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WILDE, Oscar (1854-1900). Autograph manuscript of the poem, 'Against the shifting agate skies' ('Les Ballons'), n.d., four stanzas of four lines each on one page, 4to (229 x 176mm), (minor soiling and spotting), tipped into an album, olive morocco gilt by Wood, London. Provenance: John B. Stetson, Jr -- his sale, Anderson Galleries, 23 April 1920, lot 212 -- private collection.
WILDE, Oscar (1854-1900). Autograph manuscript of the poem, 'Against the shifting agate skies' ('Les Ballons'), n.d., four stanzas of four lines each on one page, 4to (229 x 176mm), (minor soiling and spotting), tipped into an album, olive morocco gilt by Wood, London. Provenance: John B. Stetson, Jr -- his sale, Anderson Galleries, 23 April 1920, lot 212 -- private collection.

Details
WILDE, Oscar (1854-1900). Autograph manuscript of the poem, 'Against the shifting agate skies' ('Les Ballons'), n.d., four stanzas of four lines each on one page, 4to (229 x 176mm), (minor soiling and spotting), tipped into an album, olive morocco gilt by Wood, London. Provenance: John B. Stetson, Jr -- his sale, Anderson Galleries, 23 April 1920, lot 212 -- private collection.

An exquisite miniature of word-painting, with significant variants from the published text. The poem was originally published as the second of two 'Fantaisies décoratives' in the Lady's Pictorial (Christmas Number 1887). Like its companion piece, 'Le Panneau', it seems to have been drafted during a trip to Paris in 1883, and Wilde places the scene in the Tuileries Gardens in a letter to the artist John Bernard Patridge, who illustrated the poems. The present manuscript includes a number of variants from the published texts, including 'shifting agate' for 'turbid turquoise' in the first line (early drafts had 'heavy yellow'), and 'setting girls' for 'dancing girls' in the second stanza.

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