27 invitation cards to the notorious Parisian annual costume ball.more...
The ball first commenced in 1892, and apart from the war years ran, until 1966. Attendance to the ball was restricted to students and former students of the École, as well as ‘artistic personalities’ who had contributed to the preparation of the ball. The balls were held in several major venues scattered throughout Paris over the years, with most taking place at the Moulin Rouge, the Salle Wagram, and the Parc des Expositions Porte de Versailles. Although in its early years the ball was simply an elaborate party, beginning in 1900 each ball had a specific historic theme, often derived from an ancient text or inspired by an ‘exotic’ foreign culture, around which various contests were arranged. With the addition of a theme the balls became more elaborate often turning debaucherous, romping affairs with guests soon discarding the period costumes that they were required to wear to gain entrance. The nudity, dancing and merrymaking often continued into the wee hours, the ball usually ending, with a shout of ‘Vive les Quat’z’ Arts!’, around seven o’clock in the morning, followed by a procession through the Latin Quarter, a romp around the Louvre, and a march over the Pont du Carrousel to the Théâtre de l’Odéon, where the partygoers would disband.
Not surprisingly The Bal des Quat’z’ Arts quickly became one of the premier events of the summer season. The invitations which had to be handed over at the door were elaborately designed to match the spectacle of the events, and correspondingly were often thematically orientalist, exotic, or primitive, with overtly erotic and sexual imagery. They are a tour de force of the evolution of artistic style, showing the progress from Art Nouveau to modernist primitivism, up through psychedelic design. The ball is famously depicted in a series of photographs by Brassaï of 1930 and numerous other photographic records exist of the ball and its associated street procession. The invitations here all have their perforated ticket (in one example, detached but present) and include the following years: 1912, 1917, 1923, 1925, 1926, 1928, 1930, 1931, 1932, 1933, 1934 (two variants), 1946, 1947, 1949, 1950 (two variants), 1951, (three variants), 1952, 1953 (two variants), 1954 (two variants), 1955, and 1956. All in at least very good condition. A remarkable collection..see full details
Number 13 of 30 copies on papier d’Arches. A collection of 25 wood engravings numbered and signed by the artist, which seem to be an experimentation with shape and form. It also includes original poems by Kliemand. .see full details
One of 275 copies. 5. A wonderfully illustrated edition of Poe’s 1871 tale. Goerg was one of the major illustrative artists of his generation, he was influenced by the works of Bosch and Bruegel and created paintings about the tragedy of the human condition. It seems that he began book illustration later on in his career, working on publications such as Hoffmann’s Contes, and Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du mal. There have been a number of retrospectives of his work, perhaps most notably at the Grand Palais in 1988, (Grove Art). This book shows his exceptional talent for engraving and depicting the human form. .see full details
A collection of photographs, with a written introduction by Hurlimann showing various scenes and famous places of India. He was a Swiss publisher, who founded a newspaper Atlantis, in 1929 which specialised in international travel, but he is best known for being a photographer of Western European cities..see full details
It includes fine photogravure plates by numerous photographers including Léon Bovier, Rene Le Bègue, Édouard Adelot and Maurice Bucquet. Robert Aubry, the director is known in the photographic world for his work in aerial photography and used this skill to organise the clubs first competition in this subject. The cover and table of contents have been illustrated beautifully by the type and graphic designer Auriol and it displays an Art Nouveau style with a typeface inspired by Japanese calligraphy. A second series followed in 1905, but is very rare..see full details
One of 195 copies on velin de lana, (there are a further 35 copies with an extra suite, total edition 230). A collection of tales by Fargue, illustrated by Villebouef an artist who worked in many different fields including stage design, writing and painting. He worked in Paris in the 1920’s amongst artists such as René Fauchois, Jean-Gabriele Daragnes and Marcel Ayme. .see full details
An exceptionally rare illustrated magazine of popular arts for women and young people.more...
