Lot 139 of 168:
American manuscript music book 1797  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$600
Estimate:
$1,000 - $1,500

Title:
Manuscript book of musical lines, notes, and lyrics from various short songs and tunes

Author:
Gifford, Isaac

Place:
Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania

Publisher:

Date:
1797

Description:

Approx. 70 pages, handwritten in ink throughout, followed by additional blank leaves. Volume contains nearly 50 songs in all, presumably a combination of popular music from the period and original compositions penned by Isaac Gifford. Entries are embellished throughout the book with assorted border patterns painstakingly hand-drawn by Gifford. 9.5x16.5 cm (3¾x6½"), leather-backed paper-covered boards.

A fantastic early American manuscript music book kept by Isaac Gifford (1772-1843) of Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania. Huntingdon County was founded just ten years previous, in 1787. The volume contains over 70 pages of handwritten entries most of which comprise musical lines, notes, and lyrics from songs with titles such as "French tune", "London tune", "York tune", "Dundee tune", "Dublin tune", "Martyrs tune", "Aby tune", "Newton tune", St. David's tune", etc. 

 

The author was born in New Jersey and spent most of his life in Tell Township, Pennsylvania. Historical records indicate he and his wife Sarah Cluggage Gifford (1781-1827) had eleven children, some whose names appear in the book towards the end. Isaac Gifford's ownership inscription to front flyleaf indicates he purchased the volume from noted merchant Peter Swoope [aka Swope] (1763-1839) in the borough of Huntingdon. Swoope was "engaged in the merchandising and the iron business, and accumulated a nice fortune." (see History of the Swope Family and Their Connections, 1678-1896 by Gilbert Ernest Swope, 1896, p. 364). The borough of Huntingdon had just been incorporated the previous year, in 1796. Isaac Gifford traversed a distance of about 35 miles from the rural township of Tell to the county's population center of Huntingdon where he purchased book from Swoope.

Additional songs in the book include: "St. Marey's tune", "Savoy tune", "The Isle of White tune", "Brunswick tune", "St Humphrey's tune", "Litchfield or London old", "Middlesex tune", "Lunenburgh tune", "London new tune", "Standish tune", "Cavory tune", "Canterbury tune", "Westminster tune", "Windsor tune", "Gloucester tune", "St. James's tune", "the goeth psalm", "Bedford tune", "South Wells tune", "Norwich tune", "Old common tune", "Oxford tune", "Exeter tune", "the New 100 psalm tune", "St. Ann's tune", "Ely's tune", "the judgment tune", "the 98th psalm tune", "the Angel's song", "Converse tune", "Bangor tune", "Wells tune", "Virginia tune", "Rochester tune", "Montgomery tune", "Jophronia tune", "Amanda tune", and "Sherburne tune". 


Lot Amendments

Condition:
Cover worn and partially detached, some loose leaves, one leaf lacking, scattered staining and minor tearing, mild toning, ink bold and legible throughout.


 
Item number:
308401
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