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  • [Invitations]. by BAL DES QUATZ’ARTS. BAL DES QUATZ’ARTS. ~ [Invitations]. [Paris], 1895-1966.
    53 invitation cards to the notorious Parisian annual costume ball. The ball was inaugurated in 1892, and apart from the war years, ran until 1966,… (more)

    53 invitation cards to the notorious Parisian annual costume ball. The ball was inaugurated in 1892, and apart from the war years, ran until 1966, with attendance restricted to students and alumni of the École, both men and women, as well as a few ‘artistic personalities’ who had contributed to the preparation of the ball. They 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 at the Porte de Versailles. Although in its early years the ball was simply an elaborate party, from 1900 each ball had a specific theme, often derived from an ancient text or historic period 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 into debaucherous 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 following day, 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, 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 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 — though in retrospect they exhibit a troubling degree of predatory sexism and cultural appropriation. The ball is famously depicted in a series of photographs by Brassaï of 1930 and numerous other photographic records exist of the ball, allowing a comparison of the themes of the printed invitations and the costumes worn on the night.

    There were different invitations for men, women and committee members, and most included a tear-off coupon, which often survivie. This group contains examples from the following years, all complete with their coupons except where specified: 1895 (by Caran d’Ache); 1901 (without coupon) 1902 (without coupon); 1904 (m, without coupon); 1906 (?f); 1908 (f without coupon); 1909 (f); 1912 (f); 1913 (f, without coupon); 1914 (poster, folded once); 1920 (f); 1922 (m); 1923 (f); 1924 (f); 1927 (f, without coupon); 1928 (f); 1928 (m, without coupon); 1929 (m); 1929 (comité, without coupon); 1929 (f); 1930 (comité, without coupon); 1931 (m without coupon); 1931 (f without coupon); 1932 (m, without coupon); 1933 (m, without coupon); 1934 (m); 1939 (f?); 1946 (m); 1947 (m 2); 1948 (m) 1948 (f, without coupon); 1949 (m) 1949 (f); 1950 (m) 1950 (f); 1951 (m) 1951 (f) 1951 (additional); 1952 (m) 1952 (f ) 1952 (additional); 1953 (m) 1953 (f); 1954 (m?); 1955 (m) 1955 (f); 1956 (m) 1956 (f); 1958 (m) 1958 (?); 1959 (m); 1964 (m); 1966 (m?), plus one unidentified year.

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  • Physiologie de l’étudiant … Vignettes de MM. Trimolet et Maurisset. by HUART, Louis. HUART, Louis. ~ Physiologie de l’étudiant … Vignettes de MM. Trimolet et Maurisset. Paris: Aubert et Cie … Lavigne … [1841].
    A satire on contemporary student life, addressing the traditional pursuits of the young denizens of the rue Saint Jacques — drinking, smoking, gaming, dancing and… (more)

    A satire on contemporary student life, addressing the traditional pursuits of the young denizens of the rue Saint Jacques — drinking, smoking, gaming, dancing and womanizing.

    This is one of the many such little Physiologies illustrative of ‘the craze that swept Paris in the early 1840s for a series of small illustrated volumes marketed under the general title of physiologies [looking back, perhaps, to Brillat-Savarin’s bestselling Physiologie du goût (1826) and Balzac’s Physiologie du marriage (1830)]. Some 120 different physiologies were issued by various Parisian publishers between 1840 and 1842 (ranging alphabetically from the Physiologie de l’amant to the Physiologie du voyageur), and it is estimated that approximately half a million copies of these pocket-sized books were printed during the same two-year span’ (Sieburth, p. 163).

    Designed for mass consumption, these satirical guides to particular social types were based on ‘the witty interaction of image and text, drawing and caption, seeing and reading … Byproducts of the recent technological advances in printing and paper manufacturing which had made illustrated books more commercially feasible and analogous to the various dioramas and panoramas which enjoyed a considerable popularity during the period, these illustrated anthologies of urban sites and mores catered to the public’s desire to see its social space as a stage or gallery whose intelligibility was guaranteed both by its visibility as image and its legibility as text …

    ‘Quickly produced and marketed, consumed and discarded, … the physiologies (like the sensational tabloids or canards hawked on Paris streetcorners of the period) are early instances of the cheap, throwaway “instant book” whose appeal lies in its very topicality and ephemerality’ (op. cit., pp. 165–7). Richard Sieburth, ‘Same difference: the French Physiologies, 1840–1842’, Notebooks in Cultural Analysis (Duke UP, 1984), pp. 163–200.

