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Modern Illustrated Books, Artists' Books, Fine Art

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Vies Imaginaires

Barbier_Vies Imaginaire cover


George Barbier illustrates Vies Imaginaires by French symbolist writer Marcel Schwob with 14 exquisitely rendered full page plates in addition to 47 in-text vignettes and rubrications throughout. Features 47 luxuriously colored in-text vignettes, and culs de lampe.  Imaginary Lives includes tales of well-known figures like Lucretia, Captain Kid and Pocahontas, who are captured with spirit and dynamism in Barbier’s elaborate compositions. Classical imagery, carefully observed environments and humorous details add to the overall effectiveness of this collaborative masterpiece. Printed on Rives, illustrations are enhanced with gold and silver highlights. Engraved by Pierre Bouchet and printed by F. L. Schmied from Barbier’s original drawings. Includes a title page, menu and wine list, table of contents and justification page all beautifully illustrated. Illustrated half-title, title and justification. This particular example is numbered 10 of 120, a nominative copy for M. George Barbier. Particularly interesting is the page of signatures of the members of the society of “Le Livre Contemporain”, including the President, who signed this nominative copy for Barbier at the dinner, the menu of which is illustrated by Barbier and included in this example. This example also contains a suite en noir, and a suite en couleur.

--Currently available--


Featured Pochoir Design Portfolios: Séguy


Pochoir is a technique of printing and coloring that employs stencils, with which a skilled colorist might reproduce original watercolors, designs, and works of art. The tools of this technique, fine blades and brushes of varying sizes, allow for bold blocks of color as well as subtle detail and precise line to be applied as part of the same process. Beautiful pochoir illustration can be achieved with watercolor, dyes, or gouaches applied to black and white outline prints or drawings through stencils cut from a metal plate, acetate, or strong paper. It was popularized in France by Jean Saudé in the early 20th century, who saw that the applications of using stencils and brushes to reproduce works of ancient and modern art extended to book arts, printing and publishing. Not only does pochoir give us a faithful reproduction of the coloring of an original artwork, but it also allows for the brilliant ranges of color and clean lines that lend themselves especially well to Art Deco textile pattern and design. The pochoir technique is represented in many of our currently available design portfolios, including those by E.A. Séguy.


In Séguy’s Papillons (1925-28), pochoir coloring is used to give movement, vibrancy, and a certain transparency to the wings of the eighty-one scientific illustrations of different species depicted in his compositions. Following these scientific renderings are ornamental compositions that show the design implications of Séguy’s more literal naturalist drawings. Trained in etymology, Séguy uses his drawing skills and training as a naturalist to produce textile designs. Hand-colored in pochoir over photogravure, the collection is one of the very best examples of Séguy’s decorative genius at the intersection of naturalist drawing and Art Deco design. Séguy’s designs were considered so beautiful that they were published as portfolios such as Papillons, its counterpart, Insectes, and Floréal. In the latter portfolio, Séguy’s enthusiasm for the naturalist aesthetic is further translated into textile design. Floréal (1920) contains twenty color plates of ornamental floral patterns in bright, vivid colors. It is clear that he drew his inspiration from nature, as the ornamental patterns Séguy produces are derived from flowers, foliage, and minerals.

A fine example of the complete Floréal and selected plates from Papillons are currently available.

Hardy, Alain Réne. Art Deco Textiles.
 “The Pochoir Process: How Original Art is Reproduced”; December 1952.
 ‘Madame Saude’. “Pochoir Fully Explained: Part II”. The Artist. July 1940.




Manifeste Mystique, Dali, 1951

DALI, Salvador (Illustrator). "Manifeste Mystique". Salvador Dali (Author). Paris: Robert J. Godet, 1951. [15" x 11"]. 36pp. 2 illustrations. (2 hors text.) General Condition: Fine. Exterior: Sound. Interior: Fine. ex no 79/175

A very clean and striking example of Dali's illustrated text endeavoring to explain the mysticism prevalent in his art. The two hors-text etchings included with the book, "Study for the Crucified Christ" and "Christ of St. John on the Cross", are in very fine condition, signed and dated by Dali. The text itself is illustrated throughout with small vignettes, and is also in fine condition. Printed on Rives by Robert J. Godet in Paris in 1951, the book is example 79 of 175. Loose as issued within original folded paper wrappers, printed with title information in black and red ink. Housed in clamshell box.

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