The internet has been very good to me lately. I think it's an electronic version of Hades where in the ancient world the living, depressed and uncertain, could slip down to it's muddy banks to search for help among the shades of their ancestors. Just so it seems in a personally difficult year, I have received unexpected support from two of my beloved ancestors: the 1941 film of father's arrival as a teenager to America, and now this -- "Six Block Prints of Old New Orleans Characters," a portfolio of six (or seven if you count the cover) block prints produced by my grandfather Pierre Ménager. Through email (that electronic Hermes the messenger) I received notice of an impending sale of these lino-prints* of "Six Characters of Old New Orleans" by Pierre that the owner had purchased at an estate sale in Florida.
The prints were created in New Orleans where Pierre would often go to spend the winter among family. He would rapidly produce these prints on cheap paper and then sell them on the streets of New Orleans. (You can see more of his New Orleans prints in an earlier post here.) He died in Florida and I suppose these were among his "estate" that probably found themselves purchased by someone before that someone sold them off in their own estate sale. Happily, my cousin bid for them on ebay and succeeded in purchasing the prints. I am delighted to know they will remain within the family.
*The prints appear to be lino-prints because the dark areas are so smooth and without grain. But Pierre was extremely handy with a knife and often carved small figures when he traveled so it is possible these are wood block prints. I am hoping once my cousin has possession of them he will be able to better discern how they were made.