Autograph letter with large watercolour DRAWING addressed to Marcel GIZARDIN. Paris December 13, 1926], 1 page in-4 in Indian ink and watercolor on paper, signed autograph envelope decorated with an original drawing.
Nice letter illustrated with an amusing pirate self-portrait, with its illustrated envelope.
The letter is addressed to the actor then antique dealer Marcel Gizardin (1891- 1976). Calder has recently arrived in France, and writes his letter with Indian ink and brush, in a French still approximate, to fix an appointment with his friend Gizardin: "If you won't be here tomorrow evening (Tuesday 6:30 am), I'll change my name to "gizardin" (it's an English word). And it's better that you change your name to "dodge" (also an English word)". The name Gizardin evokes for Calder an English verb from the vocabulary of piracy: "to gizzard" is to slit or gut. So he threatens to slit his friend's throat if he doesn't show up; Gizardin will have to dodge his blows.]
The letter is illustrated with an amusing self-portrait of Calder as a pirate, drawn in Indian ink, wash and watercolor: bare chest, golden earrings on the ears, red nose, black boots, a large sword in his hand, the pirate Calder threatens Gizardin who flees in fear. At the top of the stage, a flagged phonograph, and the French and American flags crossed.
The envelope is also illustrated: above Gizardin's name, Calder depicted a man carrying a standard, and stuck blue and red stamps in the flag to compose a French flag; another flag, in Indian ink, bears the word PNEU-MATIQUE. On the reverse side, Calder wrote his name and address: "Calder 22 r. Daguerre Paris"...
One can think that this letter is an invitation to a performance of the famous Circus of Calder, in his workshop at "22 rue Daguerre", address which appears on the back of the envelope.
Marcel Gizardin was first an actor (sometimes under the name of Girardin): he played in the films L'Enfant roi (Jean Kemm, 1923), L'