[Association des Artistes Musiciens, Paris.] Seven lithographed circulars from the early years, each containing facsimiles of the signatures of Baron Isidore Justin Séverin Taylor and the 'Membres du Comité Central' (including Berlioz and Meyerbeer)

Association des Artistes Musiciens, Paris [Baron Isidore Justin Séverin Taylor; M. Thuillier, treasurer]
Publication details: 
Association des Artistes Musiciens, Paris. One dated 1845, another 1846 and a third 1848. The others undated, but from around the same period.
SKU: 22208

The Association des Artistes Musiciens was founded by the traveller and author Baron Isidore Justin Séverin Taylor (1789-1879), and existed between 1843 and 1868. Its aims were to improve the status of musicians, to provide a pension fund and relief, and to promote the art of music. Over the years the Association's committee contained eminent personalities inclulding Berlioz, Liszt, Meyerbeer, Auber, Thalberg, Zimmerman, Herz and Érard. These seven items are scarce survivals, and it is not clear whether they are present in the Association's archives, now held in Paris by IReMus (Institut de Recherche en Musicologie). IreMus considers that the Association's archives 'forment l’une des sources les plus importantes de l’histoire sociale de la musique en France'. These seven items are all bifoliums on wove paper, lithographically printed in the 1840s. Four are 2pp, folio; one is 3pp, 8vo; and two are 2pp, 4to. Aged and worn, with light damp staining, creasing and slight damage to some margins, but frail survivals in acceptable condition. The layout of the seven documents is the same: the text of each document is engraved to look like handwriting, with the group of facsimile signatures of the 'Membres du Comité Central' (including such Parisian musical worthies as Meyerbeer and Berlioz) taking up most of the final page. The number of signatories varies from twelve in a document dated 1845 to more than thirty in a document from 1844. Taylor's engraved signature always placed boldly at the head of the group. In the top left-hand corner of the first page of each document is the instruction that all correspondence should be addressed to the Association's treasurer, 'Mr. Thuillier' of 'Rue Boucherat No. 34 | Paris'. One of the seven, bearing the date 1845, varies from the others in stating that it has been issued by the 'Comité de l'Association des Artistes | Peintres, Sculpteurs, Graveurs, Architectes, et Dessinateurs'. The seven documents advertise the Association, promoting its aims, and discussing its finances and plans. The earliest dated document of the seven, from 6 December 1844 (two years after the Association's foundation in January 1843), begins with a reference to the success of 'la Solemnité musicale organisé, le premier Novembre, à l'Opéra'. Two other documents may date from the period of political turmoil at the end of the 1840s, as one refers to the 'douloureuses et respectables infortunes que l'imprévu et la gravité des circonstances multiplient à Paris comme en Provence', and the second employs almost the same form of words. A document dated 3 August 1846 states that 'La Ville de Vienne a récemment éléve un monument à la mémoire de Gluck', and that 'L'Allemagne entiere s'est émue a l'occasion des Solemnités Musicales', and it calls on the Association to 'rendre son hommage à la mémoire de ce maître'. A document issued in 1845 calls on the reader 'd'organiser un Comité dans votre Ville'. Another describes the Association's intention 'de faire connaître nettement ses principes et les moyens d'exécution sur lesquels elle se fonde pour arriver à une prompte et entière réalisation'.