First edition of this strikingly-illustrated erotic collection, inscribed by author and illustrator to celebrated anarchist, Germaine Berton (1902-42).more...
In January 1923 Berton had shot and killed Marius Plateau, secretary of the far-right Ligue d’Action française and had the attempted suicide rather than be captured. She was acquitted the following year and her cause was taken up by the surrealists, among others, who came to regard her as a protoypical surrealist anti-hero. The dedication here recalls the anarchist cabaret, le Grenier de Gringoire, which Berton frequented in the 1920s. This is copy 101 of 500 copies, initialled by author and illustrator..see full details
First edition, inscribed by the artist to novelist (and Huysmans disciple) Lucien Descaves, who had supplied the preface, with a short autograph note to him (’Voici l’infant! Je vous le fais dépose en même temps que le mot.more...
..’). The edition was limited to 320 copies, but this one is ‘hors commerce’ marked ‘Ex. d’artiste’ in manuscript. The superb plates are fully pochoir-coloured by Charpentier under the artist’s direction..see full details
FIRST EDITION of this little pamphlet issued on the occasion of the arrival of President Woodrow Wilson in Paris in December 1918.more...
The title-page states that the text is by ‘A.S.C’, actually denoting the artist’s English pseudonym, Algernon Saint-John Crabbe. The subjects of the woodcuts are: L’Arrivée du transport; le Général; l’Officier d’infanterie; le Soldat; le Marin; l’Officier du génie; le Docker noir; le Pilote d’hydravion; le Conducteur d’auto; le Secrétaire. This is one of the 1000 copies on velin d’Arches..see full details
First edition, one of 40 copies on chine with ornaments and borders in 2 states.more...
A lovely unsophisticated example of one of the large paper states of this popular (though now scarce) almanac, with illustrations by Lepère (1849-1918), pioneer of the wood engraving revival..see full details
A copiously-illustrated homage to the Parisian landmark. An English translation appears at the end, concluding: ‘O Moulin Rouge! Thou dost dominate Paris, France, the world. Thy sails turn forever, for the breeze that moves them is the breath of the men who come to admire thee and to adore thee, Mill of Voluptuousness, Tower of Delight, Ark of Alliance, Vessel of Caresses, Star of the Evening, House of Pleasant Weariness, Palace of Languidness, Mystic Rose also, of which each petal is a moving sail capped by a bonnet, O Carnal Vase held towards all men who approach unto love ....’ You get the idea..see full details
First edition, one of 150 copies on hollande van Gelder (total edition 156), illustrated by the author.more...
The Virgin Mary appears as patron saint of the crafts of the printmaker, masons, boatbuilders, gardeners, carpenters, millers, bellfounders and clockmakers, all exemplifying Elskamp’s devout Roman Catholicism and deep interest in folklore. .see full details
A rare and striking pictorial record of life in a German prison camp (Merseburg, Saxony) during the Great War. Mario Meunier, who had been private secretary to both Auguste Rodin and dancer Isadora Duncan before the war, was incarcerated from September 1914. The introduction is by Pierre Mac Orlan..see full details
The Great War casts a long shadow over this short tale, one of the rarer titles characteristically illustrated by Arnoux and printed by Bernouard. The title bears Bernouard’s rose device designed by Iribe..see full details
Fragerolle had been Erik Satie’s co-pianist at the Chat Noir, composing most of the music for its revues. This is his delightful collection of old French Christmas carols, with ornaments to the wrapper, endpapers and text by Georges Auriol, also a member of the Chat Noir circle and friend of Satie. The wrapper, printed separately by Eugène Verneau and with trademark Auriol lettering, is particularly scarce..see full details
A sumptuously-illustrated survey of dance in Paris: from the debauched artists’ balls and the Montmartre café scene, to the ballet and opera. The etched and engraved plates are wonderful specimens of the cutting-edge techniques of Vigna-Vignéron, with successive states printed by Geny-Gros demonstrating a rare precision in registration..see full details
Superb etched vignettes, each with multiple figures of Parisian characters and street life, this copy with additional drawings.more...
