This little book is something of a mystery. The fifty-eight pages of the booklet are sewn in a single gathering and bound with a sheet of old vellum, which is now partially discolored from use. From this first opening (shown below), we know that it was completed by the priest Aegidius (or Gilles) Duchemin in 1740.
In the early 1890s, when Degas' work became increasingly less naturalistic, he produced a series of pure landscapes that freely interpret the scenery he encountered on his way to visit the painter and printmaker Pierre-Georges Jeanniot in the village of Diénay, near Dijon. There Degas produced about fifty monotypes, which he enhanced with vivid pastel work.
In 2011 the manuscript of A Christmas Carol received extensive treatment by conservators at the Morgan's Thaw Conservation Center.
Bible. O.T. Psalms. The Book of Psalms [London?: s.n., ca. 1890]. Purchased on the Gordon N. Ray Fund, 2011.
Sometime probably in the late 1890s, and unknown dealer or private collector assembled about 200 letters that were bound into volumes and titled "Sir Walter Scott: Letters of his Friends and Contemporaries." The letters aren't to, from, or even necessarily about Scott, but they provide an artifactual record of both his personal circles and the leading public figures of the day.
Whether he was making portraits of family and friends or preliminary studies for important history paintings, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780–1867) created drawings of great subtlety and nuance. Close examination of the paper and media allows us to glimpse the working methods of one of the greatest draftsmen and portraitists in French history.
Vente après décès, de la bibliothèque de nos égorgeurs. [Rouen: s.n., 1795]. Purchased on the Henry S. Morgan Fund, 2011.
Sir Walter Scott, arguably the most successful writer of his day, was the first English-language novelist to be represented by a literary agent. In the last twenty years of his life, he published 23 works of fiction -- all anonymously -- and James Ballantyne, who was also Scott's business partner, sometimes-printer, and former schoolfellow, acted as a liaison or agent to help to obscure Scott's identity.
Pierre Laujon (1727-1811). Les a propos de societé, ou, Chansons de M. L. Paris : Joseph-Gérard Barbou, 1776. 3 vols. Purchased on the Gordon N. Ray Fund, 2011.
Francis Willughby (1635-1672). Ornithologiae libri tres, in quibus aves omnes hactenuscognitae in methodum naturis suis convenientem redactae accuratè describuntur, descriptiones iconibus elegantissimis & vivarum avium simillimis, aeri incisisillustrantur. London: Printed for John Martyn, printer to the Royal Society, 1676. Purchased on the Henry S. Morgan Fund, 2011.