• <b>Sotheby’s London: English Literature, History, Children’s Books and Illustrations, including The Garrett Herman Collection: The Age of Darwin. July 11, 2017</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jul 11:</b> Austen, Jane. Autograph letter, written in the third person, to her niece Anna Austen (later Lefroy), 1812. £80,000 to 100,000
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jul 11:</b> Smith, Adam. <i>An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations</i>. London: Printed for W. Strahan; And T. Cadell, 1776. £50,000 to 70,000
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jul 11:</b> Darwin, Charles. <i>On the Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life</i>. John Murray, 1859. £50,000 to 70,000
    <b>Sotheby’s London: English Literature, History, Children’s Books and Illustrations, including The Garrett Herman Collection: The Age of Darwin. July 11, 2017</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jul 11:</b> Dickens, Charles. Autograph draft manuscript of "Mrs Gamp with the Strolling Players,” 1847. £40,000 to 60,000
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jul 11:</b> Shepard, E.H. Two drawings from <i>Winnie-The-Pooh</i> comprising “Why, what’s the matter?” and “He was taking the balloon out…” £40,000 to 60,000
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jul 11:</b> Blake, William. <i>Illustrations of the Book of Job. Invented and Engraved by William Blake. Published as the Act Directs...By William Blake, 8 March 1825</i> [1826]. £20,000 to 30,000
  • <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Newton. <i>Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica</i>. London, 1687.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Josephus. <i>De antiquitate Judaica.</i> Lubeck, 1475-76.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Carlerius. <i>Sporta fragmentorum, Sportula fragmentorum</i>. Brussels, 1478-79.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Fridolin. <i>Der Schatzbehalter</i>. Nuremberg, 1491.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Pinder. <i>Der beschlossen gart des rosenkrantz marie</i>. Nuremberg, 1505.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Isidorus Hispalensis. <i>Synonyma de Homine</i>. Nuremberg, 1470-71.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Durer. Sammelband including <i>Underweysung der messing</i>. Nuremberg, 1525-29.
  • <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, July 8: Rare Books & Manuscripts</b>
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions July 8:</b><br> Walter Gibson's Complete Run of The Shadow. 48 bound volumes, 1931-44. $8,000-12,000
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions July 8:</b><br> Frederic Shoberl, The World in Miniature: Hindoostan. 6 volumes. $2,000-4,000
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions July 8:</b><br> A Rare Copy of the Earliest Chicago Newspaper to Report on the Great Fire of 1871. $6,000-8,000
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, July 8: Rare Books & Manuscripts</b>
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions July 8:</b><br> Broadside Proclamation by Mayor Roswell B. Mason for the Preservation of Good Order Following the Great Fire of 1871. Chicago. $4,000-6,000
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions July 8:</b><br> Peter Force Engraving of the Declaration of Independence. One page. Scarce and highly collectable. $15,000-20,000
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions July 8:</b><br> John Quincy Adams. The Jubilee of the Constitution. A Discourse. First edition. Inscribed. 1839. $3,000-5,000
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, July 8: Rare Books & Manuscripts</b>
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions July 8:</b><br> Cuban Revolution: Expedicion y Desembarco del “Granma.” Havana, ca. 1959. With portraits of the Castro brothers & Che Guevara. $150-250
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions July 8:</b><br> Osuna Ramos. A group of 28 photographs of the Mexican Revolution & aftermath in Mexico City, 1910-1920. 4½ x 6”. $400-600
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions July 8:</b><br> Charles Bukowski. Hot Water Music. First edition with original signed painting. 1983. $2,000-4,000
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, July 8: Rare Books & Manuscripts</b>
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions July 8:</b><br> Alan Ginsberg. Five Page Autographed Letter. Signed. February 10, 1971. $3,000-5,000
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions July 8:</b><br> Andy Warhol’s Children’s Book. Featuring 12 color illustrations. Signed 5 times. 1983. $5,000-7,000
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions July 8:</b><br> Albrecht Durer. The Martyrdom Saint John the Evangelist. Woodcut, 1511 edition. $1,000-2,000
  • <b>Pierre Bergé and Associés in association with Sotheby’s:<br>De la musique avant toute chose… June 28, 2017</b>
    <b>Pierre Bergé and Associés in association with Sotheby’s, Jun 28:</b> Roland de Lassus. [Songs and madrigals]. Album gathering three collections of secular music for tenor. 15.000-20.000 €
    <b>Pierre Bergé and Associés in association with Sotheby’s, Jun 28:</b> Richard Wagner. <i>Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.</i> Original edition corrected and annotated by Wagner. 60.000-80.000 €
    <b>Pierre Bergé and Associés in association with Sotheby’s, Jun 28:</b> Claude Debussy. <i>La Damoiselle élue</i>. Lyrical poem, after D.-G. Rossetti. Limited edition of 160 copies. 6.000-8.000 €
    <b>Pierre Bergé and Associés in association with Sotheby’s:<br>De la musique avant toute chose… June 28, 2017</b>
    <b>Pierre Bergé and Associés in association with Sotheby’s, Jun 28:</b> Stéphane Mallarmé. Handwritten notebook made by Geneviève Mallarmé. No place or date [circa 1910]. 10.000-15.000 €
    <b>Pierre Bergé and Associés in association with Sotheby’s, Jun 28:</b> Henri Sauguet. <i>Les Forains</i>. Ballet. Reduction for piano. Original edition. 20.000-30.000 €
    <b>Pierre Bergé and Associés in association with Sotheby’s, Jun 28:</b> Athanasius Kircher. <i>Musurgia Universalis sive Ars Magna Consoni et Dissoni in X. Libros digesta.</i> 1650. 30.000-40.000 €
    <b>Pierre Bergé and Associés in association with Sotheby’s:<br>De la musique avant toute chose… June 28, 2017</b>
    <b>Pierre Bergé and Associés in association with Sotheby’s, Jun 28:</b> François Villon, & Clément Marot. <i>Les Œuvres de François Villon de Paris, Reviewed and gathered by Clement Marot.</i> 15.000-20.000 €
    <b>Pierre Bergé and Associés in association with Sotheby’s, Jun 28:</b> Rainer Maria Rilke. <i>Larenopfer</i> (Offrande aux dieux Lares). The second collection of Rainer Maria Rilke, containing ninety poems. 6.000-8.000 €
    <b>Pierre Bergé and Associés in association with Sotheby’s, Jun 28:</b> Paul Éluard. <i>Capitale de la douleur.</i> One of the most beautiful poetic collections from the first surrealist wave. 15.000-20.000 €
    <b>Pierre Bergé and Associés in association with Sotheby’s, Jun 28:</b> Pierre de Ronsard. <i>Les Amours</i> ... newly augmented by him, and commented by Marc Antoine de Muret. 40.000-60.000 €

