Quintessentially Sumptuous, and in Flawless Condition

UNE FEMME DE QUALITÉ AU SIÈCLE PASSÉ. PARIS, 1778.

(Paris: Boussod-Valadon, 1899). 405 x 320 mm. (15 7/8 x 12 1/2"). [87] leaves, mounted on tabs.Edited by Manzi and Joyant. No. 27 OF 200 COPIES.

MAJESTIC ROYAL BLUE CRUSHED MOROCCO, OPULENTLY GILT, BY DURVAND (stamp-signed on front doublure), covers with two gilt frames, one of shell tools and one of vines and lattice work, replicating those on the original printed wrappers (bound in here), raised bands, spine lavishly gilt in compartments with either a vase or a basket of flowers at center, gilt titling in cursive, CARAMEL-COLORED MOROCCO DOUBLURES with gilt roll borders, free endleaves of pale blue jacquard silk with pink roses, top edge gilt. WITH 87 LEAVES OF AQUARELLES, some with engraved text, all with original guards, including 10 full-page illustrations. AN UNSURPASSABLE COPY OF A GORGEOUS BOOK.

Beautifully illustrated and sumptuously bound, this is a delightful depiction of the daily activities of aristocratic ladies in 18th century France. Our heroine, a countess, is shown rising and getting ready for the day, dining with friends, shopping, doing good works, attending a literary salon, playing with her children, going to the theater, and attending meetings of various "societies." Ray calls artist Maurice Leloir "one of the true professionals in the history of French illustration," noting that "he was at pains to make his costumes as accurate as possible" in his depictions of life in the 18th century. He was so adept in this area that he was lured to Hollywood by Douglas Fairbanks to act as artistic director for the film version of Dumas' "Man in the Iron Mask." Carteret considers "Une Femme de Qualité" among Leloir's best works, the graceful scenes notable for the fidelity of their costumes, furnishings, and decoration. Leloir's watercolors also have the charm and flirtatiousness seen in Fragonard's work, conveying the frivolity and the gaiety of the "ancien regime" perfectly. The thick, oversized binding here is also in 18th century style, but it is at least as powerful as it is graceful. In a tour de force of design for his leather covers, binder Lucien Durvand has meticulously recreated in gilt the decorations from Leloir's original illustrated wrapper, replicating the distinctive shell tool for the outer frame and the cornerpiece tools used on the inner frame. Durvand (1852-1924) operated one of the finest workshops in turn-of-the-century Paris, and trained a number of talented artisans. In 1900 he was awarded a silver medal for his bindings at the Universal Exhibition, and, according to Flety, he was devoted to improving the craft of binding right up to his death. As lovely as the binding and the illustrations are, it is the condition here that is nothing short of breathtaking--the work seems to be fresh from the binder's atelier, untouched by any reader.
(ST14896)

Add to Cart Price: $8,500.00

PJP Catalog: 73.165

UNE FEMME DE QUALITÉ AU SIÈCLE PASSÉ. PARIS, 1778. MAURICE LELOIR.
UNE FEMME DE QUALITÉ AU SIÈCLE PASSÉ. PARIS, 1778.
UNE FEMME DE QUALITÉ AU SIÈCLE PASSÉ. PARIS, 1778.
UNE FEMME DE QUALITÉ AU SIÈCLE PASSÉ. PARIS, 1778.
UNE FEMME DE QUALITÉ AU SIÈCLE PASSÉ. PARIS, 1778.
UNE FEMME DE QUALITÉ AU SIÈCLE PASSÉ. PARIS, 1778.