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Dancing steps and music

[French Dance Manual]. Cottillons / Angloises.

Likely Northern Germany or Denmark, late 18th century.

2 vols.: I) Oblong 12mo (115 x 91 mm). 12 pp. of handwritten music for cottillions, 4 pp. of hand-drawn blank staves, 46 blank ff.; head over heels: 55 pp. of handwritten music for anglaises.

II) 16mo (60 x 91 mm). 1 p. of handwritten index ("Table des Cotillons"), 1 blank f., 22 pp. of dance step diagrams, 38 blank ff.; head over heels: 1 p. of handwritten index ("Table des Angloises"), 1 blank f., 56 pp. of dance step diagrams. Both bound in contemporary full calf, spines gilt, all edges sprinkled red, with titles "Cotillons" and "Angloises" gilt to covers of both volumes. Stored together in contemporary calf slipcase, open at both ends.

Very appealing and well-preserved volumes of musical notes and dance-steps, drawn in red and black ink. Most of the dances are titled in French ("Passe-temps", "La Vole", "L'Impromtu", "La Beguine"), occasionally in English ("King George"), while the annotations to the steps of the "angloises" are in Danish.

Anglaises and cottillons are contra-dances based on English and French dance styles that in the 17th and 18th century developed into extremely popular ballroom dances. Famous composers such as Mozart and Bethoven assimilated and refined elements of contra-dance compositions.

Bindings and slipcase slightly rubbed and scuffed, but altogether a charming ensemble: two head-over-heels volumes stored in a highly unusual, double-ended slipcase.