LIST 15  /  HUMAN SCIENCES:       

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(GALVANI, Luigi);  and Jean-Louis ALIBERT
Éloge historique de Louis Galvani [as it appeared in] Mémoires de la Société Médicale d'Émulation, séante a l'École de Médecine de Paris... Pour l'an VIII de la République Française. Quatrième année.
Paris: Chez Richard, Caille et Ravier, Libraires, [1801].
250 USD
Octavo (21 cm.), preserved in original thin wrappers, with worn printed label to spine; rear cover lacking, without affecting binding. Contents collated as complete, with 3 leaves of preliminaries followed by cxcii, 440 pages; illustrated with 3 folding plates, two of them concerning elephantiasis. Save for the absent portion of the wrapper, a remarkably fresh copy.
While histories of hypnotism almost invariably begin with Franz Mesmer, his contemporary Luigi Galvani provides another origin. By positing the existence of "animal electricity" that courses through the tissues of our bodies, Galvani's experiments set in motion a new wave of scientific materialism; one that would ultimately lead to the neurological theory of the synapse, as well as to some of the most surreal illustrations from the long-eighteenth century. One of the earliest attempts to capture the legend of Galvani was here, in the eighth year of the French Revolution, with this fourth annual publication from the Parisian Société Médicale d'Émulation; a volume which is introduced by Alibert's Éloge for Galvani, comprising 166 preliminary pages. It was here that we first encountered the image of Galvani discovering his Muse whilst preparing bouillon for his ill wife Lucia, when he accidentally sparked electricity in a decapitated frog. The Director for the Société was the already-famous Philippe Pinel, who here contributed "Observations sur les vices originaires de conformation des parties génitales de l'homme, et sur le caractère apparent ou réel des hemaphrodites."
With a single comparable OCLC record discovered in North America (Huntington).
END OF LOT 01     •• FOR SALE •• 
BOILLY, Louis Léopold
Le magnetisme [from the lithographic suite] Recueil de grimaces.
Paris: [François-Séraphin] Delpech, after 1826.
Expertly-coloured lithograph on wove paper (37 x 27 cm.). With minor spotting outside of image; remnant of old sticker to verso. Signed on stone by Boilly.
While the teachings of Mesmer—and the doctrines of "mesmerism" and "animal magnetism" that were to follow him—were controversial from the very start, there was one post-Mesmer "fact" that was almost impossible to refute. Mesmer's techniques often resulted in subjects falling into a kind of waking sleep; a somnambulistic trance. Even if the mesmerist sometimes found it difficult to rouse the most-often-female subject from this state (i.e. "to snap her out of it"), there nonetheless existed a relatively-easy-to-replicate baseline from which to pursue scientific experimentation. And so hypnotism became potentially knowable. Thus, the primal scene of hypnotism was cast very early on: a master (often male), a subject (often female), and a witness (to attest to the objectivity of the effect). "On the count of three..." Within two decades, this scenario was so familiar in France that it was included within Louis Léopold Boilly's inventory of daily gestures: his Recueil de grimaces; with Le magnetisme being number 79 of 96 individually-published lithographs, issued between 1823 and 1828.
With complete sets of this lithographic suite scarce (the BnF boasting the only copy), no records for this specific print have been discovered in OCLC libraries.
FIARD, M. l'Abbé [Jean-Baptiste]
La France trompée par les magiciens et démonolatres du dix-huitième siècle, fait démontré par des faits.
Paris: Chez Grégoire, libraire... Et chez Thouvenin, libraire, 1803.
Presentation copy.  Crabtree 223.

Octavo (22 cm.), preserved in contemporary marbled wrappers. Contents collated as complete: [viii], 200 pages; printed largely on gatherings of green-tinted paper. With lengthy ink inscription (almost certainly from the hand of Fiard) to verso of half-title page, as presented to two Dijon ecclesiastics. A remarkably fresh copy.

