Boësset, Antoine. (1586-1643) & Boësset, Jean Baptiste. (1614-1685)
Autograph Receipts of Wages and Signed Document
Autograph document signed by the French court musician and composer of many airs de cour, one of the most important early seventeenth-century French composers. Paris, October 14, 1614. Boësset acknowledges the receipt of a sum of money "for his ordinary wages" as "Mre de la musique de la Chambre du Roy," and the document is countersigned by two court officials. 1 p. on vellum, 11.25 x 5.5 inches (28.7 x 14 cm).
Together with two autograph documents of Boësset's son, Jean Baptiste Boësset, Sieur de Dehault, "surintendant des musiques de Sa Majesté." In the signed document dated August 22, 1661, he acknowledges the receipt of one quarter of his wages; it is countersigned by two further courtiers. 1 p. on vellum, 7.25 x 4.5 inches (18.5 x 11 cm). In the longer autograph document dated July 22, 1675, Jean Baptiste Boësset (signing as "Dehault"), clockmaker Louis Ourry and his wife Suzanne Quineau have initialed eight times in the margins and signed fully at the end of the document, which appears to be a detailed bill of sale. 4 pp. of a bifolium. 8.5 x 13.5 inches (21.4 x 34 cm).
The documents have some light overall toning and staining, but are overall well-preserved for their age and in fine condition. From the collections of Henry Prunières and Mathieu Villenave. Autograph material of Boesset (and his son) are of the utmost rarity. We have been unable to trace any other items of his appearing previously on the market.
Antoine de Boësset, son-in-law of Pierre Guédron, was one of the most important figures in French music of the early seventeenth century. Holding for many years the positions of Maître de la musique de la reine, Sécretaire de la chambre du roy,, Surintendant de la musique de la chambre du roy and Conseiller et maître d’hotel ordinaire du roy, he dominated the musical world of the court, composed music for ballets, and was especially known for his huge output of airs de cour, many of which were intabulated for lute. His son, Jean Baptiste Boësset, inherited his position as surintendant de la musique de la chambre, which he shared with Auget, Cambefort and Jean-Baptiste Lully, and also held various other positions at court. As well as ballets and airs de cour, he composed several masses, motets, and psalm settings.