In an Art Deco Binding Resembling a Stained Glass Window


(Paris: Á l'Image des Trois Colombes, 1926). 258 x 160 mm. (10 1/8 x 6 1/4"). 4 p.l., 140 pp., [2] leaves. Copy "E" OF 20 COPIES (lettered A-T) for bookseller Edouard Champion, from a total run of 236 copies.

VIBRANT PAINTED VELLUM BINDING BY GEORGES BAUDIN (signed on rear cover), covers with an Art Deco design reminiscent of a stained glass window, with tiles of blue and green and floral garlands in the same shades enclosing a basket of flowers, all of these elements outlined in raised frames of black or brown, smooth spine with painted panel containing lettering in dark blue and a blue bloom surrounded by leaves, gilt-framed turn-ins, blue watered silk endleaves, marbled flyleaves, all edges gilt on the rough. Original color-illustrated wrappers bound in. With 25 POCHOIR COLOR PLATES by Sylvain Sauvage, and AN ADDITIONAL SUITE OF PLATES printed in sanguine. Front flyleaf with bookplate of Henri Lenseigne. With a handwritten letter from binder Georges Baudin, presenting this volume (to Lenseigne?), tipped onto rear flyleaf. Naturally occurring variations in the color of the vellum, upper board with a couple of tiny spots of paint loss, isolated faint marginal foxing or small stains, mild offsetting from illustrations, but A FINE COPY, clean and fresh internally, the plates with lovely colors, and the binding extremely well preserved, with none of the splaying that often affects vellum.

This is an especially pleasing and very rare example of a binding by painter, illustrator, engraver, and decorator Georges Baudin, covering a book of tales by Symbolist writer Albert Samain featuring Sylvain Sauvage's charming pochoir illustrations. Best known for his poems, Samain (1858-1900) examines in the stories here love in its various forms--sweet and sentimental, lustful, devoted and pious, cerebral, and obsessive. Sauvage's Art Deco illustrations are both fanciful and modern, like a fairy tale illustrated in a fashion magazine.

Baudin (1882 - ca. 1960) was a serious painter who had exhibited at the Salon d'Automne, but he also turned his hand to illustration and applied arts. Duncan & DeBartha mention him among the "artist-binders" of the 1910s and '20s, who "led the search for new techniques and materials." Baudin used vellum to create "fanciful high-style Art Deco renderings" like those he did for illustrated magazines, and employed a technique of raised borders to give his works the effect of stained glass. In the letter here, he notes that he had put this volume in the window at the 1927 Salon des Artistes Decorateurs, an annual event established when the Arts & Crafts movement had swept France at the turn of the century. It seems likely the letter was written to former owner Henri Lenseigne, a dedicated collector of modern illustrated books, who had perhaps commissioned the binding. Bindings by Baudin are uncommon, as this was not his primary medium of artistic expression.

Price: $2,500.00