The Dijonaise Abbé Jean-Baptiste Fiard (1736-1818) lumped mesmerism into the same category as somnambulism, ventriloquism, and the magic of Alessandro Cagliostro; all of them, Fiard reasoned, were signs of the intervention of the Devil in society and another indication of the diabolical victory of Voltaire, the Revolutionaries, and eighteenth century materialism over the humility of seventeenth century culture. Fiard first took aim at Mesmer in his 1791 Lettres sur magie; the presentation inscription to the present copy includes a lengthy excerpt from am 1802 Mercure review of that earlier work, which the reviewer recommends for all curious readers, "quelle que soit leur opinion pour ou contre le diable et ses affidés."
With less than a dozen OCLC records for physical copies; uncommon to the trade, where it's sometimes bound together with later printings of Lettres.
END OF LOT 03     •• FOR SALE •• 

KERNER, Justinus Andreas Christian
Die Seherin von Prevorst. Eröffnungen über das innere Leben des Menschen und über das Hereinragen einer Geisterwelt in die unsere.
Stuttgart and Tübingen: J. G. Cotta, 1832.
Second, improved edition.  Crabtree 341.

Two works bound as one thick volume, in quarter leather over marbled boards (20 cm.), with gilt titles to red-and-green leather labels to spine. Contents: [viii], 308 pages; [iv], 324 pages, followed by 8 folding plates bound at rear; the first with hand-colouring (a detail of which appears below).

The occult and mystical dimensions of mesmerism and animal magnetism  were perhaps best received in Germany, blending with their Romantic and Idealist traditions. Justinus Kerner—both a poet and a physician, a generation before Nietzsche—came to believe in the clairvoyant powers available to some subjects whilst in mesmeric trance. One such "seer" (i.e. The Seer of Prevorst) was Friederike Hauffe, who became a patient of Kerner's in 1826 owing to extreme depressive symptoms. After trying more traditional remedies, Kerner turned to mesmerism with great and unexpected success—and he began to carefully transcribe the visions of prophecies that Hauffe reported while under the influence. The occult plates in this second, augmented edition are impressive, with one of them illustrating Kerner's convoluted "Nervenstimmer" instrument, in the tradition of Mesmer's "Baquet."

DUPOTET, [Baron Jules]
An introduction to the study of animal magnetism. With an appendix, containing reports of British practitioners in favour of the science.
London: Saunders & Otley, Conduit Street, 1838.
First edition thus.  Crabtree 399.

Original cloth boards (20 cm.), with blind-stamped design to panels and gilt lettering to spine. Contents remarkably fresh; [xii], 388 pages. With gift inscription to half-title page. Text in English, with a 2 pp. dedication published in French, to Monsieur le Comte de Stanhope.

By 1837, animal magnetism had yet to properly cross the English Channel. Enter the flamboyant "Baron Jules Denis Dupotet de Sennevoy." In Paris, Dupotet was recognized for his skill in producing mesmeric trances, as well as for his creativity for experimentation. His school for animal magnetism attracted over 100 students. Accompanied by his translator, Dupotet next attempted to conquer London, renting a West End flat and advertising in The Times about his daily lectures and demonstrations. While scorned at first, he would eventually find a long-time ally in Dr. John Elliotson, who had by-then emerged as one of the most modern figures in British medicine; already Professor of the Principles and Practices of Physic at University College London and past-President of the Royal Medical and Chirurgical Society. Elliotson would ultimately invite Dupotet into his wards at University College Hospital, to conduct mesmeric experiments on patients who weren't receiving benefit from controversial therapeutics. The quasi-sadistic experiments that were to follow—mostly involving attempts to rouse patients from their mesmeric trances through ever-more-creative scenarios of paining and shaming—would motivate one of the most surreal episodes in nineteenth century medicine, culminating in Elliotson's virtual banishment from the British Establishment in less than 24 months.

In the present work, Dupotet offers the first English introduction to the histories, techniques, and doctrines of animal magnetism, whilst concluding with a fascinating appendix that documents the first experiments in Elliotson's wards, as well as a number in private British practices. It is unclear whether the inscription to this copy—gifted by the Baron to a "Dr. Wood"—refers to the same William Wood who, after graduating under Elliotson, acted as his long-time mesmeric assistant and confidant, and was an integral part of the experiments reported in the Appendix (which is coincidentally "ticked" in the table of contents). Given the limited OCLC holdings discovered (i.e. the small print run), it would appear that this association is a likely one.


REICHENBACH, Baron Karl von
Researches on magnetism, electricity, heat, light, crystallization, and chemical attraction, in their relations to the vital force... Translated and edited, at the express desire of the author, with a preface, notes, and appendix, by William Gregory
London: Taylor, Walton, and Maberly, 1850.
First English translation.  Crabtree 583.

