(Paris: [D. Jouast for] Librairie des Bibliophiles, 1875). 225 x 145 mm. (9 x 5 3/4"); 338 x 265 mm. (13 1/4 x 10 1/2"). 2 p.l., XLV,  pp. Two volumes. Translated and with an introductory essay by Alfred Hédouin. No. 21 OF 200 LARGE PAPER COPIES (this one of 15 on Whatman paper with plates in two states).
TASTEFUL MIDNIGHT BLUE CRUSHED MOROCCO, GILT, BY NOULHAC FOR HENRI BERALDI (front doublure stamp-signed in gilt with the binder's name and "Ex-Libris Henri Beraldi"), covers framed by eight gilt fillets, raised bands, spine compartments similarly framed, gilt lettering, CITRON MOROCCO DOUBLURES, free endleaves of floral jacquard silk, marbled flyleaves, all edges gilt. Original printed paper wrappers bound in. Plate volume in dark blue morocco with covers and smooth spine bordered by gilt fillet, crimson watered silk endleaves, all edges gilt. Text volume with six etchings (portrait of the author and five scenes) by Edmond Hédouin, each in two states, one before letters; the second volume WITH THE FIVE ORIGINAL BLACK CHALK DRAWINGS, each SIGNED BY THE ARTIST. Plate volume with ex-libris of Suzanne Courtois. ◆Text volume with just the slightest hint of rubbing to front joint at the top, perhaps pale offsetting from some of the plates, but fresh and bright and very fine inside and out. Plate volume with a touch of fraying to silk endleaves, otherwise with no signs of use.
This is a very special copy of a newly-translated deluxe bibliophile edition of Sterne's "Sentimental Journey in France and Italy," beautifully bound for the most distinguished expert on French bindings of the 19th century, and accompanied by the original drawings for the illustrations. Forced by poor health to leave England for warmer climes on the continent, Sterne (1713-68) produced this perennially popular travelogue, which was translated into French multiple times. Upon his return to London in 1766, he had the gratifying experience of being treated like a literary lion, and he was greeted in the same way when he later revisited Paris. Ours is a new translation by Alfred Hédouin (1819-98), illustrated by Edmond Hédouin (1820-89), a painter and engraver (unrelated to Alfred) whose etchings graced a wide range of books. Described as "a superlative craftsman" by Duncan & De Bartha (who reproduce four of his bindings in their "Art Nouveau and Art Deco Bookbinding"), Henri Noulhac (1866-1931) was born in Chateauroux, where he served his apprenticeship, then moved in 1894 to Paris, where he established his atelier at 10 rue de Buci and gained a reputation as one of the foremost binders and gilders of his generation. His work attracted several eminent clients, including the celebrated collector and binding historian--and our former owner--Henri Béraldi, who became his main patron. In the 1920s, Noulhac was a sought-after binding instructor, numbering Rose Adler among his students. Beraldi (1849-1931) was perhaps the most renowned and knowledgeable writer on French bindings of the 19th century. His collection of French illustrated books and French bindings was considered to be among the very best in the world, and the outstanding condition here is typical of volumes from Beraldi's library. Our copy was later owned by Bordeaux bibliophile Suzanne Courtois, a prominent female collector of the 1920s and 1930s, who was also noted for the quality of the books in her library. (ST19376)