Skip to main content
COLLECTION Identifier: MS Thr 1775

Daniel Rabel ballet drawings

Contains drawings related to possibly either costume designs or created for commemorative purposes for several seventeenth century French ballets, including the "Ballet des quatre parties du monde," "Ballet des Fées des Forests de St. Germain," and "Grand Bal de la Douairière de Billebahaut," all by Daniel Rabel.


  • 1625-1626

Language of Materials

Collection is in French.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material. Collection is open for research.

A portion of this collection is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. Retrieval requires advance notice. Readers should check with Houghton Public Services staff to determine what material is offsite and retrieval policies and times.


0.2 linear feet (1 box and 3 flat file folders)

Contains drawings which might have either been ballet costume designs or the basis for commemorative prints for multiple seventeenth century French ballets, including the "Ballet des Fées des Forests de St. Germain" or “Ballet of the St. Germain Forest Fairies,” which is also called the “Ballet des Ridicules,” and "Grand Bal de la Douairière de Billebahaut" or the “The Grand Ball of the Dowager of Billebahaut.” The "Ballet des Fées des Forests de St. Germain" was first performed at the French court on 1625 February 9, written by René Bordier. The “Grand Bal de la Douairière de Billebahaut” was a ballet burlesque written by René Bordier first performed in 1626 at the Louvre and the Hotel de Ville in Paris, with Louis XIII in a starring role. Rabel created costume designs for both productions.

Biographical / Historical

Daniel Rabel (approximately 1578-1637) was a French painter, engraver, miniaturist, and illustrator, with professional ties to the French court throughout the early seventeenth century. Starting in 1617, Rabel was a designer of costumes for French court ballets as well as sets for theatre and ballet productions.


The drawings are arranged in alphabetical order by ballet production title.

Physical Location

Harvard Depository, pfd (P1.C1.05.20 [Folders 1-3])

Custodial History

The custodial history is unknown. It is possible the drawings were a gift of or acquired from George Chaffee between 1949 and 1984, but there is no documentation of these gifts or acquisitions.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

2018M-103. Acquisition information unknown.

Related Materials

Further material by Daniel Rabel can be found in the George Chaffee Collection of Dance Prints and Original Drawings, circa 1613-1921, undated (MS Thr 861). Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Processing Information

Processed by Betts Coup, 2018.
The archivist put all materials into new folders and boxes.
Link to catalog
Rabel, Daniel, approximately 1578-1637. Daniel Rabel ballet drawings, 1625-1626 (MS Thr 1775): Guide.
2018 April 02
Description rules

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, literary and performing arts archives, and more. The library's holdings of primary source material are managed by an expert staff and shared with scholars, students and the public in the reading room.

Harvard Yard
Harvard University
Cambridge MA 02138 USA
(617) 495-2440