Perhaps the Most Harmonious of Maillol's Illustrated Books in a Charming Binding


(Paris: Les Frères Gonin, 1937). 219 x 149 mm. (8 5/8 x 5 7/8"). [2], 217, [5] pp. One volume and one portfolio. Translated by Jacques Amyot. No. CXXV OF 500 COPIES, SIGNED BY THE ARTIST (this is one of the hors commerce copies with an additional suite of plates).

MOST ATTRACTIVE BEIGE CRUSHED MOROCCO BY IRMGARD HACCIUS (stamp-signed "I. H." in gilt on rear cover), front cover with gilt titling (arranged in 10 short, descending rows) surrounded by blind-tooled leaves and grasses, rear cover with three-inch column of blind-tooled leaves bearing gilt berries and the binder's initials, flat spine with titling in blind, top edge gilt. Housed, with the portfolio of plates in its original printed paper wrapper, in a matching marbled paper folding box with beige morocco spine and edges (no doubt done by Haccius as well). WITH 47 WOODCUTS BY ARISTIDE MAILLOL depicting scenes from the text, AND WITH AN EXTRA SUITE OF 48 PLATES printed in sanguine, the additional plate bearing the 15 woodcut initials used in the text. Front pastedown with armorial bookplate of German bibliophile and music publisher Ludwig Strecker. The Artist and the Book 174. ◆A SPLENDID COPY, clean and bright in a luxurious unworn binding.

This version of Longus' charming Greek pastoral novel of awakening love long retained its popularity and was published frequently, often with illustrations. And perhaps the chief virtue of the present edition is the unaffected, sometimes mischievous woodcuts of nymphs and lovers by the French-Catalan artist Aristide Maillol (1861-1944), best known for his sculpture. His engravings here have the same classical lines that typify his three-dimensional works. According to "The Artist and the Book," the work is "perhaps the most harmonious of Maillol's illustrated books." The very attractive and intelligent binding is by Mainz master bookbinder Irmgard Haccius (1916-2003), whose work here is entirely in keeping with the illustrator's graceful simplicity. Haccius studied at the art academies in Munich and Berlin in addition to completing advanced training in book binding at the Academy of Fine Arts at Castle Giebenstein Hall. She was one of the first faculty members at the State University Institute for Art and Handicraft in Mainz, before joining Johannes Gutenberg University in 1973 as a professor in the Department of Visual Arts.

Price: $8,500.00