpole Company, 1966. $800 to $1,200
    <b>Doyle, online only Jul 13-24:</b> Paul Schmookler and Ingrid V. Sils. Rare and Unusual Fly Tying Materials: A Natural History. $300 to $500
    <b>Doyle, online only Jul 13-24:</b> Herbert Hoover, Fishing For Fun - And To Wash Your Soul. New York: Random House, 1963. $400 to $600
  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>

Rare Book Monthly

Articles - May - 2016 Issue

Cartouche, or The Thieves of the 5th Republic

06a2ccc9-c2df-4d8f-9f15-6fe607f4b192

The economic crisis, the Panama Papers affair, the Protection of trade secrets law and the many financial scandals lately revealed in France have weakened the current 5th Republic and generated a general discontent reminiscent of the Régence of Louis XV (1715-1723). The bankruptcy following the system of Law (the first attempt to impose paper-money) occurred in 1720. One year later, Louis-Dominique Cartouche was broken on the wheel. The police of the time, hoping to restore the authority of the Régent, turned Cartouche into a diabolical gang leader. But for the people of Paris, he was a champion of the Have-nots. The system had created a monster that would partake in its destruction. And it was foretold in a short play, Cartouche ou Les Voleurs, given in Paris a few days before the bandit was put to death.

 

 

Louis-Dominique Cartouche has never been the master of his own destiny. This petty thug of La Courtille was made « the chief of the thieves of Paris » by the police, « the apostle of social justice » by the revolutionaries in 1789 and even a « priest hater » in the late 19th century. The play Cartouche ou Les Voleurs (Cartouche or the Thieves) tells us why he has always been seen as a popular hero. This remarkable 36-page play written by Marc-Antoine Legrand was given for the first time as Cartouche was waiting for his execution in the nearby prison of Le Châtelet. Although some witnesses described it as a “gentle comedy”, it is actually a fierce satire. Our copy is quite modest and answers all the characteristics of the peddling books as listed by the Médiathèque Grand Troyes: “Raw paper, used fonts, mute front cover usually made of a blue-grey paper—used to wrap sugar loafs—, rare engravings and always printed with second-hands woods.” It smells of the noisy streets of the Ancien Régime, where it was printed 300 years ago; in Paris for the first edition, or in Troyes—with no date—by “Antoine Garnier1”, as far as ours is concerned.

 

Louis-Dominique Cartouche was the first public enemy number one in French history; quite a celebrity. Everyone in Paris was talking about him and his cronies. The police, who were then mutating to fight crime more efficiently, drew an excessively dark portrait of him, using him as a pretext to clean Paris’ infected streets. They also read every book dealing with him before permitting their publication—hence their boring moral. These are exactly the yoke that the fake and anonymous autobiography of 1789, Les Amours et la vie de Cartouche—recently reprinted (DREAD Editions)—broke asunder. Published in the aftermath of the Révolution—the printer of the first edition pretended that the manuscript had been recovered from the ruins of the captured Bastille—, it enjoyed the new freedom of speech granted to all printers. Cartouche was let loose: “The boring probity of my father had always been contrary to my desire, “he” says. He intended to find an honest situation in life for me, but as I hardly understood this sentence—which is not realistic—I cared about nothing but reaching my goals by the shortest way.” Thus, our bandit became a prophet of the Révolution, a “general” fighting an unfair system—in a word, the revenger of the Have-nots.

 

 

In Cartouche, Histoire authentique (Paris, 1859), Barthelemy Maurice says that Legrand’s play was granted permission of publishing as soon as March 1719—which is weird, since Cartouche’s name was almost unknown by then. It was then entitled LeR. de C. (or R. of C.) for Le Règne (or reign), or Royaume (kingdom) of Cartouche. But the police of books disliked it, as they realized “that it was a satire against the people trying to arrest Cartouche” (Maurice). They were right; it was offensive—because it made people laugh. In Act I, scene XI, a crew of watchmen has just spotted Cartouche. “We are brave men,” says the Exempt (policeman) in charge. “Strong as lions!” retorts one of his men named La Valeur (Mr Bravery). But as Cartouche walks towards them with one of his cronies, the Exempt suggests a tactical retreat. “You’re right,” says Mr Bravery, “they are two, and we’re only twelve. The fight is unfair.”

