(Brussels, Verona, and Trieste): (March–April & September–October 1852). VOLUME ONE: Large 4to. (340 × 265 mm), contemporary marbled boards, ms. paper label (‘Zettel von Brüxelles’) to front cover, containing two large folded playbills (845 × 583 and 1230 × 583 mm), printed on pink paper, for the Casino des Galeries St. Hubert (upper corner torn away and subsequently restored, with loss of a couple of letters; sense recoverable) and for some English performers at the Théâtre du Vaudeville, plus issues of "L’Echo, moniteur des théatres" (three nos.); "L’entr’acte" (eight nos.); "L’organe des Arts" (one no.); "Le lutin, journal des théatres" (four nos.); "Moniteur des théatres" (fourteen nos.); "L’Hippodrome de Londres" (the inside of which is a playbill for an equestrian display); "Cirque oriental" (two nos.; again, both doubling as playbills inside; plus a flyer); with a couple of other printed announcements; also a variety of playbills from Germany (Baden Baden, Mainz, Frankfurt); some light browning, creased where folded to fit the volume, a few tears to spine. VOLUME TWO: Large 4to. (333 × 260 mm), contemporary marbled boards, ms. paper label (‘Theater Zettel von Verona & Triest’; some waterstaining) to front cover, containing six folded playbills: three for the Teatro Filarmonico, Verona (one chipped in the lower margin; the first annotated in a contemporary German hand, commenting on the performers: ‘Gut’, ‘Sehr gut’, etc.), and one each for Trieste’s Teatro Filodrammatico (waterstained), Teatro Grande, and Teatro Mauroner (this the largest: 1118 × 570 mm). Together: very good overall. Item #21848
Remarkable (and remarkably preserved) collection of theatre ephemera from Brussels, Verona, and Trieste assembled and bound in matching volumes by a contemporary traveler (likely German) during a pair of two-month trips in 1852. While this vernacular travel book offers a vibrant portrait (both historical and typographic) of local European theatre in the mid-19th century, it was also clearly collected and assembled by a lover of the stage (dare we say an early theatre geek?) who to this cataloguer at least seems a proto-member of what we would now call fan culture. A rare, early, and striking physical manifestation of cultural enthusiasm at the birth of the modern era.