Rare Book Monthly

Articles - January - 2017 Issue

Voyage de Paris à Saint Cloud, The Perilous and Bold Adventures of a Badaud

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Map of the voyage to St. Cloud.

According to the authoritative Larousse dictionary, the French word “badaud” refers to someone who “wanders around town, being curious of the various spectacles of life, and stopping to contemplate them.” But in the 18th century, a “badaud” was a simpleton, a typical Parisian character depicted in a funny booklet entitled Le Voyage de Saint-Cloud par Mer & par Terre (La Haye—in fact, Paris—, 1748). We could hardly give a better description of the ridiculous amazement of a young man without experience, who leaves the maternal house for the first time,” states the preface of the recent Douin Editions’ reprint. The “bel-esprit” was, according to the Parisians, endemic to the capital and Versailles—of course—, and couldn’t reach beyond what they called the barriers of Paris—where taxes were collected from entering goods.

 

 

Travel books, loaded with extraordinary tales of unknown and remote regions, have always commanded the unconditional respect of the public; but they have also generated an apocryphal literature made of utopic fables, fake tales of made-up travels, as well as satirical works. As a matter of fact, Louis Balthazar Néel (1695-1754) enjoyed considerable success with his 66-page long satirical work: Voyage de Paris à Saint-Cloud par Mer & par Terre / Voyage From Paris to Saint-Cloud by Sea and Land.Néel apparently had two ideas when writing it,” comments the preface of the Douin’s edition. “First, he meant to mock the obvious pedantry of these travel books, in which the reader is spared no detail, except the useful and agreeable ones. Second, to laugh at the ignorance of the “bourgeois” of Paris, who stupidly wondered at any casual thing as soon as they stepped out of their houses.

