The Chinese sensitive leaf. Jan Pertista Chaseretto.

The Chinese sensitive leaf

[England?]: [c. 1810]. Broadside, 12.25" x 7.63", text beginning with: "This is an account of the remarkably sympathetic power of the CHINESE SENSITIVE LEAF, invented by one of the most celebrated operators, by the name of Jan Pertista Chaseretto, from China..." Old folds with some minor loss at creases, manuscript address from a Mr. "Eaton" to "Alexander L..." on verso. Lacking the leaves themselves. The broadside is not dated but the paper is watermarked 1808. The Chinese sensitive leaves were small pieces of thin material that when placed into someone's hand would react by curling in a way that would reveal the constitution of the person. It is unlikely that the declared inventor, Jan Pertista ever existed. More likely this is an invention of England or France, with some enterprising salesman looking to take advantage of novelty in his marketing. A variety of different "sensitive leaf" ads are extant, some spelling the inventor's name as Chasereto, some attributing the invention to Yang-HOU, of Kiangnen, China. Of this exact copy we could find no others recorded. Item #53337

Price: $500.00

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