‘Tis the season…

Posted on 5th December 2013 by simonbeattie

I thought this week I’d post something seasonal: Vieux noëls illustrés.  Airs primitifs recueillis et arrangés pour le piano (Paris, 1867), compiled by the abbé Rastier, maitre de chapelle at Tours Cathedral.  It comprises 12 old carols (‘douze perles choisies’), collected locally by Rastier, in new arrangements, and each presented within a historiated border by the popular illustrator, Hadol (1835-1875).

As pointed out recently on the blog of the Graphic Arts Collection at Princeton University, Hadol ‘created designs for many 19th-century magazines including Le Gaulois, Le Journal Amusant, High Life, Le Charivari, Le Monde comique, La Vie Parisienne and L’Eclipse [and], like many of his contemporaries, worked on a variety of commercial assignments including not so fantastic novels, posters, and advertising brochures.’

This is certainly a grand production (the book measures 445 × 343 mm).  Considering its size, it is also a surprisingly scarce book.

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