Finely Colored Spanish Costumes, and in Extremely Handsome, Flawless Morocco by one of Spain's Outstanding Modern Binders


([Madrid: Real Calcografía, 1832-36]). 240 x 160 mm. (9 1/2 x 6 1/4").

ELEGANT MODERN RED MOROCCO, VERY HANDSOMELY GILT in the style of the period, BY ANTOLIN PALOMINO OLALLA (hand-signed on front turn-in), with swirling cornerpieces and central lozenge, raised bands, spine panels gilt, gilt turn-ins, all edges gilt, in (slightly worn) red marbled paper slipcase. With engraved title page and 112 ENGRAVED PLATES by Juan Carrafa after drawings by Jose Ribelles y Helip and ALL WITH CONTEMPORARY HAND COLORING. Colas 646; Lipperheide 1224. ◆Edges of some leaves with faint stains and thumb soiling of no consequence, but the finely colored plates beautifully preserved, and THE SPARKLING BINDING IN FLAWLESS CONDITION.

This is a beautifully bound work filled with exquisitely hand-colored plates depicting early 19th century Spanish costumes. Neither Lipperheide nor Colas identifiy the artist, but the San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Madrid attributes the images here to the Spanish painter and draughtsman José Ribelles y Helip, and identifies the engraver as Juan Carrafa. The plates were originally published by the Royal Academy in 1825 (in 14 parts, with eight plates per part), and the present edition was produced around 1832-36, based on the dates found in the descriptive labels incorporated into two of the plates. The illustrations depict men and women in regional dress from across Spain, as well as particular "types," including shepherds, fishermen, merchants, musicians, dancers, bullfighters, smugglers, sailors, and more. The superb hand coloring enlivens each illustration with vibrant colors and careful attention to shading, patterns, and accessories. Antolin Palomino Olalla (1909-95) was one of the great Spanish binders of the 20th century. A versatile and meticulous artist, teacher, and craftsman, Palomino Olalla opened his Madrid workshop in 1942 and became especially renowned for his hand-gilding, mosaic bindings, and marbled paper techniques. He seems to have specialized in binding antiquarian books, and attracted important institutional clients as well as discerning bibliophiles such as Bartolomé March Servera. The gilding on the present work is especially elegant and applied with laser precision, adding another dimension of pleasure to an already appealing work. The book is uncommonly seen for sale at Anglo-American auctions.

Price: $15,000.00