(Paris: G. Crès et Cie. 1925). 197 x 248 mm. (7 3/4 x 9 3/4"). 3 p.l., 253, [1] pp., [1] leaf (colophon). No. 159 OF 300 COPIES on Rives paper, from a total edition of 365 copies, 15 of which were not for sale.

Attractive contemporary olive brown morocco, gilt, covers with French fillet border and frame composed of a swirling vine enclosed by fillets, raised bands, spine compartments with gilt fillet frames, gilt titling, broad turn-ins densely gilt, marbled endpapers, top edge gilt, other edges untrimmed. With original wrappers bound in. With 88 illustrations by André Dignimont, 15 of these full-page, printed in rich colors using the pochoir technique. Two-inch crack at head of front joint, spine evenly sunned (as expected), otherwise very fine, the binding especially lustrous, the text fresh and clean, and the illustrations very richly colored.

This novel of life in a provincial French brothel and among the demi-monde of Paris was produced by a writer of the Decadent school who knew this world well. "Jean Lorrain" was the pen name assumed (at his family's insistence) by Paul Duval (1855-1906), a flamboyantly gay French poet and novelist whose life was as scandalous as his writings. Described by his biographer as "Sodom's ambassador to Paris," he chronicled the seamy underside of urban life in the glittering Belle Époque. The vividly colored illustrations here are provocative, amusing, and sometimes rather moving, as in the tender domestic scene depicting a half-naked prostitute serenely sitting in the garden, shelling peas beside a housekeeper in a modest gray dress. The artist André Dignimont (1891-1965) was a prolific illustrator whose work graced books by Colette, Verlaine, Balzac, and Zola, as well as the French editions of "Great Expectations" and "Gone with the Wind." The attractive binding here is unsigned, but is expertly crafted from fine materials.

Add to Cart Price: $750.00

PJP Catalog: 67.283


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