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  • Le Moyen de devenir peintre en trois heures, Et d’exécuter au pinceau les ouvrages des plus grands maîtres, sans avoir appris le dessein. Nouvelle Edition, revuë, corrigée & augmentée. by [VISPRÉ, François-Xavier]. [VISPRÉ, François-Xavier]. ~ Le Moyen de devenir peintre en trois heures, Et d’exécuter au pinceau les ouvrages des plus grands maîtres, sans avoir appris le dessein. Nouvelle Edition, revuë, corrigée & augmentée. Amsterdam: M. Magérus, 1766.
    First edition with an illustration. A treatise on miniature painting on glass, in the form of a dialogue between the author and his female pupil,… (more)

    First edition with an illustration. A treatise on miniature painting on glass, in the form of a dialogue between the author and his female pupil, a marquise. Vispré’s method was based on the transfer application of an engraving to a glass or mirrored surface, allowing the amateur artist to make superb reproductions in ‘under three hours’. The book, which first appeared in 1755 (without a plate), seems to have been as much an advertisement for Vispré as both a tutor and supplier of artists’ materials to a fashionable clientele, and the two earlier editions (like this one, surprisingly rare) give his address in the rue Pavée, beside the Comédie Italienne.

    By 1766, when this edition appeared, Vispré had settled in London making his way as a successful portrait painter and miniaturist, exhibiting first with the Society of Artists and then quite frequently at the Royal Academy. This edition is the first to include a plate, perhaps designed to be used by the pupil as a test piece.

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  • Devotional crafting
    [Mary Magdelene]. by (DRESSED PRINT). (DRESSED PRINT). ~ [Mary Magdelene]. [Probably French, but the print Augsburg: Martin Engelbrecht, mid-eighteenth century]. 1830
    A striking and well preserved ‘dressed print’ cut from one of the popular devotional prints by Martin Engelbrecht. The weeping Magdalene has been modified by… (more)

    A striking and well preserved ‘dressed print’ cut from one of the popular devotional prints by Martin Engelbrecht. The weeping Magdalene has been modified by being pasted onto glazed paper, giving a dramatic black-sky background, her robes are embellished with three different brocade fabrics (two with metallic thread), and the print further enhanced with hand-colouring, some metallic lace and ground glass. As often, the dressing has been ingeniously applied both under and over the surface of the original engraving. The print includes Mary’s traditional attributes of a cross, a book, a myrrh jar and skull, while her left foot rests on a globe or orb.

    The fashion for dressing prints existed probably from the origin of printed illustrations themselves, though it was a widespread, predominantly female recreation during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, often with a devotional intent. It is hard to be sure when the print was dressed or adorned. The print dates from the mid eighteenth century. Having been stitched at 10 points around the margin to a ruled backing paper, it must have been framed in the following century, to judge by the framer’s label. The colouring and character of the applied materials suggest it was adorned in the eighteenth century, though the problem of dating is compounded by the widespread use and recycling of earlier materials.

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  • Le Volant d'Artimon. Poèmes. by MARCOUSSIS, Louis, illustrator. Paul DERMÉE. MARCOUSSIS, Louis, illustrator. Paul DERMÉE. ~ Le Volant d'Artimon. Poèmes. Paris: Jacques Pobolozky & Cie, 1922.
    First edition, unnumbered copy reserved for the author, and inscribed by him (the edition was of 216 copies). An important cubist collaboration.

    Belgian avant garde poet… (more)

    First edition, unnumbered copy reserved for the author, and inscribed by him (the edition was of 216 copies). An important cubist collaboration.

    Belgian avant garde poet Dermée was discovered by Tristan Tzara and the Dadaists when he moved to Paris in 1910 and knew Apollinaire, Picasso, Jacob and the Dealaunays. Polish-born Marcoussis exhibited with the Section d’Or and was close to Apollinaire before the Great War. The 1920s witnessed his most intensive period of printmaking. Worldcat finds no copies in the UK or US (though there is a copy in the Museum of Fine Arts, San Francisco).

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  • Gentle Emetic. by GILLRAY, James. GILLRAY, James. ~ Gentle Emetic. London: H[annah] Humphrey, Jan 28 1804.
    One of a set of three Gillray prints of medical conditions that were also astute studies in facial expression.

