4pm. That makes 10 hours that I've been sitting here ... with little loo, turkey fillets and courgette soup breaks. Why such a stint? I got entranced ...
You know I do e-bay with breakfast. Well, today I was in a bit of a snit with English/American e-bay, following on the perfidious behaviour of "1 moment in time" aka Rachel something, yesterday. I woke to find that she had campily refused to let us have the article we had paid for in full, and told e-bay that Allister's 'address didn't match'. Funny, that all the other stuff he bought from her arrived no trouble. I actually didn't want the picture. I was just ensuring that she got the 20 quid we were accused of 'stealing' from her, to support what she said was her three disabled children ... I have a feeling it may be she that is the disabled one. And where's the husband? Anyway, when we're spending money, we don't need that merde ... so this morning I skipped my usual e-bay, and went to e-bay (France) for my enjoyment.
Well! I may never return. What a trove! And why is the French site so much better organised than the English one, why do the vendors in France manage to describe accurately and comprehensibly their items in a manner that the English so rarely do? The vendors in France behave like professionals (which I'm sure many of them are), the English 90% of the time have no idea what they are selling and cannot even read C19th writing ... example: Madame Rachel. Yet, in spite of needing L20 (obviously not ours) to feed her starving infants, she has several thousand items for sale on e-bay. Tiens! We went through the whole lot last night. I slept well. There wasn't one amongst them worth more than $5.
So. End of rant. Here I am on e-bay France. And by the inscrutable law of inscrutability I hit 'antique sheet music' instead of 'antique photos'. I do that, with my paralysed hand. (It occasionally gets me to places I NEVER intended ...). And there I found gold. I have spent the whole day, up till now therein. Not even therein. The first item I investigated was from the site of ramoni7, of Blois, France. Ah! I've been to Blois ... suicidal castle and everything closed: must have been a Monday. This is the most mind-blowing music shop. Staggering stock of operatic scores, of sheet music from all C19th sources and, unlike the English e-bay, which allows plastic pix of Jennifer Lopez and Milly Cyrus, lightly clad, to be listed under 'vintage' photos, almost no badly categorised items. So, for seven hours, I have browsed intently through the 4,500 items on this wonderful site, sending out messages to all corners of my musical world ... this is for you! No, not me: I've sold my huge collection to Harvard. But there are GEMS here ..
Hehe. End of introduction. So, putting aside the 'fishing' for friends, what did I get for me ..
Right. 1850s-1860s photography was not yet digital. So although there are photos of the artists from of the great era of the birth of opéra-bouffe, they are posed (hold it, 1 minute, two ..) and I find that sometimes the black-and-white artists, in their sketches, catch much more of the 'feeling of the thing. As follows:
See what I mean? And all these can be bought on this fabulous website ... a jewel box from the past. But I don't buy. I don't. Ever. I'm getting RID of not ..... OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!!
I've got to have that! No, not because I want to plunge it into a collector's cupboard, but because ... nobody else will know what it is, and it will get chucked out (as it is being effectively) and I shall restore it to its rightful place in the starosphere ...
Fists clenched. And wait. And if you are interested in scores and music, hasten to Raymond de Blois ... best music shop I've found since that little back street store in Nice, where it seemed the Nice Opéra had dumped fifty years of their used scores ...
Yayyyyyyyy! We got it! $19 including postage! Cheaper than Madame Rachel's nobody wedding pic! And 10,000 times more important... the young lady who composed this ditty became an international star .. under a different name or two .. but that's another blog ..