Rare autograph of the most famous French fabulist
485. Jean de la Fontaine. One of the most famous French poets of the 16th century (1621–1695) widely known for his collections of fables. ADS in French, signed “de La Fontaine,” one page, 6 x 6.75, September 28, 1656. Handwritten receipt for Claude Lamblet. In full (translated): “I have received from Claude Lamblet, who resides in Iqui and who owns thirty-three acres of forests, for their use in the year 1657, the sum of sixty-six livres for the rights of entering and leaving the thirty-three acres of his property, and I declare he owes nothing more.” Lower portion bears a stamp from the collection of Pierre Jules Fontaine, who published a ‘Manuel de l’amateur d’autographes’ in 1836. In very good condition, with light scattered foxing and wrinkling, and first and second integral sheets affixed to each other (affecting nothing).
In 1647, La Fontaine assumed his father’s position as maître des eaux et forêts, a rangership in his native Château-Thierry, in which he oversaw the inspection of trees, removal of timber, and application of game laws. This document relates to the timber in Lamblet’s thirty-three acres, which were located in the nearby Vassy Forest. Although his life as a writer had not yet begun, La Fontaine’s experience in this position gave him great insight into matters of country life—knowledge that would later be incorporated into his folk tales and fables, proving vital to his literary career. Two stories clearly affected by these forestry days are ‘The Woodcutter and the Trees’ and ‘Death and the Woodman.’ An extraordinarily rare document from a crucial time in the writer’s life. RR Auction COA.…(MB $500)
Planning General Meade’s memorial 486. Daniel Chester French. ALS signed “Daniel C. French,” one
page, 8 x 10, personal letterhead, January 1, 1899. In part: “I am desirous of meeting you with a view to receiving the desired information in regard to the personality of General Meade. I shall be happy to come to Philadelphia for the purpose.” In fine condition, with intersecting folds (one passing through the middle initial in his signature), and subtle mirroring to ink. Accompanied by a letter from John G. Gest to a patron of said statue, in part: “Permit me to introduce to you Mr. Daniel Chester French who is the sculptor selected by the trustees under the will of Richard Smith to design and execute the colossal statue of Genl. Meade to be placed upon the Smith Monumental Memorial in West Fairmount Park.” The memorial, known as the Smith Memorial Arch, was built to honor Pennsylvania’s Civil War heroes, and now consists of 13 different sculptures, including French’s statue of General George Meade. Pre-certified PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.…(MB $200)
Published on Jun 26, 2013
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