Dance of Ghosts and Death – magic lantern slide

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Identifier: 2014091. Dance of Ghosts and Death – magic lantern slide. [SOLD]

 

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Three images painted on glass, mounted in a period wooden lantern slide frame having three apertures. The maker has modified the wooden circles to avoid cropping the painted images. The original title: “DANCE OF GHOSTS AND DEATH” is written in ink on the top edge of the wooden mount. On one side of the frame is written what appears to be 6/- [six shillings] crossed out, and 5/- [five shillings] in pencil. Size: 295 x 99 mm.

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Skeletons and death figures were popular subjects for the phantasmagoria lantern shows of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The tradition goes back even earlier – a drawing of a skeleton removing its own head is a lantern slide design by Chrsitaan Huygens dating from 1659. The slide offered here probably dates from c.1830-1850, and is jovial rather than threatening or doom laden. Despite the title suggesting that Death (the skeleton) is dancing with ghosts, the nightshirted character appears to me to be alive and kicking. Unlike early engravings of the Dance of Death where the mortals are depicted as stiff and unaccommodating, the gentleman in this version readily joins in with the dance.

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This is the only known example of this subject, and the images from this slide were used as an illustration in Mervyn Heard’s book Phantasmagoria: The Secret Life of the Magic Lantern (The Projection Box, 2006).

A unique item.

Condition: good, with minor scratches, some areas of black background paint missing.

Price: [SOLD]      s-herbert@easynet.co.uk

The Casket – instructive (but ‘orrible) tales

identifier: 2014085 THE CASKET

The Casket – consisting of instructive tales, original essays, delineations of character, facetiae, poetry, gems of modern literature &c. &c. &c.
With illustrations. William Strange, London, 1830 .

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No.186, 7th August 1830, to No.222, 9th April 1831. (Lacking 212, and 206/207 is a double number); then nos. 224 – 244 (238/239 is a double number). Although there is no number 223, the dates for 222 and 224 are only a week apart, so most likely there was a numbering error. Each issue 8 pages with engraved panel on front page, and occasional extra engravings. Murderous attacks, executions, ghosts and similar attractions for a popular readership appear on every front page. Size: 130 x 217mm.

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Bound volumes and disbound issues of periodicals from this period, such as The Mirror of Literature, Amusement and Instruction, and The Penny Magazine, turn up all the time. Some of the lesser known periodicals are quite elusive, as is the case with The Casket. A rare title anywhere. WorldCat finds only copies in the BL, and The New Casket (1831-1833).

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Condition: Acceptable-Good. Most pages good, or better. Some brown spots on several pages, the most intrusive (Death of the French King, and The Wizard of Westminster) are shown here. Watermarks to some margins, general slight age browning to some pages. Title page re-attached. An old paper label has been neatly stuck over part of the title page, deliberately obscuring the incorrect text “Volume IV”. Acquired without boards, now with new boards in burgundy book cloth, paper label on spine with manuscript title.

Price: £60.00 plus postage. s-herbert@easynet.co.uk

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and many more!