[ Textiles; French ]Collection of 105 items of correspondence, in French, 1815 and 1822 by various companies to Messrs Henry Pierre Delacroix et Fils, textile manufacturers of Elbeuf, Normandy, including accounts and political and social references.

Messrs Henry Pierre Delacroix et Fils, textile manufacturers of Elbeuf, Normandy
Publication details: 
Written between May 1815 and October 1822. Addressed to Messrs Henri Pierre Delacroix et Fils of Elbeuf, Normandy, from various French locations (principally Paris).
SKU: 18904

105 items of correspondence, in French, in various formats (mainly 8vo). In good condition on lightly-aged paper. Each text clear and complete. The whole contained in a grey paper folder with 'Juillet 1818' on the front wrap. Each item unobtrusively numbered in neat red pencil. Featuring a wide range of the correspondents, as few write more than once. Occasional letters docketed. Accompanied by a modern abstract by a French-speaker, reflecting the difficulty of the various hands contained in the collection. Beginning on the eve of Napoleon's defeat at the Battle of Waterloo, this substantial correspondence provides a mass of valuable information about social history and textile industry in France in the early nineteenth-century. Textile mills began to appear at Elbeuf at the beginning of the sixteenth century; by 1802 the industry was deemed of sufficient importance for the Emperor Napoleon to pay a visit. (For more on the subject, see 'La draperie d'Elbeuf, des origines à 1870' by Alain Becchia (Université de Rouen, 2000).) Included are several accounts, including one, for the whole of 1816, from Bertrand et Fils, for dying textiles, with the various colours given, including 'bleu carbeau' and 'vert dragon'. This account is followed by a bill to the younger Delacroix from his vintner Boules, and a long statement of account by 'Barbier Sellier Caroissier a Rouen'. Also present is an itemised bill by another 'sellier' named Le Roi, followed by a long itemised bill by a 'chaudronnier' named Morchaud. Although the first letter in the collection, from Welz et Cie of Rouen, 4 May 1815, together with another from the same firm four days later, sets the general tone, giving detailed instructions regarding business about an 'envoy de laine' by a third party, L. F. Ehrmann of Strasbourg, the early correspondence also reflects the political anxieties of the period. On 15 May 1815, a correspondent writes anxiously from Paris of 'les morts et blessés la perspective de veuves et enfants de créancier et ouvriers'. On 21 May, Duruflé of Paris comments with equal anxiety: 'il faut attendre le resulta du chant de mai. On a lespoir - s'il ya Delusion - que sa poura detourner les ennemis du projet qu'ils ont d' notre territoire. S'il en est autrement il parait que nous avons des forces considerable sur toute la Ligne de nos frontieres et bien disposée'. On 12 July one Boulé writes from Paris that, 'depuis la fin du Courant je n'ai pas recu un Soli, et je n'avait presque rien recu de ce que je devait recevoir (obligé de recevoir des Troupes étranger et de les faire nourire, il faut de l'argent)'. Duruflé writes again on 20 July that 'les moments de crise qui vienne de se passé in ne nous est heureusement rien arrivé. Madame Duruflé en a été quitté come bien d'autres pour <?>'. Shortly afterwards one Choberl compliments the firm on not sending cloth to Angers. A. J. Curet, on 30 July 1815, states that 'nous jouissons de la paix et de la tranquilité'. Among the orders contained in the correspondence is a request for cloth 'pour manteau capotte', for the 'habillement du 11e. Reg[imen]t. de D[rag]ons'. Reflecting the state of affairs after Napoleon, one Boucher writes from Paris in September of 1815 that the movement of troops in Paris is 'toujours considerables et nocturnes'. Of interest is a letter in French from the English inventor Samuel Pugh, writing that he has not received a bill. A small swatch of green cloth is attached to a letter from Lamargne of Toulouse. With inadvertently poetic utterance, a correspondence writes on 14 October that 'la couleur feuille morte n'est pas ma nuance'. Commenting on financial impropriety, G. Jammon writes (18 October 1822) about 'des chevaliers d'industrie' who, with 'aucun Domicile fixe', can have goods delivered and then disappear. One of the last letters contains a handwritten cheque by Henry Delacroix, made out to 'Monsieur Charles Michel'. This is followed (24 October 1822) by an offer of the 'Sistemes [sic] de Tisseranderie Continue'.?>