 

What comes next made the whole of Paris laugh. Cartouche goes straight to the watchmen: “Move," he says to the Exempt, "or I blow your nose away, just like a rabbit’s!” Legrand here adds a stage direction: “Cartouche and his crony peacefully walk through the group of watchmen and fires his gun. All the watchmen fall on the ground.” This ironic scene was inspired by a true and famous anecdote. Cornered inside a house by dozens of Exempts, Cartouche calmly walked out, pretending to be an innocent inhabitant of the house. In the street, he came across two bowmen from the police who asked him: “Is Cartouche taken, Sir?” Firing his two guns at them, he answered: “Not yet!” In Legrand’s play, the watchmen get back to their feet once Cartouche is away: “Come on, comrades, let’s retreat in good order (...), we did our duty.” That’s what this unloved police called “their duty.” Yet, the weak Régent Philippe d’Orléans tried to recapture his subjects’ respect by all means—not unlike our current President, François Hollande—, especially since the terrible failure of the Law system, which made the lives of poor people even more difficult. Consequently, Legrand was denied the right to give his play, “until the bandit was captured," underlines Maurice, "on October 14, 1721.

 

Clerk and Thief

 

As soon as October 20, Cartouche’s life was given at Palais-Royal! However, it was not Legrand’s play; but another one entitled Arlequin-Cartouche, written by some Italian comedians. According to the Mercure de France (November 1721) it was a mere “succession of hosers’ tricks hastily put together into scenes so to outdo another play.” Another play? Legrand’s, of course. On the following day, our author gave Cartouche ou Les Voleurs at Le Théâtre François. Edmond-Jean-François Barbier, a lawyer and a keen observer of his time, stated in his Journal: “It is attended by an amazing amount of people.” Of course, “respectable people” (Mercure) saw these plays as indecent. Barbier notes that representing the life of a man “who really exists, who is everyday questioned, and who shall be broken alive at the end of the day (...) is not quite acceptable.” Nevertheless, the play was an immediate success. The first evening, the opening play—Esope à la Cour, by Boursault—had to be interrupted as the audience clamoured for Cartouche ou Les Voleurs. In spite—or because—of this popular success, both plays were stopped by the police after a dozen of representations. But it was already all about this flamboyant thief, and people were ramming Le Châtelet to catch a glimpse at him. Barbier himself gave in to the temptation: “To add to impertinence, the little play Cartouche is printed. I bought a copy, as well as the death warrants of the broken, to testify of the foolishness of our country.” Thus, our little book ended up in the famous Barbier’s bookshelf! In the “foolishness” section, all right—but still.

 

The play takes us to the heart of a deregulated society and the author purposely confuses the issue. Who are the “thieves” of the subtitle? The “Cartouchians”, who rob a bourgeois in the street, or the same bourgeois, who offered the hand of his daughter to a man before “selling” her off to a highest bidder? The “Cartouchian” who steals the wallet of a passer-by? Or the latter—an aristocrat—,who earns a living by suing people, robbing them under the cover of the law? Legal doesn’t mean elegant. And who is the guarantor of moral values? The bold Cartouche, who exhorts his men to die “guns in hands”, or the Exempts who jump on the floor when they hear a gunshot? Even the “mouches” (informers) are triple-crossers! When a thief shows one to Cartouche, the latter answers: “He’s one us, he gives the police wrong information and keeps us informed on their doings. (...) This “mouche” is an honest man.” Well, he doesn’t appear less honest than any magistrate of the tile. After all, Gripaut, a former convict who joins the “Cartouchians” in the play, is about to buy a charge of Public Prosecutor. “After robbing people in so many ways in my life," he states, "I want to crown my career by becoming a Prosecutor.”

 

1. 