It includes instructions for arts and crafts including painting (especially botanical and entomological), lettering, embroidery, woolwork, lacquer, ceramics, bookbinding, découpage, and artificial fruit and flowers. It includes details of suppliers.
It was issued serially, probably in 4 leaf gatherings with one or more plates, weekly or fortnightly. Exceptionally rare, we have been able to locate two copies outside France: National Art Library (V&A) and Cooper Hewitt Museum (NY). Our copy contains issues from the first running to c. 1835 and breaks off part way through an article on artificial flowers. Each issue evidently was of strictly 4 leaves regardless of the length of the final article, which was resumed in the following issue. The V&A copy contains several more issues and breaks off mid-article at p. 224 and has 72 plates. It also contains a few fragments of printed pink wrappers in which each issue appeared.
A illuminated manuscript made by Fanny Roussan commemorating the marriage of her brother Hyacinthe Roussan and Evelina Ripert on July 15th, 1893 in the basilica of Notre Dame (Rennes, Brittany).more...
The book is dedicated to Evelina in October that year: ‘J’ai pensé vous faire plaisir chère Evelina, en vous peignant ce manuscrit. Acceptez mon travail, dicté par l’affecting et gardez le en souvenir d’une soeur.’ The text includes the marriage address given by Father Rippert (Evelina’s uncle) and the nuptial mass itself, followed by tow pages originally blank for the addition of ‘souvenirs’, which contain records of the baptism of two children: Odette (1896) and Margueritte (1899). The illumination includes delightful scrolling borders and lettering with gryphons and the occasional animal, together with pious portraits, a fine miniature depicting the basilica at Rennes and heraldic emblems of Britanny. One miniature, in grisaille, depicts a veiled woman at work copying manuscripts on a writing slope. Little else is known of this accomplished amateur scribe and illuminator, though we are aware of at least one other manuscript in her hand..see full details
A SUPERB BOOK OF THE DEAD BY AN IMPORTANT TRANSGENDER ARTIST, habitually addressed by his friend Picasso as ‘Monsieur Madame’. A spectacular large-format engraved book—the text being burin engraved throughout by Anton Prinner. The text is drawn from the translation by Pierret after the Turin papyrus. It was published with the assistance of Robert J. Godet, who died shortly afterwards: Prinner signs on his behalf ‘pour J. Godet +’.
‘Anton Prinner, who was probably born Anna Prinner but lived as a man throughout his life, studied painting at the Budapest school of fine arts in 1920 and went to Paris in 1928. He then gave up painting for a while and studied occult sciences, esoteric doctrines and mystical philosophies... During the wartime German occupation of France, Prinner went into hiding, living in a squalid garret... He was an intriguing and enigmatic character, who lived a solitary and reclusive life, and the chronology of some stages of his work and life remains obscure.
When Prinner resumed painting in 1932 after his occult studies, he was much influenced by Mondrian's Neo-Plasticism and by Russian Constructivism. At that time, he also learned print-making, working in Atelier 17 in Paris with Stanley William Hayter. After his Constructivist period, which lasted from 1932 to 1937, he worked on low relief and then high relief sculpture, a medium always favoured by Constructivist artists. At some time, perhaps around 1939, he took up sculpture in the round, producing Woman with Braid. The technique of sculpture, or rather its internal logic, brought Prinner back to Figurative art.
During the German occupation, hidden away in his garret, Prinner devoted himself to drawing meticulous still-lifes of everyday objects in pen and ink. When he returned to sculpture, it was with the intention of creating works that would mediate with the occult forces which had preoccupied him... The composite creatures that emerge from his personal or esoteric obsessions, with their suggestions of aberrant nature, can also recall the work of Jean Arp.
From 1947 to 1949, Prinner worked on 66 etchings and dry-point illustrations for the Egyptian Book of the Dead, as well as a series of low reliefs on the same theme, which he exhibited in 1948...
Prinner took part in the exhibition The Avant-garde in Hungary, 1910-1930 (L’Avant-garde en Hongrie 1910-1930), which was held in the Galerie Franka Berndt, Paris, in 1984. He had two other exhibitions on returning to Paris from Vallauris, in 1965 and 1969’ (Benezit).