Original cloth boards (23 cm.), with blind-stamped design. With some fading to gilt lettering on spine and wear to head and tail. Contents illustrated with a dozen in-text diagrams and three folding plates bound at rear; with some wear to joint of second plate and minor dampstaining to margins of third; xlv, [3], 463, [1] pages. Following the plates: a 24 page publisher's catalogue.

Throughout the 1840s, the German philosopher-industrialist Baron Reichenbach, credited as the discoverer of paraffin, designed experiments to investigate the possibility of a great "Imponderable" force, which he eventually named "Odyle." He believed he was successful in revealing that certain subjects—the "sensitives"—were capable of perceiving the Odylic light that emanated from vital substances such as magnets, crystals, the human body, heat, and electricity. While Reichenbach was otherwise at pains to distance his research from the animal magnetism controversy, his present translator—William Gregory, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh—introduces this work as an ideal opportunity to re-interpret the nature of Mesmer's magnetic fluid.

The second portion of this work offers details from dozens of investigations of "sensitives" by Reichenbach, including one M. Gustav Anschuetz, a Viennese painter; being "the first sensitive in whom I made the discovery, that not only patients, but persons in perfect health, were able to see the Odylic light... He is a painter, and was therefore exactly the right person, not only to tell and describe to us what he saw, but also, to do what no other had been able to accomplish, namely, to represent to us in form and colour what he had seen, to place before us an image of that which, for want of the perceptive power, we ourselves in vain long to behold. One morning, when I went to visit him, he surprised me by exhibiting a black picture, or rather tablet, on which at first, from the angle of incidence of the light falling upon it, I saw nothing. But as he turned it, a nebulous form, delicate and aerial, appeared on dark ground. It was the countenance of his beautiful wife, as dimly seen in the depth of night by its own Odylic light. Crystals, magnets, flowers, and hands, surrounded her, and I had before me an image of a natural phenomenon such as no eye had ever seen. I would gladly give to my readers the same pleasure which I felt on this occasion, and I have had a  copy of this remarkable picture made, which the reader will find in Plate III." (For this edition, Prof. Gregory commissioned Fr. Schenck, an Edinburgh lithographer, to reproduce the plate from the German edition; the same plate is reproduced less faithfully in the "unauthorized" English edition published one year later, in 1851, by Elliotson's confrere Baillière; much to Gregory's chagrin).


GRIMES, J. Stanley
Etherology; or, the philosophy of mesmerism and phrenology: including a new philosophy of sleep and of consciousness, with a review of the pretensions of neurology and phreno-magnetism. 
New York: Saxton and Miles, 1845.
First edition.  Crabtree 515.

Original green cloth boards (19 cm.), with blind-stamped design to panels; with gilt lettering still fresh to spine. Binding well-preserved, with only minor shelf-wear. Contents illustrated with engraved frontispiece by Pinkney; foxed. The text is generally fresh, with only a handful of pages foxed; pencil marginalia and annotations from an engaged contemporary reader;  xvi, [1], 18-350 pages.

The animal magnetism controversy was still abuzz when phrenology was taking bloom in North America. (And, indeed, many of the British mesmerists, such as Dr. Elliotson, were also avowed phrenologists). While the output of the Fowler publishing machine would start including more titles on mesmerism, it was James Stanley Grimes, the grand Philosopher of phrenology, who would attempt to synthesize the two discourses into the single theory of "phreno-magnetism." (A few years later he would push the synthesis even farther, developing a brand of "phreno-geology" that would beat Darwin to the evolutionary punch by almost half-a-decade). The very existence of the mesmeric trance, Grimes insisted, was proof of a "material substance occupying space, which connects the planets and the earth, and which communicates light, heat, electricity, gravitation, and mental emotion, from one body to another, and from one mind to another... I shall denominate this substance Etherium." Etherology was the medical science that would care for that substance.
END OF LOT 07     •• FOR SALE •• 

BRAID, James
Neurypnology; or the rationale of nervous sleep, considered in relation with animal magnetism. Illustrated by numerous cases of its successful application in the relief and cure of disease.
London: John Churchill / Edinburgh: Adam and Charles Black [and printed by Andrew Shortrede of Edinburgh], 1843.
First edition.  Crabtree 465.