    The printer, Hannah Humphrey, is an interesting… (more)

    One of a set of three Gillray prints of medical conditions that were also astute studies in facial expression.

    The printer, Hannah Humphrey, is an interesting figure. Known as ‘Mrs Humphrey’ although she was unmarried, she was sister of printer William Humphrey from whose address in St Martin's Lane she published her first prints. She became the leading publisher of expensive satirical prints, especially by Gillray who worked for her exclusively from 1791, and who lived in her house for the last twenty years of his life. ‘The two lived together in circumstances of domestic intimacy for many years, but so discreetly that the prurient gossips of the next generation could find little to say against them. When Gillray made his will in 1807 he left all his possessions 'to my dearest friend Hannah Humphrey' (Oxford DNB). BM Satires 10304.

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  • This is no Caricature. by [HEATH, William]. [HEATH, William]. ~ This is no Caricature. London: John Doyle, Published by Thomas McLean, 26 Haymarket October 1st 1827.
    In 1827 Harriet Mellon, widow of the banker Thomas Coutts married William Beauclerk, 9th Duke of St Albans. The daughter of a family of travelling… (more)

    In 1827 Harriet Mellon, widow of the banker Thomas Coutts married William Beauclerk, 9th Duke of St Albans. The daughter of a family of travelling players, Harriet had become an actress at an early age and was spotted by Coutts while performing in London. As a young woman she was widely celebrated for her beauty, and was painted by George Romney and Sir Thomas Lawrence. She became wealthy (as a senior partner of Coutts bank) and was 23 years older than Beauclerk on their marriage, providing ample scope for unkind commentary and ammunition for the satirists. Nicknamed ‘The Jolly Duchess’ Harriett enjoyed her wealth, was a great collector and generous patron. She wrote to her friend Sir Walter Scott:

    ‘What a strange eventful life has mine been, from a poor little player child, with just food and clothes to cover me, dependent on a very precarious profession, without talent or a friend in the world – first the wife of the best, the most perfect being that ever breathed …and now the wife of a Duke! You must write my life… my true history written by the author of Waverley’. (Scott’s Journal, 30 June 1827).

    After her death, she left an allowance to the Duke but her fortune passed to step-grandaughter Angela Burdett-Coutts, whose philanthropic association with Dickens is well known. BM Satires 15461. 

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  • Le Corbeau. Poème. by POE, Edgar Allan. Charles BAUDELAIRE, translator. P[ierre]. B. Spalaïkovitch, illustrator. POE, Edgar Allan. Charles BAUDELAIRE, translator. P[ierre]. B. Spalaïkovitch, illustrator. ~ Le Corbeau. Poème. Nice: Art Press International, 1978.
    One of 99 copies (this being one of 89 on vélin de Rives) signed by the artist. A superb illustrated Raven by an artist. (more)

    One of 99 copies (this being one of 89 on vélin de Rives) signed by the artist. A superb illustrated Raven by an artist.

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  • Via Crucis ende VII Weeén van Maria. by SPEYBROUCK, Jos. [Jozef]. SPEYBROUCK, Jos. [Jozef]. ~ Via Crucis ende VII Weeén van Maria. Thielt: Lannoo, 1928.
    First edition, presentation copy, one of 500 copies of this striking modernist Stations of the Cross (and Seven Joys of the Virgin). Speybrouck (1891-1956) was… (more)

    First edition, presentation copy, one of 500 copies of this striking modernist Stations of the Cross (and Seven Joys of the Virgin). Speybrouck (1891-1956) was steeped in the religious and artistic culture of the Low Counties and from 1923 to 1940 worked closely with the Benedictine Order at the Abbaye-de-St.-Andre near Bruges

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  • Mad is Rose. by DUBOIS, Lou. DUBOIS, Lou. ~ Mad is Rose. Paris: Venus d’ailleurs, 2014.
    First edition, one of 4 special copies with artist’s ‘interventions’ in the form of collage enhancements: false moustaches, a vintage cabinet card and other collage… (more)

    First edition, one of 4 special copies with artist’s ‘interventions’ in the form of collage enhancements: false moustaches, a vintage cabinet card and other collage cuttings. This copy inscribed to fabled book scout and guitarist, Martin Stone. Total edition 500. Lou Dubois is a contemporary surrealist.

