1. Paganini's formal request asking permission of the Governor of Rome to give the concert. The document is handwritten by Paganini in the third person with two full "signatures" in the text. Under the address on the front panel, another hand has noted that approval was granted on April 11. The document has been written on two pages in a manner that permits opening it so the whole thing shows on one side. On fine laid paper. Excellent condition except for very minor faint foxing and traces of former framing. 11 5/8" x 10 5/8" when open showing full text.
2. Paganini's outline of the program, also holograph but in a much more typically flamboyant and bold hand and with several corrections, some of which were forceful enough to cause the ink to erode the paper. The last section of the program is on the verso. Large folio size, evenly browned with some foxing and traces of former framing. It has been professionally de-acidified and lined with mulberry tissue for strengthening. The program itself is fascinating: the Filarmonico Paganini (!) playing the Violin Concerto No. 2 (composed just the year before), an Italian symphony, sonatas, variations and arias.
3. The printed program. The program is exactly as Paganini has written it out except that whereas he had suggested prices of 3 to 5 scudos, the final prices were 1.50 to 3 scudos! Folio size, fine condition.
Joining the above three items is a rare lithographed portrait of Paganini by G. Wust after Kreihuber. Josef Kreihuger, the Viennese painter (1800–1876) is particularly known for his portraits including a great number of musicians. He executed this portrait in 1828, the year after the concert. It is a serious portrait, not a caricature, and thus depicts accurately what Paganini really looked like at the very time. Large folio size, some staining on edges and traces of former framing.
In the early years of his career, though he was very popular with the local audiences of Italy, especially in the areas surrounding Parma and Genoa, Paganini was still not very well known in the rest of Europe. Though his 1813 concert at La Scala in Milan attracted the attention of other prominent, though more conservative, musicians across Europe, his concert activities, however, remained limited to Italy. Finally, in 1827, he performed in Rome and Pope Leo XII honoured Paganini with the Order of the Golden Spur. Soon his fame spread across Europe with a concert tour that started in Vienna in August 1828, stopping in every major European city in Germany, Poland, and Bohemia until February 1831 in Strasbourg. (Inventory #: 20812)