Original red cloth boards, with blind-stamped design to panels; professionally rebacked, with some fading to gilt lettering to spine. Minor chip at head of front panel. Contents: [2], [xxii], 265, [1] pages, followed by single leaf featuring "Notices of Mr. Braid's work on hypnotism" to recto and short list of conchology editions from Captain Thomas Brown to verso.

The Scottish surgeon James Braid represents the fulcrum in this post-Mesmer history of medicine, where the mode of action that occasions the mesmeric trance is transformed from something material into something psychological (and soon thereafter: linguistic). With Braid's insistence on the neurological effects of suggestion, the "magnetic fluid" of animal magnetism was soon replaced by the vocabulary of hypnotism that Braid introduces here: "neuro-hypnotism" being the condition of "nervous system as produced by artificial contrivance" (and the "hypnotist" as one who places others into a state of "nervous sleep"). The additional leaf at the end of this copy—which includes excerpts of reviews from the Edinburgh Evening Post, the Glasgow Citizen, the Manchester Times, and the Phreno-Magnet—isn't recorded by Crabtree, nor encountered in other copies of this 1843 edition.

Ricerche sui fenomeni ipnotici e spiritici [with significant ALS].
Torino: Unione Tipografico-Editrici Torinese, 1909.
First edition. Extra-illustrated copy. Crabtree 1633.
1000 USD

Preserved in a vernacular re-binding, with red cloth spine over blue pebbled boards (24 cm.). With two sets of alternating fleurs-de-lis endpapers; boldly-coloured. Included loose: the front panel from the original title wrappers (worn), with pencil inscription to its verso, roughly translating to say: "This is the last work of the scholar who explained the relationship between moral delinquency and physical abnormalities." Contents well-illustrated, with 57 figures—over a dozen of those half-tones after spirit photographs—and two separate plates, one of them reproducing proto-psychedelic drawings in colour.  Text in Italian; viii, 319, [1] pages.
ALSO: Tipped-onto the half-title spread of this copy: a manuscript letter on Lombroso's Turin letterhead, signed-off in his famously-strained late hand (as a result of his arteriosclerosis); 17 lines across the two internal panels of a bifolium.

From the preface to this work (roughly translated), which was published in the same year as Lombroso's death (1909): "When, at the close of a career in which I have figured as a champion of the new directions in human thought in both psychiatry and criminal anthropology, I began investigations into the phenomena of spiritualism, and afterwards determined to publish a book on the subject, my nearest friends rose against me on every side, crying, 'You will ruin an honourable reputation; a career in which, after so many contests, you had finally reached the goal; and all of that for a theory that the whole world not only repudiates, but, worse still, thinks to be ridiculous."

Much like Arthur Conan Doyle, Cesare Lombroso was indeed ridiculed for turning to spiritualism after witnessing the dramatic séances of Eusapia Palladino. But, in the spirit of the "psychical research" movement, Lombroso here treats hypnotism and spiritualism—in two separate parts—as true to his positivist roots: as natural phenomena, like any other, to be studied. The abundance of spirit photography that Lombroso here employs perhaps suggests that his visual senses might have been a touch gullible. In the manuscript letter that accompanies this copy, Lombroso's secretary records his thoughts on the environmental variables of séances (i.e. the possible "conductivity" of one particular house over another); briefly advising an un-named correspondent about how one might run a simple experiment on this query. Owing to his arteriosclerosis, Lombroso did not write his own letters at the end of his life, but he did scrawl his signature at the end of this one.

OCLC holdings: 6 in North America (including NYPL, Chicago, and Madison).
END OF LOT 09     •• FOR SALE •• 

[Autograph letter, signed, concerning the recent prohibition of non-medical hypnosis in the Russian Empire, and its potential impact on Ochorowicz's hypnotic research].
Petersbourg, 1890.
Bifolium (20 cm.), with legible French text filling all four panels; signed and dated in conclusion. Pencil inscription from dealer identifying correspondent (via provenance) as Charles Richet.