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  • Seul vers l’Asie. Quatre ans en camion automobile. by AMIGUET, Marcel. AMIGUET, Marcel. ~ Seul vers l’Asie. Quatre ans en camion automobile. Paris and Neuchatel: Victor Attinger, 1934.
    First edition, one of 100 copies on hollande, an illustrated travelogue of the author/ illustrator’s overland journey (1926-30) from Paris to Bombay, via Turkye, Syria,… (more)

    First edition, one of 100 copies on hollande, an illustrated travelogue of the author/ illustrator’s overland journey (1926-30) from Paris to Bombay, via Turkye, Syria, Iraq and Persia, in a purpose-built Renault truck. With four original signed etchings at rear.

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  • Le Jeu de Robin et Marion. by BOUCHER, Lucy, illustrator. Adam de la HALLE. BOUCHER, Lucy, illustrator. Adam de la HALLE. ~ Le Jeu de Robin et Marion. Nice: [Cannes: Ateliers d’Art Ryp for] Éditions Sefer, [ 1962].
    A splendid piece of twentieth-century Medievalism, with miniaturist Lucy Boucher’s brilliant hand-finished colour plates inspired by tapestries and stained glass. Le Jeu de Robin et… (more)

    A splendid piece of twentieth-century Medievalism, with miniaturist Lucy Boucher’s brilliant hand-finished colour plates inspired by tapestries and stained glass. Le Jeu de Robin et Marion is usually considered the earliest French secular play with music, written in around 1282 or 1283 — a dramatisation of a traditional genre of medieval French song, the pastourelle. The pastourelle typically tells of an encounter between a knight and a shepherdess, but Adam de la Halle’s version of the story places a greater emphasis on the activities of Marion, her lover Robin and their friends after she resists the knight’s advances.

    One of 380 copies, this one of 246 ‘regular’ copies after copies with original drawings etc. Worldcat lists a single copy (University of Antwerp).

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  • Le Pays natal. by BORDEAUX, Henry. René POTTIER, illustrator. BORDEAUX, Henry. René POTTIER, illustrator. ~ Le Pays natal. Paris: Fayard, Le Livre de Demain, [1925].
    First edition with the Pottier illustrations, number 2 of 15 copies only with the woodcuts on chine, numbered and initialled by the artist.

    Fayard’s Livres… (more)

    First edition with the Pottier illustrations, number 2 of 15 copies only with the woodcuts on chine, numbered and initialled by the artist.

    Fayard’s Livres de demain brought examples of the current revival in woodcut and wood engraving to a wide audience at a reasonable price. Accordingly, the illustrations of the regular volumes were printed in large numbers from phototype metal blocks made from the prints, with just 15 copies of each (as here) presented with an additional suite of the original woodcuts specially printed on fine paper.

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  • BOURGET, Paul. Georges JEANNIOT, illustrator. ~ Tragiques remous. Fayard: Fayard, Le Livre de Demain, [1925].
    First edition with Jeanniot’s illustrations, number 2 of 15 copies with the suite of original woodcuts on chine.

    Fayard’s Livres de demain brought examples of the… (more)

    First edition with Jeanniot’s illustrations, number 2 of 15 copies with the suite of original woodcuts on chine.

    Fayard’s Livres de demain brought examples of the current revival in woodcut and wood engraving to a wide audience at a reasonable price. Accordingly, the illustrations of the regular volumes were printed in large numbers from phototype metal blocks made from the prints, with just 15 copies of each (as here) presented with an additional suite of the original woodcuts specially printed on fine paper.

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  • Victime expiatore. by CORTHIS, André. HERMANN-PAUL, illustrator. CORTHIS, André. HERMANN-PAUL, illustrator. ~ Victime expiatore. Paris: Fayard, Le Livre de Demain, [1926].
    First edition, number 2 of 15 copies with the original wood engravings on chine. Hermann-Paul, with his sparse and economical style, was one of the… (more)

    First edition, number 2 of 15 copies with the original wood engravings on chine. Hermann-Paul, with his sparse and economical style, was one of the most successful and effective of the French wood engravers of the twenties. He was already very well established by the time of the Great War, and turned to working on wood by necessity as metal for print making became scarce.

    Fayard’s enterprise was one of democratisation — aiming to bring high-quality illustration, examples of the current revival in woodcut and wood engraving, to a wide audience at a reasonable price. Accordingly, the illustrations of the regular volumes were printed in large numbers from phototype metal blocks made from the woodblocks, with just 15 copies of each (as here) presented with an additional suite specially printed on fine paper from the original blocks.

