Paris, 1896. Uzanne, Octave (1851-1931). Dictionnaire bibliophilosophique, typologique, iconophilesque, bibliopégique et bibliotechnique ŕ l’usage des bibliognostes, des bibliomanes et des bibliophilistins. No. 57 of 176 copies, printed especially for industrialist Auguste [Marie] Fabre (1839-1922) as printed on the limitation leaf. , viii, 364pp. 31 etched plates by Oswald Heidbrinck, within metallic ink borders, hand-colored title and limitation leaf, first plate hand-colored. Paris: les Sociétaires de l’Académie des Beaux Livres Bibliophiles Contemporains, 1896. 226 x 150 mm. (uncut). All leaves printed on vellum paper specially embossed with a blind design similar to a watermark. Original triple binding of limp vellum with pictorial designs by E. Belville printed in black and gold, ribbon ties (renewed, tie slit on upper cover repaired), enclosing original paper wrapper printed in violet and black, by Berthon, and a third wrapper of art vellum printed with floral designs by Ferne; preserved in a quarter morocco folding box. Fine. Leather book label of I. Fernandez. First Edition of this magnificent expression of bibliolatry, inspired by the Art Nouveau and Symbolist movements. Uzanne, the “high priest of fin-de-sičcle bibliophilia” (Silverman, The New Bibliopolis: French Book Collectors and the Culture of Print, 1880-1914, p. 14), was a writer, publisher and journalist who worked with printers, binders, typographers and artists to create deluxe editions for the discerning bibliophile. His personal wealth allowed him to lavish attention “on such material signs of distinction as the luxurious paper, illustrations, and typography of volumes typically printed in single runs of twenty to three hundred copies” (Silverman, p. 108), which would then be distributed by select booksellers or by bibliophilic societies such as Uzanne’s Societé des Bibliophiles Indépendants. “The search for refinement and esotericism further manifested itself in not only the physical form of these books but also their content. This encompassed both literary style, whether expressed by the precious language, neologisms, and archaisms common to certain works by the Symbolists and Uzanne’s Dictionnaire bibliophilosophique, and also the the unconventional genres (free verse, poetic essays, fantastic short stories) with which the Symbolists experimented” (ibid.). (Inventory #: 42921)
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