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Original price £1,250.00 - Original price £1,250.00
Original price
£1,250.00 - £1,250.00
Current price £1,250.00

[Beschefer, Louis-François-Xavier]: Mémoire en forme de lettre au sujet du prix général du jeu de l’Arquebuse, Indiqué à Chaalons-sur-Marne en l’Année Mil sept cent cinquante-quatre. A Chaalons, Chez Seneuze, Imprimeur du Roi, n.d. [1754]. [Bound with]: 13 further printed items, mostly printed in Châlons by Seneuze and variously dating from 1754 to 1776 [Bound with]: 254 pages of contemporary manuscript material. 

This attractively presented sammelband, bound in re-used material from a medieval liturgical manuscript, contains both printed and manuscript material from eighteenth-century France, much printed in or concerning the city of Châlons-en-Champagne in the east of the country. The contents include two rare publications on a shooting competition (items [15]-[16]), a somewhat surprising and indeed interesting inclusion given that the compilation was evidently assembled by a member of the Dominican order (Fr. Ant. Heurion, d. before or in 1788, who we have not been able to identify). 

The competition in question, which took place in Châlons in 1754, involved playing the ‘jeu de l’Arquebuse’ (also known as ‘papegay’). This military game with medieval roots was most popular in the north and east of France during the eighteenth century (cf. Lamarre 2002). The Mémoire (item [15]) describes the regulations, gives an overview of the prizes, lists the number of competitors by region, and describes their uniforms. It also points to chivalric literature (e.g. see the references to Merlin and the Round Table on p. 9). The Lettre (item [16]), which constitutes a supplement to the Mémoire, provides the names of various individuals involved, among other details. There are no copies of either publication outside France.

Other notable printed items in this sammelband include a pamphlet with advice on disinfecting stables (item [10]) and a dual-language edition of a papal speech on the death of Hyacinthe Castañeda (1743-1773), a Spanish Dominican missionary martyred in Vietnam (item [7]).

Material local to Châlons in the manuscript sections includes content on the city's bishop Felix Vialart de Herse (1613-1680) (items [22]-[23], [25]-[26]).

A full handlist is available here.


14 printed items and 15 manuscript items in one volume, 24 x 19.5 cms in binding, pp. 566 overall (all but 3 pages with text in the manuscript sections). Mostly foliated from item [4] onwards. The title listed above is item [15]. Full contents in handlist. The manuscript components are written mostly in a single hand, with c.28 lines to the page, the paper generally unruled (occasional frame ruling in pencil).

Bound in reused parchment over boards, comprising waste material from a large medieval liturgical manuscript. This folio contains part of a chant for In Dedicatione Ecclesiae (we note close correlation to the text of Cantus ID ah55031, sometimes referred to as Rex Salomon). 7 lines of text written in Gothic textura of a high grade, and two rubricated initials. 6 musical staves in red. We offer the following transcription (text in square brackets is hidden in the binding structure or not extant and has been supplied here; text in angle brackets indicates damaged text; underlining indicates expanded abbreviations): ‘…-ecta penitus | Nam ma[gist]ros et ministros decet doctos [et] ecoctos igne sancti spiritus. [Sic] <ex bonis Salamonis que> [rex] David preparavit fiunt [aedi]ficia | Nam in lignis rex [in]signis juvit tyri cuius…’. Front pastedown partially lacking. Red edges.

Condition (binding): Splits to parchment on spine affecting one line of text and part of a musical stave. Text fading, some staining and wear to parchment, but an interesting example of medieval manuscript reuse. 

Condition (textblock): Light browning, foxing, and staining to paper variously across the components. Central quires loosening.  

Provenance: ‘Fr. Ant. Heurion Ord. Praed. [cancelled text] ipse impensis collegit et in volumen Redegit post obitum ^Heurion^ ad usum [cancelled and overwritten text] 1788’ (verso of first folio). 


Lamarre, Christine, ‘Les jeux militaires au XVIIIe siècle: Une forme de sociabilité urbaine négligée’, Histoire urbaine (2002): 85-103, last accessed by us 1 May 2024 via 

‘Louis-François-Xavier Beschefer (1708-1793)’, BNF Data, last accessed by us 1 May 2024 via