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  • La Fin d’un beau jour. by JALOUX, Edmond. Paul BAUDIER, illustrator. JALOUX, Edmond. Paul BAUDIER, illustrator. ~ La Fin d’un beau jour. Paris: Fayard, Le Livre de Demain, [1926].
    First edition with the Baudier wood engravings, number 2 of 15 special copies with the suite of original woodcuts on chine. Fayard’s Livres de demain… (more)

    First edition with the Baudier wood engravings, number 2 of 15 special copies with the suite of original woodcuts on chine. Fayard’s Livres de demain brought examples of the current revival in woodcut and wood engraving to a wide audience at a reasonable price. Accordingly, the illustrations of the regular volumes were printed in large numbers from phototype metal blocks made from the prints, with just 15 copies of each (as here) presented with an additional suite of the original woodcuts specially printed on fine paper.

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  • Morte la Bète... La Fugue — Un Soir de pluie... ouvrage inédit. by DUVERNOIS, Henri. Guy DOLLIAN, illustrator. DUVERNOIS, Henri. Guy DOLLIAN, illustrator. ~ Morte la Bète... La Fugue — Un Soir de pluie... ouvrage inédit. Paris: Fayard, Le Livre de Demain, [1924].
    First edition of these three novellas, number 2 of 15 copies with the suite of original woodcuts, initialled by Dollian.

    Fayard’s Livres de demain brought examples… (more)

    First edition of these three novellas, number 2 of 15 copies with the suite of original woodcuts, initialled by Dollian.

    Fayard’s Livres de demain brought examples of the current revival in woodcut and wood engraving to a wide audience at a reasonable price. Accordingly, the illustrations of the regular volumes were printed in large numbers from phototype metal blocks made from the prints, with just 15 copies of each (as here) presented with an additional suite of the original woodcuts specially printed on fine paper.

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  • Crapotte by DUVERNOIS, Henri. Achille OUVRÉ, illustrator. DUVERNOIS, Henri. Achille OUVRÉ, illustrator. ~ Crapotte Paris: Fayard, Le Livre de Demain, [1926].
    First illustrated edition of this urbane novel of the Parisian life of a boulevardier (it first appeared in 1918).Number 2 of 15 copies only with… (more)

    First illustrated edition of this urbane novel of the Parisian life of a boulevardier (it first appeared in 1918).Number 2 of 15 copies only with the woodcuts on chine, numbered. Fayard’s Livres de demain brought examples of the current revival in woodcut and wood engraving to a wide audience at a reasonable price. Accordingly, the illustrations of the regular volumes were printed in large numbers from phototype metal blocks made from the prints, with just 15 copies of each (as here) presented with an additional suite of the original woodcuts specially printed on fine paper.

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  • La Cigale. by DELARUE-MARDUS, Lucie. RENEFER, illustrator. DELARUE-MARDUS, Lucie. RENEFER, illustrator. ~ La Cigale. Paris: Fayard, Le Livre de Demain, [1923].
    First edition number 2 of 15 copies only with the woodcuts on chine, numbered and signed by the artist.

    Fayard’s Livres de demain brought examples… (more)

    First edition number 2 of 15 copies only with the woodcuts on chine, numbered and signed by the artist.

    Fayard’s Livres de demain brought examples of the current revival in woodcut and wood engraving to a wide audience at a reasonable price. Accordingly, the illustrations of the regular volumes were printed in large numbers from phototype metal blocks made from the prints, with just 15 copies of each (as here) presented with an additional suite of the original woodcuts specially printed on fine paper.

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  • Le Pardon Prématuré. by CORTHIS, André. Paul VIGOUREUX, illustrator. CORTHIS, André. Paul VIGOUREUX, illustrator. ~ Le Pardon Prématuré. Paris: Fayard, Le Livre de Demain, [1925].
    First edition with the illustrations by Vigoureux. Number 2 of 15 copies with the suite of all 20 wood engravings on chine, all initially by… (more)

    First edition with the illustrations by Vigoureux. Number 2 of 15 copies with the suite of all 20 wood engravings on chine, all initially by the artist. Fayard’s Livres de demain brought examples of the current revival in woodcut and wood engraving to a wide audience at a reasonable price. Accordingly, the illustrations of the regular volumes were printed in large numbers from phototype metal blocks made from the prints, with just 15 copies of each (as here) presented with an additional suite of the original woodcuts specially printed on fine paper.

    (see full details)
    View basket More details Price: £150.00