Antoine Garnier probably belonged to the powerful dynasty of the Garniers-Oudots, who made their fortune publishing peddling books during the 17th century in Troyes. The grey-blue papers they were wrapped with, gave the name of the “Bibliothèque Bleue” (or the Blue Collection). The first Garnier was Claude (circa 1535-1585); he was located in La Petite Tannerie Street, Troyes. His apprentice, Jean Oudot, later married his daughter and took over the printery when he passed away.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Potter & Potter Auctions: Fine Books & Manuscripts. July 28, 2018</b>
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, July. 28:</b> Lot 372: Martin Luther King Jr. March for Freedom Now! Placard. Chicago, 1960. 28 x 22”. $3,000 to $6,000
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, July. 28:</b> Lot 567: Warhol, Andy. Tate Gallery Exhibition Booklet, Signed on the Cover by Warhol. Tate Gallery, 1971. $700 to $900
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, July. 28:</b> Lot 72: Mitchell, Margaret. <i>Gone With the Wind.</i> New York: The Macmillan Co., 1936. First edition, first issue. $4,000 to $5,000
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions: Fine Books & Manuscripts. July 28, 2018</b>
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, July. 28:</b> Lot 468: Photo Archive Documenting the 1930s—50s Chicago Jazz and Night Club Scene. A significant collection. $2,000 to $4,000
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, July. 28:</b> Lot 143: Dr. Seuss. <i>Oh Say Can You Say.</i> 1979, First Edition, Signed. $200 to $300
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, July. 28:</b> Lot 285: [Maps] Thomas G. Bradford. <i>A Comprehensive Atlas, Geographical, Historical & Commercial.</i> Boston: William D. Ticknor, 1835. First Edition. $1,600 to $1,800
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions: Fine Books & Manuscripts. July 28, 2018</b>
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, July. 28:</b> Lot 69: Herman Melville. <i>Moby Dick, or The Whale</i>. New York: Random House, 1930. First Kent Trade Edition. $400 to $600
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, July. 28:</b> Lot 295: John James Audoban. Group of 148 Lithographs from the Birds of America. Philadelphia: J.T. Bowen, ca. 1840s. $600 to $800
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, July. 28:</b> Lot 54: Langston Hughes. <i>One-Way Ticket.</i> New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1949. First edition. $300 to $500
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions: Fine Books & Manuscripts. July 28, 2018</b>
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, July. 28:</b> Lot 7: Ray Bradbury. <i>The Martian Chronicles.</i> With a Wine Label Signed by Bradbury. Garden City: Doubleday, 1950. First edition $300 to $500
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, July. 28:</b> Lot 121. Frank L Baum. <i>The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.</i> Chicago: George M. Hill Co., 1899, 1900. First Edition. $4,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, July. 28:</b> Lot 369. [Declaration of Independence] Peter Force Engraving of the Declaration of Independence. One page; 29 x 26”. From the "American Archives" 1837-1853 series of books. $15,000 to $20,000
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> first edition of the earliest extant manual on modern chess, Salamanca, circa 1496-97. Sold for $68,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Carte-de-visite album with 83 images of prominent African Americans & abolitionists, circa 1860s. Sold for $47,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Gustav Klimt, <i>Das Werk,</i> Vienna & Leipzig, 1918. Sold for $106,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Man Ray, <i>[London Transport] – Keeps London Going,</i> 1938. Sold for $149,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Thomas Jefferson, Letter Signed, to Major-General Nathanael Greene, promising reinforcements against Cornwallis, 1781. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Nicolas de Fer, <i>L’Amerique Divisee Selon Letendue de ses Principales Parties,</i> Paris, 1713. Sold for $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Russell H. Tandy, <i>The Secret in the Old Attic,</i> watercolor, pencil & ink, 1944. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ernest Hemingway, <i>Three Stories & Ten Poems,</i> first edition of the author's first book, Paris, 1923. Sold for $23,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Walker Evans, <i>River Rouge Plant,</i> silver print, 1947. Sold for $57,500.

Article Search

Archived Articles

Ask Questions