So-Called "Box Calf," Planed and Sanded to a High Smoothness, And with a Jagged, Distressed Appearance Something like Blue Jeans


(Nancy: Beaux-Livres - Grands Amis, 1959). 305 x 245 mm. (12 x 9 3/4"). 63, [5] pp. Copy N [OF 16] ON JAPANESE PELURE PAPER, printed for Madame [Max] Weber, from a total edition of 216.

VERY STRIKING AND INNOVATIVE BLUE "BOX CALF" IN A RELIEF DESIGN BY FRANÇOIS BRINDEAU (stamp-signed on front doublure and dated 2006 on rear doublure), the calf sanded to produce a textured effect similar to distressed denim, covers with three raised jagged-edged onlays, smooth spine lettered in white, dark blue suede doublures, light blue suede endleaves, rice paper flyleaves. In a (just slightly soiled) matching clamshell box. WITH 19 COPPER ENGRAVINGS BY LABOUREUR, TWO ADDITIONAL SUITES of engravings--one on Rives paper, and one on Auvergne paper--AND AN ORIGINAL COPPERPLATE.
With the menu of the bibliophile society dinner, the list of members, and reprints of the speeches of homage all bound in at rear. ◆In pristine condition.

This is a beautiful copy of a book devoted to the work of French engraver and book illustrator Jean-Émile Laboureur, offered here in an innovative binding by François Brindeau. While studying graphic design at the École Estienne, Brindeau (b. 1953), became intrigued by bookbinding, and pursued this interest under the direction of Jean Knoll, professor and head of the school's bookbinding workshop. After graduating, Brindeau spent several years executing bindings for leading designers like Monique Mathieu, before striking out with his own designs. As one might expect from his background, his designs are boldly graphic, and also play with color and texture. One technique he perfected is displayed here: vigorously planing leather to create an impossibly smooth surface, then sanding it to produce striking gradations in color. This planning method produces "box calf," mostly used for handbags and other high-end leather goods. It is valued for its sophisticated sheen, glossy appearance, and elegance, but is notoriously difficult to manipulate for use in bookbindings. In the early 2000s, Brindeau began to use laser cutting to create sharply defined shapes like the onlays here. In addition to practicing his craft, he has returned to the École Estienne as a teacher, mentoring a new generation of binders. Produced for a member of the bibliophilic society Beaux Livres - Grand Amis, our sumptuous version of this tribute to the etchings of Laboureur is printed on thick, creamy French-fold paper, with additional suites of the plates on fine, heavy papers. The scenes are bucolic, and the accompanying essay by journalist and bibliophile Maurice Toesca discusses Laboureur's relationship with nature. Originally a wood engraver, Laboureur (1877-1943) turned to etching around 1914, and produced a series of illustrations based on his service in the Great War. After WWI, he began illustrating books, eventually totaling 66 titles, for writers including Colette, Proust, Remy de Gourmont, André Maurois, and Anna de Noailles. He also contributed to periodicals, among them the luxury fashion magazine "Gazette du Bon Ton."

Price: $4,500.00