Writing to his French colleague—almost certainly Charles Richet of the Collège de France (based on the provenance)—the celebrated Russian psychologist and alienist Jan de Mierzejewski here advises on the legal status of hypnosis in the Russian Empire, referring to a law that had only recently passed—largely on his own testimony, as member of the Imperial Medical Council—to prohibit public exhibitions of hypnotism and to limit its practice to certified medical professionals, in the same manner as chloroform. (Mierzejewski's testimony, translated into English in volume 9 of the Medico-legal journal, is rather scathing in its repudiation of the stage hypnotist Hansen). The occasion for this letter being interest from the empirical psychologist Julien Ochorowicz (who had been residing in Paris since 1882) to conduct hypnosis research in Russia; Mierzejewski ultimately advises that Ochorowicz would have to seek Imperial medical certification.

LEBBÉ, Raymond
Projet de loi sur les hypnotiseurs et leurs sujets automatiques. 
Paris: Octave Doin, printed by Henri Jouve, 1891.
Presentation copy. Not in Crabtree.

Printed wrappers (24 cm.), with some foxing. With warm inscription from the author to the educational reformer Emmanuel Vauchez (1904): "ennemi du mensonges, ami de la verité..." Contents: 39, [1] pages.

As the medical controversy surrounding hypnotism gained more public notoriety, the subject soon took-on a legal cast. If hypnotism was real—whether through magnetic fluid or suggestion—then hypnotists were potentially dangerous individuals, whether via ignorance or criminal intent. While Joseph Delboeuf (see next lot) would become one of the most articulate voices on this subject, there were myriad others, including the rather obscure figure of Raymond Lebbé, whose curious tract here includes a lengthy section on the relationship between hypnotism (as a fact) and the teachings of the Catholic church. Lebbé, from Condom, is listed as "Docteur en droit, avocat, ex-Procureur de la République; and concerns himself mostly with recent developments in Belgian law, and the potential for similar legal regulation in France.
With 2 OCLC records discovered for this scarce pamphlet; only one of those in North America (Yale). With no copy reporting at the BnF. Not in Crabtree.

Two works comprising:
(1) Magnétiseurs et médecins
Paris: Félix Alcan, 1890.   Crabtree 1259.
Tall yellow wrappers (23 cm.), with priced list of further works by Delboeuf to rear panel. Contents: [116] pages; gatherings unopened. Preserved in near fine condition with quite minor chipping to wrappers; and
(2) L'hypnotisme devant les chambres legislatives Belges.
Paris: Félix Alcan. Printed in Bruxells at P. Weissenbruch, 1892.  Crabtree 1313.
Tall  yellow wrappers (29 cm.), with priced list of further works from Delboeuf to rear panel. Some browning to paper, with minor split to spine. Contents: 81, [3] pages; gatherings unopened.


Joseph Delboeuf—a Belgian philosopher and mathematician—considered himself a "lay hypnotist," and sought to replicate experimental results from hypnosis literature in his private laboratory in Liège. He would, understandably, take a firm opinion on whether hypnotism should be regulated as a monopolistic practice for the medical profession, arguing that some of the claims in this direction were more likely pecuniary than therapeutic. In Magnétiseurs et médecins, he seizes upon the specific persecution of the stage hypnotist Donato by Paul-Louis Ladame, as fall-out from the eventful 1889 international conference on hypnotism. Legal matters aside, Delboeuf would develop this critique of power / mastery into a nuanced theory of hypnosis; one which centred upon the significance of the constructed relationship between the hypnotist and the hypnotized, as a kind of drama (that we might now call transference). It's of course not uninteresting that Freud was an active reader of Delboeuf.

