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Early 20th century sketchbook including disturbing - C. H. Firm Daigneault & Tra - 1905. [1380945]
Hudson, New Hampshire 1905 - This 8" x 13" repurposed ledger contains approximately 90 pages of illustrations with six additional pages of textual "harriscopes" (horoscopes) and astrological predictions. Many of the smaller drawings are similar to primitive, turn-of-the-century tattoo designs shown at the Paul Rogers Tattoo Research Center Archives. The illustrations, captions, and notations are in pencil. The horoscope text is in ink. The binding is loose, but the pages are firmly attached (some have been removed). The spine covering has perished. The artists credit themselves in some captions and within several designs. Two images depicting tattooed hands include the names of Helen Philbrick and M. H. Daigneault accompanied by the text "artist on hand" and one illustration shows a hand holding a business card that reads, "Chas. H. Firm Daigneault & Traveling Artists." Much of this folk artwork depicts traditional tattoo subjects including animals, firemen's helmets, flags, flowers, fraternal emblems, furls, initials, mermaids and mythical creatures, religious and occult symbols, scrollwork, swords, woman's profiles and legs (some tattooed), etc. However, many of the larger images depict people and are more unusual: * a man in formal dress with top hat and cane, *a man riding a hog, *a cartoonish baseball player, *a "Jewish Junk Dealer" named R'Hags, *a school teacher, *an Irish hod carrier with a jug of whiskey, *a Turkish Janissary, *Punch with a devil walking on his nose, *Jesus Christ on the cross with a lance about to pierce his side, *a sailor firing a cannon, and *a fanciful Apache chief. There are also detailed, yet still primitive, drawings of firefighting wagons (fire engine, chemical wagon, and ladder wagon), a Lowell & Nashua Rail Road street car, a battleship, a 4-4-0 locomotive, a Civil War battle, a whaling scene, children outside the Hudson School, and a coastal artillery battery. Circus sideshow acts are well represented with Siamese twins, Taemoto the big footed man, a Living Skeleton, the Elephant Boy, Madame Waldon the Fat Woman, a fortune teller, a sword swallower, an adult-faced baby, a horse without legs, a two-headed cow, a five-legged chicken, etc. The fortune teller image has a bubble caption reading, "See all In this Book - PAY 5ยข For the Boys BANK". The final ten illustrations are bizarre, some violently so: *"Law giver Moses in 7th Veil of the Temple Seeing 4 Holy Angels," *"Worship of the Sun . . . The Dural Sign," *an Aztec priest cutting the heart out of a virgin, *a Druidic Yew-Tree Wicker Man, and *a number of torture scenes with naked victims (a disemboweled man who has been nailed to a table, a woman being roasted on a spit, a bound woman being drizzled with molten lead, a man hung by his thumbs, and a female about to be forced into an Iron Maiden. Certainly unique. As of 2017, nothing similar found in the trade, in auction records, or OCLC institutions.
      [Bookseller: Read'Em Again Books, ABAA]
Last Found On: 2017-03-19           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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