Cracovienne' early litho. by Nathaniel Currier
Nathaniel CURRIER (1813-1888, lithographer). – Fanny ELSSLER (1810-1884, dancer).
The Cracovienne, danced by Madlle. Fanny Elssler, in the grand ballet of The Gypsey, composed by N.C. Bocsha. New York: published by Hewitt & Jaques, [undated but c. 1840-1842]. Folio (13 1/4 x 10 1/8 inches; 337 x 257mm). Pp. [i; 1-]2-6[-7] on wove paper. Lithographed title by Currier (verso blank), five pages engraved sheet music by G.W. Quider, final page blank. Unbound, removed from an album with resultant holes to the inner margins.
An important, rare early work from Nathaniel Currier, one half of Currier & Ives: most surviving impressions of "The Cracovienne" have been detached from the accompanying sheet music. This original Nathaniel Currier impression, however, is complete with the engraved musical score. It is printed upon white wove paper and with full margins as published in New York between about 1840 and 1842. It bears the printed signature, "N. Currier’s Lith. NY", within the image to the lower right.
“Between 1840 and 1842 [Fanny] Elssler toured the United States, winning extravagant adulation and earning enormous sums. She had broken her contract with the Paris Opéra in order to extend her American tour and could not return there, but she danced with continuing success in England, Germany, Italy, and Russia until her retirement in 1851.” (Britannica.com/biography/ Fanny-Elssler).
Frederic A. Conningham Currier & Ives Prints: An Illustrated Check List. New York, Crown Publishers, 1983. #1289 (first edition: the author notes that a second edition was published, with alterations in the background to the village and houses.)