How to give hypnotic exhibition, with History of hypnotism. 
Jackson, Michgan: Self-published, 1900.
Illustrated self-wrappers (23 cm.); minor foxing to covers. Stapled contents richly illustrated throughout, after line drawings; 64 pages. Accompanied by loose circular, printed both recto and verso: Popular books in hypnotism, suggestive therapeutics, magnetic healing, and their kindred sciences, listing 29 priced works, as well as Harraden's magic wand, for the aid of hypnotizing "unwilling and hard subjects." With ink inscription to top of sheet: "out of date."
To promote his correspondence courses on hypnotism and magnetic healing (consisting of nearly a dozen publications from 1898 to 1904), the (more-than-likely-pseudonymous) Lew Alexander Harraden here supplements the "nothing new under the sun" mantra, with its corollary: "There is nothing new but what has been forgotten;" proceeding to argue for the positivist virtues of the "occult" sciences. "Dark indeed they may be to us, who know so little about them, but could we command the light which glowed with mystic and awful brightness from the experiments of ancient and now almost extinct races, our vigorous efforts and hardly-won triumphs of which we prate so loudly would seem to us as child play, compared with the achievements of the past." Harraden thus recruits Jesus Christ, Egyptian priests, Greek oracles, and Hindu yogis as past masters of magnetism, spiritualism, and hypnotic healing, providing historical context for the modern experiments of Mesmer, Braid, and Bernheim. The remainder of the text (pp. 15-64) provides practical instructions for the production of hypnotic exhibitions, both for stage hypnotism and séances, with a crucial section on "How to deal with the [skeptical] American public."
With only 6 OCLC records discovered in the United States (none in Canada).
[Manuscript confession book, including views on hypnotism].
[London and surrounding area], mostly 1900.
Original maroon padded leather; oblong (16 x 19 cm.), with modest edge-wear. With gilt lettering to front panel (including the initials "A. E. J."). All edges gilt. Patterned endpapers, followed by 44 partially-printed leaves with Art Nouveau borders. Of the resulting 43 uniform confessionals (2 pp. each), thirteen have been signed and completed in manuscript; twelve from 1900 (May through December), with the final one accomplished in 1954 by Susan Ann Jay.

Each of the confessionals—all but one dated 1900; the final one from 1954—contain 29 questions, to be accomplished in manuscript, accompanied by fields for name, location, signature, and date. Questions include: my pet weakness, favourite occupation, definition of misery, opinions on the "New Woman" and—of course—hypnotism; responses in regards to the latter vary from "a great science, as yet undeveloped," to "dangerous," to a "lot of bosch."

GARDNER, Helen;  and Lejean à HILLER
[Archival scrapbook documenting the release of the lost silent film Devil's angel].
United States, 1913-1921.
A string-bound album, with cloth spine and cardboard wrappers, with 5 promotional photographs from the film affixed to front panel (each measuring 40 x 60 mm; with 2 quite damaged) and manuscript titles in Gardner’s hand: “Press Book / Devil’s Angel.” Bound at front of album is a [12] page prospectus from distributor Clark-Cornelius Corporation (with no OCLC records discovered), featuring illustrated self-wrappers, with front cover printed in purple and black; with bohemian design by T. Monroe, who also illustrates the contents. Those contents being: plot summary, cast and crew list, exhibition suggestions (“Few pictures afford the opportunity for as effective a stage setting and prologue”), “exploitation” hints, images from the film (including nudes of Gardner), and advertising samples.

Across the 13 scrapbook leaves are affixed an additional 7 promotional photographs, 2 small original photographs, dozens of newspaper clippings—including Gardner’s own essay on film aesthetics in the Bridgeport Sunday Herald (1921)—and, quite significantly, 15 specimens of early fan mail, addressed to Gardner; both manuscript and typescript, some loose, with one dating from 1913.

Also included loose: a glamour shot of Gardner (25 x 21 cm., with wide margins) by David Berns of New York; featuring signature by Gardner in green ink. As well as 3 additional photographic prints depicting scenes from the now-lost film (each 25 x 19 cm.); one affixed to mount, with pencil inscription to verso: “My first scene in Devil’s angel,” the other two secured to scrapbook leaves via contemporary paper-clips. Finally: a broadside (36 x 15 cm.), illustrated after a photograph of Gardner, announcing her appearance at screenings of the film at the Grand Theatre; split to middle-fold, with some loss to top margin (not affecting content).

Condition: scrapbook leaves are flaking at peripheries, and mostly loose, with prospectus bound to album at joints with contemporary tape. Some fading to photographs. Overall: contents legible and stable; with fan mail well-preserved. Overall: an ideal (and deserving) candidate for digitization.

