Diane de Bournazel (b. 1956) creates books as ‘poems without words’ in her unique pen, ink and gouache style, filling each page with mazes of vegetation, mysterious borders, structures and figures, opening windows within pages allowing us to see behind and beyond them, suggesting a series of alternative worlds and narratives. Drawing on the universals of the cosmos, the natural world, of childhood and human relationships each of her books invite careful ‘reading’ and multiple interpretations. Collectors have found the books to speak for themselves, and the artist writes of her work simply as:
‘Poésie sans paroles. Il s’agit bien de ça. Mettre en images le monde et l’arrière monde, Comme un poète mais sans mot dire’.
The colophon reads: ‘Ce livre est unique. Je l’ai imaginéé et réalisé durant l’été 2018, à Marliac, où, les nuits, nous contemplons les étoiles. Armelle Guégant ;’a relié, en douceur. Diane de Bournazel’.
Her work is represented in private and public collections in France (including the Bibliothèque nationale) and in the United States (Boston Athenaeum)..see full details
Hollar’s small format plates of European women and their costume are dated from 1642-4 and followed his successful series Ornatus muliebris Anglicanus of 1640.more...
The plates were obtained by eighteenth-century printseller Robert Sayer, who issued them several times (with captions in English added) right up until his death in 1794. His widow may also have continued issuing and selling them into the early nineteenth-century. They are one of the best sources for seventeenth-century lay female dress and include several English subjects (A Noble Woman, a Merchant’s Wife of London, an English Gentlewoman, A Merchant’s Daughter, Lady of the Court, a Countrywoman etc) together with women of France, Ireland, Holland, Germany, Denmark, Belgium and Austria. Three of the plates at the end depict men of religious orders..see full details
A large collection of very well-executed botanical drawings, including camellia, cherry, hibiscus, crocosmia, narcissus, sweet potato, peony, ginger, iris, pea, saffron and many others.more...
The style is botanically accurate and many of the images have additional monochrome details added to the margins, but the composition and handling are wonderfully elegant, crossing the two halves of each opening. Most are titled. The plant drawings are supplemented by a few excellent bird and feather drawings and a butterfly. The album seems to have been added to successively over time, adding new leaves as they were painted or gathered. ‘Keien’ was a widely used pen name among Japanese artists of the period..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
A spectacular manual and sample book for the typically-French craft of passmenterie: the production of decorative silk braid, trimmings and tassels.more...
As these samples demonstrate, designs could be extraordinarily intricate, expressed as pixel-like coloured cells on graph paper which were then produced in silk using a variety of weaving, twisting and braiding techniques. The French pioneered the craft in the later middle ages and became pre-eminent in its production (with Diderot’s Encyclopédie devoting a long illustrated article on it) and supplying a worldwide market by the end of the nineteenth century. The examples in this album cover a wide range, with complex woven plaids, often with fringes and a wonderful series of 8 coloured silk feathers. The manuscript elements include weaving patterns and tables for the calculation of silk quantities..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
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
First edition, unique copy extra-illustrated with the 41 preliminary pencil drawings by Bosschère.more...
An inscription to the half title reads: ‘This copy of “Gulliver’s Travels” containing Mr Jean de Bosschère’s original pencil-drawings for the illustrations, has been specially made for Mrs Leon M. Lion. Jan. 1921’. Leon Marks Lion was a prolific early film actor and later theatrical manager.
Belgian-born in 1878, de Bosschère’s early illustrations were very much in the symbolist/occult style of Beardsley. After fleeing to London on the eve of war, de Bosschère was to become one of the important illustrators of the early century, and became associated with Huxley, Lawrence, Pound and Eliot, among other literary figures. .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