HEMPTINNE, Chantal de. ~ Les Tortues morales. [Brussels]: Le Lion assis, 1952.
4to (343 × 250 mm), pp. , illustrated throughout. Original wrappers. Slightly faded, joints neatly repaired. From the books of the late Martin Stone (1946-2016).
FIRST EDITION. A very quaint, well-illustrated book by the little-known female artist Chantal de Hemptinne (pupil of the Belgian engraver Joris Minne) which tells an anthropomorphic story. The plot begins with two characterful tortoises, Charles-Eugène and Denise who fall in love, they get married and spend their time going on many adventures. However, the lure of the human world attracts Charles who leaves Denise to subit l’amertume de la separation. Denise then drinks a magic potion from a sorceress and becomes human, where she joins a dance troupe. Charles meanwhile becomes tired of travelling and dreams of going home. The two are eventually reunited and Denise becomes a tortoise again. A lovely book.
Number 82 of 950 examples sur vélin pur fil, (after 50 copies on Hollande Van Gelder, 30 numbered I to XXX and 20 hors commerce. Total edition 1050).