Number 133 of 200 copies on Rives Royal, (there were a further 10 examples on Japon séculaire, with an original drawing, 7 for collaborators on papiers divers. Total edition 217). .see full details
A collection of homoerotic lithographs by Jean Boullet, an iconic gay artist who proclaimed himself simply as a ‘painter of masculine beauty,’ which is precisely what he does here in these illustrations. One of 467 copies on Vélin de Lana, (there are a further 33 examples on Vélin d’Arches, with drawing, total edition 500)..see full details
FIRST EDITION, this copy for Docteur Maurice Roulland, one of 170 copies on vélin de Rives.more...
A compilation of poems by Verhaeren, wonderfully illustrated by Costea, who uses loose blotches and splatters of colour to form soft, ambiguous figures. He studied at the École des Beaux Arts and exhibited his work in France, San Francisco, Cologne and Brussels..see full details
A collection of poems by Cocteau handwritten by Rémon, who has also decorated the book with a series of black ink drawings by brush. The artist illustrated many published books, such as La Symphonie Pastorale by Gide, Marie du Port by Simenon and Les Paysages ensorcelés by Barbey d’Aurevilly. His favourite subject was the sea and he spent much of his time working in unusual places (including the Paris RER, and aboard ocean liners)..see full details
Number XIV of 20 hors commerce copies (there were a further 10 copies on japon impérial, 50 on Hollande Van Gelder, 100 on vélin d’Arches). A brilliant collection of drawings by Cocteau for Les Enfants terribles, created five years after the novel was first published and made quickly, resembling a form of a kind of graphic note taking..see full details
An astrological jeu d’ésprit published by Régny (pseudonym of Madame Balouzet Tillard de Tigny), the renowned tennis player-turned-designer who specialised in fashionable sportswear in the 1920’s. Number 285 of 1100 copies, some copies had hand-coloured frontispieces..see full details
A fascinating publisher’s file containing trial impressions of Cappiello’s illustrations engraved by René Lorrain for their edition of La Princesse de Babylone.more...
Each plate appears in several states, single colours and combinations, and some appear in trial states marked up in manuscript. Together with one original copper plate the file provides a very useful record of the many processes required for a complex sequence of colour illustrations for an edition limited to just 40 copies. Notable throughout is the use of the registration pins evident on the copper plate and in the margins of each plate, allowing for absolute precision in the successive impressions. Javal et Bordeaux printed numerous large format illustrated editions at this time, characterised by their superbly realised colour plates reproducing the particular quality of gouache and pastel originals.see full details
One of the most spectacular fruits of nineteenth-century Medievalism, with its elaborate chromolithograph interpretations of illuminated manuscripts, many with gold and silver inks. The text volume additionally contains a sequence of original photographic reproductions of prints by Wierix. Issued as a series of 70 individual numbers, the pagination of the plate volumes is very erratic, with numerous additional plates outside the main sequence and with some leaves having plates on both sides, others on just one. The appendix provides an historical and bibliographical key to the plates, listing manuscripts in mainly French and Italian libraries..see full details
A superb fashion album from the year of the Paris siege, with a great variety of dated designs showing the vogue for dresses emphasising a narrow figure with low sloping shoulders and skirts gathered extravagantly at the back with ribbons, tapes, ruches and ruffles.more...
Outdoor and walking dresses, evening dresses, hairstyles, headresses, veils, parasols, nightgowns, shoes and coats. Colours, especially for outdoor wear, tend towards darker palettes with deep greens, mauves and black in abundance.
Despite the Franco-Prussian war and the advance of the Germans on Paris, the city remained at the centre of the fashion world. The military realities of the Paris siege of that year impinge with one image of a rifleman (franc-tireur) of the Légion de la Seine (dated 25 August 1870) and the styles for 1871 exhibiting occasional military references with square cut coat pockets, brocades and frogging..see full details