Though designated ‘first series’ it is unlikely that others followed. Somm was a prolific and successful illustrator, working for Le Monde Parisien, Le Rire and L’Illustration Nouvelle and supplying illustrations for theatre programmes, menus and bookplates. He exhibited with the Impressionists and was part of the Chat Noir circle, producing designs for shadow-plays, and was a member, with Toulouse-Lautrec, of Les Incohérents..see full details
One of 255 copies, inscribed by Ghika, philosopher, priest and saint (1873-1954). This is an extraordinary and beautiful production, finely engraved by Jacquemin apparently after the mystical and allegorical drawings made by Ghika during a sojourn at the lakeside village of Talloires at the feet of the Alps. The subjects combine saints and angels with mythical beasts and mystical landscapes withJacquemin’s engravings clearly drawing on the examples of Blake and Palmer. After a lifetime of charitable work spanning both World Wars, Ghika died in Romania at the hands of the Communist regime..see full details
First edition of this classic belle époque survey of the culture of the café-concert and the circus.more...
This copy is number 52 of 100 on chine, with additional folding poster and plate at end, this copy also with an original signed ink and pastel drawing tipped to the front free endpaper inscribed: ‘Pour le bibliophile Edmond Fargeau. Hommage cordiale H.G. Ibels. Xbre 1910’. Ibels was one of the major commercial graphic artists of the period and a collaborator of Toulouse-Lautrec’s..see full details
An excellent example of the bespoke prayer books issued by Bouasse-Lebel of St Sulpice, Paris.more...
In full medievalist style, the text is a lithograph facsimile of a gothic had, while the elaborate borders are all added by hand. It was customary for owners to have their names filled in in manuscript and others personalisations made. This one has a watercolour frontispiece and the owner/recipient’s name ‘Paul Yanuxem’ appears in pencil at the head of the Bénédiction aux expux’ following the nuptial mass. His spouse’s name is not filled in. Publisher Bouasse-Lebel is best known for the large series of holy prayer cards issued in their millions to pious Frencg Catholics in the second half of the nineteenth century..see full details
A very scarce account of the Earl of Eglinton’s famous folly, a tournament, banquet and ball in medieval style. Attended by a hundred thousand spectators it became a turning point in Victorian style, influencing applied arts and literature to a surprising degree.
‘The Eglinton Tournament of 1839, the outstanding example of early Victorian medievalism in action, secured his fame. Beginning as a private gesture, it so catered to public appetite for pageantry and heroism that it grew into a national event. In June 1838 the whig government had for reasons of economy omitted some traditional ceremonies from Queen Victoria's coronation. In Conservative reproof, Eglinton, enthusiastically urged on by friends and family, announced in August a medieval tournament and banquet at Eglinton Castle. He originally planned only an amusement for his race meeting in the spring of 1839, but the unexpected public response forced postponement for adequate organization and for rehearsal of unskilled knights. The number of these gradually fell from an initial 150 to thirteen, but on 28 August 100,000 spectators gathered, their presence at this medieval spectacle made possible by the prime symbols of Victorian mechanical progress, railways and passenger steamers. Unfortunately, the prevailing weather pattern of western Scotland held: torrential rain fell, and knights, ladies, and spectators fled the field. Eglinton's fortitude (or obstinacy) redeemed what might have been total fiasco—he hospitably detained his guests until the weather improved, and on 30 August successfully held his tournament, banquet, and ball. The costs were enormous, Eglinton's own expenditure probably approaching £40,000. But, although the tournament was ridiculed by some critics, its enactment of chivalric metaphor is now seen to have inspired Victorian imagination in art and literature, as well as public and private standards of behaviour’ (Oxford DNB)..see full details
A rare and unusual juvenile guide to Western knowledge dating from the opening of Japan to the West, which includes a world map, several alphabets, a glossary, and instructions for telling the time with a western pocket watch and for using a thermometer.more...
The work is copper-engraved throughout, still very unusual at this date in Japan.
