MARTIN, Charles. ~ Sous les pots de fleurs. Recueil de dessins à la plume. Accompagnés de prose rythmée composes au front … 1914 – 1917. Préface de MacOrlan. Paris: [Imprimerie Studium for] Jules Meynial, [1 December 1917].
4to (295 × 190 mm), pp. , 53, , including 30 engravings reproduced from drawings (of which 16 are full-page). Loose, uncut, as issued. Original green coarse cloth, decorative printed label to upper cover, decorative endpapers in red to designs by Martin. Bookplate of Georges-Emmanuel Lang. Preserved in a modern Perspex fronted folding morocco case, spine lettered in gilt. An excellent copy of a fragile book.
First edition. One of 300 copies. Charles Martin (1884-1934) created this account of the Western Front in blank verse and graphic illustration, disguising its anti-militaristic sentiment under the title Sous les Pots de Fleurs, evidently to tease the censors who may or may not have seen the play on words (it might better read Sous le Flots de Peur, ‘Under waves of fear’). Martin’s art deco style was already well developed in his colourful pre-war contributions to the Gazette de Bon Ton, Harper’s Bazaar and Vanity Fair, but here, working under frightening conditions, his tone is understandably darker. Like several other artists, he served as a camouflage officer, a serjeant in the ‘section de camouflage’, stationed at Bergues. Carteret, Modernes, V, p. 133.