A Sketch of the Life of C. Eulenstein, the Celebrated Performer on the Jews' Harps. Charles EULENSTEIN, Anonymous, John Sayer?

A Sketch of the Life of C. Eulenstein, the Celebrated Performer on the Jews' Harps

London: James J. Welsh, 1833. First Edition. Octavo (19.5cm.); original red cloth, printed cream paper cover label; [4],69,[3](ads)pp.; engraved portrait frontispiece. Expertly rebacked to match, original cloth a bit faded along extremities; frontispiece heavily foxed, recent bookseller label to front pastedown, else Very Good and sound. Errata slip bound in rear. With numerous contemporary holograph corrections throughout, most likely made in preparation of the second edition, as many are of a semantic rather than purely factual nature (for example, on p. 12, lines 2 and 3 from the bottom, the text reads: "...figures of [the] poverty-stricken music-professors [of Heilbronn] haunted their imaginations"). A second edition was published by the London firm of C. & H. Senior in 1840, published under the authorship of a John Sayer, and revised by "a lady intimately acquainted for a long period with the circumstances of Mr. Eulenstein's life by whom a few additional facts have been supplied." Whether the annotations in this copy are in Sayer's, Welsh's, Senior's, or the lady's hand is unclear. Traces of a contemporary inscription on original pastedown now obscured by new pastedown would potentially reveal the original owner.

Short biographical sketch of the popular German musician Charles (or Carl/Karl) Eulenstein (1802-1890), whose performances gained him celebrity in Great Britain in the late 1820s and whose preferred instrument the Jews' harp (Eulenstein also played the guitar) is described on p. [1] as both "eminently beautiful" and, in a quotation in a footnote, more dissonant than "the creaking of hinges [or] the mewing of cats." Etymologically, the Jews' Harp is not, in fact, a Jewish musical tradition, but a corruption of "Jaw's Harp," one of the oldest known musical instruments, dating as far back in China as the 4th century B.C. OCLC locates 11 copies as of April, 2015, only 4 outside the United Kingdom (Iowa, Newberry, Texas, and Western U. (Ontario)).

Price: $650.00

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