SOUVENIR DE L'ECOLE SPECIALE MILITAIRE DE ST. CYR
(Paris, 1862). Pictorial title-page and 38 pages containing 57 mounted albumen photographs by Alfred Caillez. Each page contains a handsome lithograph border drawn by Ferdinand Robineau which depicts soldiers and their military accoutrements, . The first 24 pages each have an 8 x 10 inch photograph ( 203 x 254 mm.) depicting the campus of Saint-Cyr, interior views of the Chapel, dormitories, the library, the riding ring, and outdoor views of training in gymnastics, arms, and field exercises. The next six pages contain 25 small photographs, 3 ½ x 2 inches ( 89 x 51 mm.), 15 of which are copies of photographs in the first group. The final pages include eight photographs, each 5 x 8 inches ( 127 x 203 mm.) showing cadets and their officers in relaxed group poses. These richly toned photographs are in excellent condition. Oblong large folio, 19 ¼ x 25 ½ inches ( 489 x 648 mm.). Full red embossed morocco, with title in gilt; two brass clasps, one lacking latch; light wear to covers. The École Spéciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr was founded in 1802 by Napoleon I. Originally located in Fontainebleau near Paris, the school moved several times, settling in 1808 at Saint-Cyr, west of Paris. After Waterloo in 1815, the school was disbanded. It reopened in 1818 and operated until 1940. Many of the young cadets pictured here fought in Mexico to defend Emperor Maximilian and later became the leaders of the French army during the Franco-Prussian War. This magnificent album is inscribed in ink on the title page by the photographer, Alfred Callez, to Louis Jules Trochu (1815-1896), at that time the superintendent of Saint-Cyr. Trochu was, in 1870, appointed governor of Paris and commander-in-chief of all the forces defending the capital during the mighty siege of Paris. Two years after he produced this album, Caillez sold his Paris studio. The album was bound and possibly published by Henri Capitain, who is credited as "Pap." His label "Specialite pour la Photographie. H.ri. Capitaine. 16 Rue St. Mar" appears on the inside cover where binders usually place their label. This is a remarkable souvenir with an extraordinary provenance of the foremost French military academy.
[Bookseller: Margolis & Moss]