The world map, covering 4 pages, is a curious reduction and misinterpretation of a British admiralty map (it attempts a reproduction of the original imprint: ‘Engaved by J. and C. Walker ... London—publized at de Admiralty 30th June 1858 under superintendence of Capn. Washington, R.N.F.R, ydrographer’) The projection is turned on its head so that Antarctica appears at the top. Australia appears twice, and New Zealand twice (once off the coast of Japan). The writing guide gives equivalences between Western and Japanese characters, syllables and numerals, with the Western characters (French and English) given typographically and in imitation of cursive script.
It was not until 1872 that the Japanese government officially adopted Western style timekeeping practices, including equal hours that do not vary with the seasons and, also the Gregorian calendar. Previously the Japanese had used an (unequal) temporal hour system that varied with the seasons; the daylight hours being longer in summer and shorter in winter. This system was abolished at the start of the, 1868, The Meiji Restoration, an event that restored practical imperial rule to Japan under Emperor Meiji. The Meiji Emperor announced in his 1868 Charter Oath that ‘Knowledge shall be sought all over the world, and thereby the foundations of imperial rule shall be strengthened.’ This modernization led to the the emergence of a western-style clock industry that replaced the typical Japanese clock which only had six numbered hours, from 9 to 4, which counted backwards from noon until midnight..see full details
First edition, rare, of the first systematic theoretical treatise on painting in France by a friend and patron of Nicolas Poussin.more...
No-one before Chambray had had attempted to establish the intellectual foundations of the art of painting, or the permanent and universal criteria for judging pictures. Earlier or contemporary writings such as those by Hilaire Pader, Abraham Bosse, Abbot de Marolles, Félibien or even Dufresnoy do not share either its systematic or quasi-doctrinal qualities.
‘[Fréart’s] ideas on art were crystallised in the Idée de la perfection de la peinture, published in 1662. Chambray intended this as a rule book for art and a guide for contemporary painters. He emphasized the importance of strict, rigorous geometry as truth in art. The Idée served as a manifesto against the sensual and the purely visual, as opposed to intellectual, in painting. Chambray was devoted to the art of Poussin, in which he saw the perfect realization of the classical ideal. He strongly criticized Michelangelo for what he considered extravagant and capricious compositions; he also condemned Rubens, Caravaggio, Tintoretto and Veronese for encouraging a libertine art’ (Grove).
The work refers extensively to Marcontonio Raimondi's engravings of Raphael’s Judgement of Paris, Massacre of the Innocents and Deposition from the Cross, even then described by him as ‘rares et curieuses’, and he recommends the reader furnish himself with copies of these prints in order to follow his argument. It considers in turn the five fundamental principles that the Ancients apparently observed, and that Chambray finds in Junius’ De pictura, as follows: the invention, the proportion, the couleur, the mouvements and the collocation. It begins with a glossary of terms: Estampe, Tramontains, Esleve, Esquisse, Attitude, Pellegrin.
Fréart de Chambray (1606–1676), a close friend of Nicolas Poussin and brother of his patron, sent the painter a copy in Rome and he was thanked in a letter in 1665: ‘I am delighted that you were the first one in France to have opened the eyes of those who until then had only seen through the eyes of others’. Fréart de Chambray was a major artistic influence at the court of Louis XIV and had already published in French works of Euclid Palladio, Vitruvius, Leonardo da Vinci. The Idée was translated into English by John Evelyn as An Idea of the Perfection of Painting in 1668.
This copy is from the collection of French novelist André Malraux (1901-76), with a pencil note to that effect..see full details
An elegant new year gift book, comprising an illustrated survey of the popular French rose varieties, notes on culture and cultivation and a collection of rose poetry, completed with a calendar for the year 1819. The finely engraved plates are after Pancrace Bessa, a pupil and collaborator of Henri Redouté, painting tutor to the duchesse de Berry, and from 1823, official painter at the Museum d’Histoire Naturelle (replacing Redouté). The book was reissued several times with added calendars for successive years. The varieties illustrated include: Grand cuisse de nymphe, Rose de Portland, Damas simple, Manteau d’Evêque and Rose Bichonne..see full details