 

The narrator of this voyage is invited to visit his fiancée’s family in the nearby town of Saint Cloud—it touches Paris—, and has no choice but to face the raging elements. He sees the Seine River as a pitiless ocean, and Saint Cloud seems to stand at the ends of the world. No wonder the world is so unintelligible to him, he was born a Parisian—hence his condition of true “badaud”. “Before my travel,” he admits, “I thought that everything grew on trees (...), from the wheat to the grapes to the vegetables of all sorts. (...) The roasters, I thought, built their own poultry, just like the soft drinks manufacturers make their chocolate.”

 

En route to Saint Cloud, our narrator has a very loose idea of where he really is—the author added a map to the fifth edition of his book, thus reinforcing its satirical dimension; indeed, travel books have always been valued for their maps. “I asked whether the Company of the Indies was sailing the very same river while going to Japan, where it buys those beautiful clothes that are sold in Paris? Were we still far from Cap Breton1? Was there not a risk to come across some Russian sailors on their way to the Netherlands?(...) I noticed that everyone was laughing at me when I asked questions. But it didn’t matter to me, as long as I was taught new things.”

 

Reaching the city of Chaillot, “I pointed to an abbot beside me that, at the time of the Crusades, this town had probably been almost taken by the Turks, since their ladders were still laying against the walls; or was it what our most eminent voyagers call the “ladders of the Levant” 2? But he answered that (...) these ladders belonged to the laundresses, who used them to wash their clothes.” The said laundresses soon disabuse our voyager by cursing him like savages from the riverbank, and even showing what might be described as the “bottom of the Levant”! Afterwards, upon reaching the neighbouring city of Passy, the narrator starts to panic: “I jumped on the upper deck to search for Paris with my telescope. I found her, but couldn’t recognize her. She was but loads of stones and chimneys. Where had my Paris gone? I could make out no street, not even Geoffroi l’Asnier Street, where I resided. I was surrounded by nothing but a threatening sea ready to swallow me up; and in the remote, some unknown southern lands, and pure fields! I turned towards Paris and said: Ô you, who has bred me, sublime Paris! Why are you drifting away from me? (...) I’ll be back soon—so help me God! —, and I shall spend the rest of my life in your bosom.” Poor little “badaud”...

 

The little author of a little book

 

Néel defines himself, in the preface of the 5th edition of his book (Paris, 1783), as “the little author of a little book.” He points out that, upon writing it, he had no other ambition but to entertain others while entertaining himself. A true satirist, he then adds: “And I’d rather have my book sold in the blue collection (the very popular peddling books—writer’s note) than confidentially read in a full morocco binding.”

 

His voyage was very well received. The Observateur Littéraire reads: “This is quite an entertaining booklet, and I advise you to add it to your collection among your best books. There’s more spirit in these 66 pages than in the chaos of most of the in-folio books you’ve read.” Néel underlines in the aforementioned preface: “Several of my friends complain that my book seems to ridicule the people of Paris. Truly, the portrait I’ve drawn of the “badauds” is so striking that it is like, so to speak, catching life red-handed!” Furthermore, he adds that the first edition had already become quite rare in 1748: “If a handful of copies are still around, they are but very few.” The book was printed five times between 1748 and 1783. The 5th edition even features a lovely map—see illustration—, an unnecessary second part written by Lottin L’Aîné (it was published as soon as 1750), as well as a serious—and thus totally off-topic—chronology of the history of the city of Saint Cloud.

 

The 1844 edition (Lahure, Paris) is also valued today, thanks to Jeanniot’s illustrations; and as previously mentioned, it was recently reprinted. This satirical portrait of the Parisians is what makes it so attractive, as underlined by Mercier in 1783, in his Tableau de Paris (Amsterdam): “It mocks both the ignorance and indolence of some Parisians, who have never left their homes but to go to their nurses’ and back, who dare not venture beyond the Pont Neuf3, and who confuse the most remote places on Earth with some neighbouring cities.” This gives you a true definition of what was then a “badaud”. “He thinks,” resumes Mercier, “that the Bois de Boulogne4 is the ancient forest where the Druids used to live; he mistakes the Mount Valérien5with the Calvary upon which Jesus Christ spilled His precious blood (...). Back to Paris, he is warmly welcomed by his relatives, and his aunts, who haven’t ever been further than the Tuileries6, consider him as the boldest traveller ever.” The idiocy of the Parisians was apparently proverbial. “Some bourgeois,” reads H. Audifre’s Dictionnaire de la conversation... (Paris, 1833), “because of the paintings, the statues and the engravings they see daily in Paris, believe that the Sphinx, the mermaids, the unicorns and the Phoenix do exist. Their credulity is exploited, not only by the crooks and the acrobats on public places, where the herds of “badauds” gather, but also in society.” Could the “badaud” be that stupid?

