Bonjour Mesdames, Messieurs,
a "uniformologist" nicknamed "doctorfatty" from New York sells older Rousselot pochoir prints of Rousselot. I never knew there might be several more plates existing never published ?? Does anybody know anything about this ? Would be of course very interesting if there would be additional plates/research of Rousselot existing any where.
See for "doctorfatty" complete text below :
On some level I have dreaded listing these plates because I knew (and know) that I am going to descend into a deep esotheric discussion as to why ALL OF THE REPRINTS STARTING IN 1978 are unacceptable. Unacceptable to me? Well of course, but much more importantly, I believe that they were unacceptable to Rousselot himself! "Gee doctorfatty, we did not know that you were on such intimate terms with Rousselot," Well, I wasn't, but I was one person away from someone who was.
Did you know that when Rousselot died, he had drawn out as many as a hundred additional plates for the series that have never been published? These included units of the Napoleonic Guard that were not addressed by the first 106 plates (Young Guard infantry for sure and perhaps my favorite the Mamelukes), Maison du Roi of three generations of the Ancien Regime as well as Ancien regime Hussars, Restoration troops, the bulk of the second empire, BLAH, BLAH, Blah.......
So why weren't they published, think there was no market? Of course you don't think that, we were all delighted when the reprint series started coming out in 1978 and we could start filling the holes in our collections. I confess that I would gladly accept any of those unpublished plates in Black & White no less Mechanically colored versions. But I contend that Rousselot wouldn't.
Okay doctorfatty, you got any proof other than a second hand opinion and the lack of greed on the part of Rousselot? Well I think I do, and I think it is in the series itself.......
I don't think that anyone would deny that the "L'Armee Francaise" series was the primus opus of a lifetime devoted to debunking generations of inaccuracies of French uniform artists that perpetuated frabrications dating back to the early 19th century. So, don't you think that this fastidious and somewhat cranky, artist would be totally demanding in terms of the production of the work that was the "Jewel in his crown?" I do.
The first 102 plates in the series were produced in a pochoir coloring process (pochoir being a process of coloring by hand using stencils). Then in 1969, the pochoir process was abandonned. Plate number 103 (Sapeurs du Genie de la Garde 1811-1815) was produced with a mechanical coloring process as was 1969's plate number 104 (Garde Imperiale Grenadiers 1860-1870).
This was not an unusual event. About this same time, Rigo shifted his two major print series in the middle of the series to a mechanical coloring process (The "PL" series and the "AR" series). Hourtoulle ceased his hand colored series altogether (some would say that it was because the young artist, Patrice Courcelle, was less successful than the mythical Jacques Girbal), Leliepvre ended his series "Les Cavaliers" (which at this point had shifted to foot soldiers) and SCFH/Sabretache shifted as well (not to mention the Company of Military Historians). Why was this done? Because the mechanical coloring process had improved over the years and it was vastly cheaper to produce than hand colored plates.
So the shift in coloring process was the way everything was to be produced in the future. Okay that's settled, Rousselot was sensibly doing that which everyone else was doing.
But Rousselot did not produce any more plates in 1969 and he produced none in 1970. Finally, in 1971 he published plate 105 "Infanterie Francaise 1720-1736 (IV)" and Plate 106 "Train d'Artillerie de la Garde, Officiers etc," and SURPRISE, they were produced in the old pochoir process. These were not only the last plates that he produced for his "Primus Opus", I believe that they were the last plates produced by Rousselot at all (do remember that his 30 Years War series and others were taken from watercolors that he had done for different commissions and were not initially intended to be a print series). The only possible exception that I can think of may be the work he did for SCFH/ Carnets de la Sabretache which was mostly Black & White.
Rousselot still had another 20 years to live and even though he had those 100 "in process" plates, he never published them even though his earlier plates in the series have been reprinted for many years. It is clear to me that he ceased production because he preferred the old coloring process and the old process was too expensive to produce. He rejected the new coloring process after he published plates 103 & 104 and production costs for "Pochoir" were simply so onerous that he closed down production all together after plate 106.
So I agree with Rousselot, mechanical processing is a poor second to the pochoir method, however, unlike Rousselot, and to quote Victor McLaughlin in Fort Apache, "well, it's better than no whiskey at all."
That's my reasoning, what do you think?