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BEATON, Cecil.


New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1937 Stock Code: 146208
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Inscribed to the "high priestess of fashion"

First edition, deluxe US issue, a superb presentation copy with an unusually fulsome inscription, inscribed by the photographer to Vogue editor-in-chief Edna Woolman Chase, who gave him some of his most important commissions and helped establish his career, on the front free endpaper: "To Edna Arch Instigator of so much of this Book or to Edna Editor in Chief from (I hope) her contributor-in-chief Cecil", accompanied by a drawing of a butterfly.

Edna Woolman Chase (1877-1957), the "high priestess of fashion", began working in the mailroom at American Vogue at the age of 18, and quickly caught the attention of the magazine's founder, Arthur Baldwin Turnure, for her diligence and sharp mind. When Turnure died, Chase was taken up by the magazine's new publisher, Condé Nast, first as managing editor and then editor. Her abilities as a fashion forecaster and tastemaker won her the role of editor-in-chief for all Vogue publications. "A perfectionist, she brought in only the most talented artists and editors to help Vogue achieve its goal of being the high-society authority on matters of style and elegance. She balanced all the demands of running a large, influential fashion publication: artistic, financial, topical, and even political" (Women In World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia).

Cecil Beaton got his start as an illustrator and staff photographer for British Vogue, first published in the April 1924 issue. He contributed fashion sketches and society portraits to the magazine, and soon found himself photographing Queen Elizabeth, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor (for whom he was also their wedding photographer), Marlene Dietrich, and Greta Garbo. In addition, he designed sets and costumes for the opera, ballet, Broadway, West End and Hollywood. In her 1954 memoir, Always In Vogue, Chase noted of Beaton: "What I like best is his debunking attitude toward life and his ability for hard work". In 1931 he became a photographer for the British edition of Vogue and held the position of staff photographer for Vanity Fair. Between 1931 and 1938 he settled into a pattern of trans-Atlantic professional commuting for Vogue. Scrapbook was Beaton's second book, and published at the height of his pre-war fame. It brings together sketches, portraits, photos, collages and texts drawing on a wide variety of his enthusiasms and inspirations. It was published simultaneously in London and New York, in two binding states: full yellow cloth and the deluxe issue of three-quarter cloth over floral paper-covered boards.

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Quarto. Original half yellow and green cloth, floral-patterned paper sides, spine lettered in red, text printed on varicoloured paper stock. With dust jacket.


A little fraying to spine ends, trivial shelfwear, minor foxing to first few leaves, contents otherwise clean, the dust jacket with a little loss to head and foot of spine panel, a few small chips to extremities, closed tear to rear panel. An exceptional association copy.


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