Still something of a hidden figure, Helen Gardner has recently begun to receive her due as one of the pioneers of early American cinema—now staking claims as the first independent female producer (Helen Gardner Picture Players, 1912), as one of the first to experiment with the feature film format (Cleopatra, 1912), as one of the first female celebrities (Vanity fair, 1911), as well as the original “screen vamp” (preceding Theda Bara), after her work as a stage actress. The remarkable archival scrapbook offered here sheds new light on the last phase of Gardner’s career, being assembled by Gardner herself during the 1920–1921 release of Devil’s angel; a five-reeler that had earlier been released under the title of The sleep of Cyma Roget (AFI catalog no. F2.1317). The narrative sensationalizes (and racializes) the "criminal hypnotist" narrative that had earlier captured the imaginations of law-makers; with Gardner playing the role of a beautiful medium who escapes from the trance of an evil Hindu hypnotist. As per the prospectus: "in time Chandra Dak had so reduced the girl's power of resistance that even at a distance he could cast her into a deathly trance." (The potentially potent gender politics in this narrative are perhaps minimized by the fact that Gardner "escapes" to become a nude artist's model in a soft-focus bohemian studio).

This pre-Hays code film was also notable as the first production of the accomplished painter, illustrator, and photographer Lejean à Hiller; as an attempt to reproduce the bohemian aesthetic of his own studio at 151 West 23rd St. With the film apparently no longer extant, this scrapbook provides a compelling series of images from this early (and now-lost) attempt at art cinema. Indeed, Hiller is on record as desiring to "translate paintings to the screen," thus attesting to the boast of the broadside included here that the film was “a masterpiece of artistic photography and graphic realism.”

“In these pictures you look like the younger sister of the Helen Gardner of Cleopatra days. A fascinating, beautiful woman, blessed with eternal youth and an intellect as broad and deep as the sea. What fools some men are! Can’t some of these producers tell an actress, nay, an artiste, when they see one? What a loss to the screen! We need you so. I’m fed up with the blue-eyed ingénues and slinky vampires.”

Hypnotism aside: this album provides an unique window into early celebrity culture and early-twentieth century gender politics. Indeed, Gardner's return to the screen is cheered-on by the numerous fan mail specimens preserved in this album. One of the letters, a 2 pp. manuscript from a 16-year-old girl from St. John, N.B. (dated 1913) offers suggestions for theatrical works for possible adaptation by Gardner's production company and articulates the electricity produced by Gardner's appearance in Vampire: "I dare say if you attend a theatre where your picture is being shown, it will give you some idea of what the public thinks of your acting." Gardner, however, was more than just a screen presence. This album also makes it clear how active she was in promoting Devil's angel, as evidenced by the numerous press clippings which reference her Q&A appearances at screenings. Outside of the official campaign, Gardner was also quite active in publishing statements on the art of cinema more generally, with an incredible essay of hers present here from the pages of the Bridgeport Sunday Times, in which she discusses the autonomy of film form, expectations within cinematic culture, and the right for nudity to appear on the screen (as it did in Devil’s angel).

Overall: a remarkable document of a lost silent film, from one of the pioneers of American cinema, in her last major role; most-deserving of preservation and study.

END OF LOT 15     •• FOR SALE •• 

NORTH, Rexford L. (editor)
Journal of hypnotism (Volume One: May 1951 to March 1952).
Boston: Rexford L. North, 1951-1952.
Six issues with self-wrappers, custom bound into light-blue cloth boards (21 cm. tall), with gilt lettering to front panel. Issues printed on different paper stocks, with contents of various paginations (between 20-30 pp). Trimming to margins of pages 17–18 in the fifth number, causing negligible loss of text. Well-illustrated with black-and-white photographic images, advertisements, and classifieds.

Nothing new under the sun. Boston's Rexford L. North, more than a century after John Elliotson's attempts to give hypnosis its due, launches his Journal of hypnotism, focused less on medical hypnosis and more on the commercial possibilities of stage hypnotism, self-improvement, and matters related to sexuality—with the scenography of the early-1950s photography of men-in-suits mesmerizing young women-in-skirts noticeably different from the spirit photography of Lombroso. With essays such as "Dental hypnosis," "The hypnotic quality of the voice," "Anyone can develop hypnotic ability," "Hypnotic conditioning for childbirth," "Hypnosis in diet enforcement," "Hypnosis and sexual frigidity in women," and "Hypnotism by telephone."
With 8 OCLC libraries reporting holdings, all in the United States. The six numbers constitute the entire first volume, with the record at the National Library of Medicine suggesting that the journal was published through a third volume (1953).

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