by GRANDVILLE, J.J. (pseud. of Jean-Ignace-Isidore Gerard) |
1849. Grandvilles Last Fairy-Tale [GRANDVILLE, J.J., illustrator]. MÉRY, Joseph. Les Étoiles. Dernière féerie par J.-J. Grandville. Texte par Méry. Astronomie des dames par le Comte Foelix. Paris: G. De Gonet, [n.d., 1849]. First edition. Two parts in one quarto volume (10 1/2 x 7 1/16 inches; 266 x 180 mm.). , xvi, 252; , 186,  pp. With added hand-colored wood-engraved vignette title in each part, hand-colored engraved portrait of Grandville by Ch. Geoffroy, and twelve hand-colored engraved plates (eleven in the first part, one in the second part) by Ch. Geoffroy after Grandville, all with original tissue-guards.Publisher's black cloth, covers and spine pictorially stamped and lettered in in gilt. yellow coated endpapers. Lower hinge expertly and almost invisibly repaired. Small hole in tissue guard of plate facing page 196. The absolute bare minimum of foxing to margins of a few plates otherwise a very fine and fresh example. A wonderful copy of this lovely book, with exquisite plates after Grandville. The compositions of this last fairy-tale, brilliantly engraved on steel by Charles Geoffroy and delicately colored, form a fitting memorial to Grandville. They show that his powers remained unimpaired to the end of his short career. Grandville told his wife on the day he began these designs: for too long I have kept my eyes lowered to the earth; now I want to lift them to the heavens (p. ix). The pattern which he follows is similar to that of Les fleurs animées. Nearly every plate has its beautiful lady, clad in white and adorned with stars, looming in the sky, with varied scenes of earthly life below her. These designs, Grandvilles tranquil refuge from the turmoil that beset his mind, are as charming as they are mysterious. Also included in the volume are an unsigned essay, which remains the most considerable source of biographical information about Grandville, and a fine portrait of him by Geoffroy (I, xvi) with a border of his creations, animals paying him tribute as well as his flower- and star-ladies (Ray). This posthumously published work (Grandville died on March 17, 1847) was originally issued in fifty parts, the first part appearing in September 1849. Ray, The Art of the French Illustrated Book, 200. Vicaire V, col. 770. Grandville. Dessins Originaux, p. 398. (Inventory #: 03789)
English, American and European Literature, Children's Books, Color-Plate Books, Illustrated Books, Early Printed Books, Private Press Books, Fine Bindings, Original Artwork, High Spot Modern First Editions.
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