Le Livre d'Amour.New York: Scribner & Welford, 1887 Stock Code: 149248
In a refined Meunier bindingFirst edition of this lavish book of French love poetry, number 11 of 20 large paper copies printed on Japon, numbered and initialled by the editor Blanche Butterworth Haggin on the limitation page, in a superb binding by one of France's most prominent binders of the Belle Epoque, Charles Meunier (1865-1948), who founded the Cercle Grolier in 1923.
This expansive collection includes the work of Charles Baudelaire, Pierre de Ronsard, Christine de Pizan, Victor Hugo, and Shakespeare. It was compiled by San Francisco socialite Blanche Butterworth Haggin who spoke fluent French and maintained a residence in Paris. Haggin was responsible for assembling the majority of the Haggin Collection of French Art in California. The work is dedicated "A mon mari" to her husband Louis, who was likewise fluent in French.
The work is uncommon institutionally with two copies traced institutionally worldwide, at New York Public Library, the copy presented by Haggin to the library in 1898, and Colorado State University Morgan Library, where it is erroneously attributed to Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve (1804-1869). A further 170 small paper copies on japon were also released, alongside 20 on Whatman paper and 20 on German crayon paper.
Quarto (175 x 135 mm). Finely bound by Charles Meunier (signed and dated 96) in full red-brown crushed morocco, spine lettered in gilt, raised bands, compartments tooled in gilt with green morocco onlay floral motifs, gilt decorative borders to boards with blue, green, and orange morocco onlay floral motifs and love devices, purple-brown morocco doublures elaborately tooled in gilt within brown morocco only frame with blue and green morocco onlay floral and foliate motifs, purple watered silk free endpapers, marbled endpapers, original gilt-printed vellum wrappers bound in at end, all edges gilt. Housed in a custom plush-lined marbled slipcase.
Text in French. Decorative half-title in gilt and pink, title page printed in red and black, decorative initials to each poem.
Armorial bookplate of the New York-born Harvard lawyer Henry Hollister Pease (1937-1868) to front free endpaper. Sometime expertly rebacked preserving the original spine, the binding otherwise sharp, internally crisp; an attractive copy.
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