Pour les années 1774 à 1788.
Paris, chez la Veuve Duchesne.
Thus 15 volumes small 12mo [118 x 64 mm], full red morocco, triple gilt fillet around the covers, flat spines finely ornamented with stars and roses, gilt inner border, gilt edges. Contemporary binding.
Unique and thus original edition of the “Spectacles de la France” preserved in its fresh and elegant contemporary red morocco binding covering all of the years 1774 to 1788.
“Interesting for its documents on the theatre, the Almanach des Spectacles is still very interesting to go through from the picturesque point of view and the naivety of the official addresses of the gentlemen and ladies of the stage; whether it be the main characters or the simple extras. From 1774 to 1787 a large part of this world, men and women, singers and dancers, choristers and orchestra musicians, stayed at the Butte Saint-Roch. The ballet company of the Opera seems to have never left the rue Ste Anne, attracted to the small houses on the fashionable hill by the presence of its queens, by the proximity of its theatre, its administration, and by the ease of the neighborhood’s habits.
From the rue Ste Anne to the rue de la Lune, passing through the Montmartre district, there was there a whole colony which provided the Almanach des Spectacles with some very amusing addresses, the naivety of which is all the more surprising given that, around 1787, the numbering of houses was general almost everywhere. Let us judge by this little lot chosen at random:
« Mlle Joséphine, porte S. M (Saint Martin) vis-à-vis l’allé (sic) du second réverbère, chez un Marchand de vin, à côté du cul-de-sac de l’Egout.
Mlle Esther, rue Poissonnière, vis-à-vis le corps de garde des Suisses.
Mlle Courtois cadette, rue Froidmanteau, chez le marchand de cors (autrement dit le tailleur pour dames, le cors étant le vêtement qui prenait le corps.
Mlle Hortense F. S. D. (Fossés St Denis), près le laissez passer.
Mlle Dubuisson, la 3è porte à droite en entrant dans le F. St M. (Fossé St Maur) à côté du perruquier.
Mlle Henriette, rue St Louis St Honoré, dans la porte cochère. » This “dans” makes one dream.
And the men’s side is no less cheerful: one lives in rue de la Lune, at a grocer’s, another in rue d’Argenteuil, maison Neuve, next to a glazier, a third in rue Bourbon-Villeneuve, the second carriage door after that of St Philippe, etc. This is certainly a post-mortem success that the editors of the Almanach des Spectacles had not thought of.
Most of this Almanac was written by the abbé de Laporte.
A very beautiful copy preserved in its contemporary red morocco binding with spines decorated with gilt stars and roses, a particularly rare and sought-after condition, for the years covering the reign of Marie-Antoinette.