 

Bushmen strike back

 

This voyage is also a victory in the war raging between the Parisians and the rest of the French people—the Provinciaux. In 1699, the “bel-esprit” Jean-Jacques Brillon explains in Le Theopraste Moderne (Paris): “We Parisians call a “provincial” any one who was born two leagues away from Paris.” And he saw those people as, well—savages. “A leopard never changes its spots,” adds Brillon, “mostly if it was born in the middle of a field, or in a city surrounded by woods: such men are savages, a little bit less fierce than the real ones. (...). But let’s cut it short, and let’s not disrespect the inhabitants of the Province—I almost wrote the inhabitants of the bush.” There is something raw about the Provinciaux that irritates people of “good taste”. “For want of politeness, the Provincial makes you uneasy with his civilities; for want of “esprit”, he exhausts you with his compliments,” deplores Brillon. Yet, he confesses: “They don’t have enough consideration for us; probably because we don’t say many nice things about them.” Indeed, if the “badaud” mistakes Chaillot for Jerusalem, the Provincial, for his part, “thinks the King is 30 inches taller than them; and the courtesans look like half-gods to him,” sniggers Brillon. So, who’s an idiot now, uh? This little war is still going on today. Everywhere the Parisian kids go, they are greeted with the traditional song: “Parigots, têtes de veaux!—something like, caring for the rhyme: Parisians, ruffians!; literally, “calves’ heads”. They usually answer by calling their new friends: “pécores!”—the French word for “rednecks”. Charming little bovines’ heads...

 

Travel books have various forms, and utopias or satirical relations are not only entertaining, they also give us valuable information about the way our ancestors lived among themselves. And it is sort of reassuring—or not—to see that, notwithstanding a few details, be it in the southern lands or in the nearby Chaillot, they used to live—well, just like we do.

 

 

(c) Thibault Ehrengardt

 

 

1: Cap Breton. This city is 750 kilometres away from Paris.

2: The ladders of the Levant, or Les échelles du Levant, were some ports and cities of the Ottoman empire, located in the Middle-East and on the North coast of Africa, where the French had the right to trade during the 16th century—the term “ladder” apparently comes from the Latin word scala, and describes the ladders used to unload the ships.

3: Pont Neuf. The oldest bridge in Paris.

4: Bois de Boulogne. A wood in the western outskirts of Paris.

5: Mont Valérien. A hill in the western outskirts of Paris.

6: Les Tuileries. A royal palace located in the heart of Paris.


Posted On: 2017-01-08 19:54
User Name: edgewear

The Oldest Bridge--The Newest Tourist: Over 50 years ago, I was a young American visiting Paris for the first time with my Dutch husband who had business there for the day. He gave me some francs at breakfast in a café about a block from the small hotel which I later discovered was out the alley of a tiny, dark street directly across from Pont Neuf. Alas, I'd had a glass of wine after a very small meal and was fairly tipsy and tired from little sleep and had forgotten how far we'd walked to get there. Later, he took a photo of me hanging over the Pont looking like the world traveler I was not, and I still have it. I spent the day discovering my Parisian street, learned about ten very important words (and several silly ones), bought a bottle of wine, some cheese, a book in English at a store on the same street, and had my hair put up in a coiffure suitable to the city. Several natives actually spoke a few words to me in English as I struggled to use my new French words, and in the spirit of the game, taught me several more, and a joke or two. I thought, "What's this about the French looking down on American tourists?" I also had a frightening time finding Pont Neuf and our tiny hotel back in the dark alley where it was hidden. When my husband came back from his meeting, he discovered me lounging in my slip with my chic hairdo which I later found contained at least 20 hairpins, reading my book, and having cheese and wine. Bonjour ma cheri, I grinned--how was YOUR day? He was entranced. This is basically all I still know about Paris, and I still don't remember the name of the street where I was. But I do remember never to assume a country or its people are snobbish or difficult from what I read in, yes, books..... Pat Baumgartner, la badaud


Rare Book Monthly

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