Sims Reed Rare Books×

L'Ombrelle - Le Gant - Le Manchon

Avril, Paul. Uzanne, Octave

Paris. A. Quantin, Imprimeur-Editeur. 1883
Octave Uzanne's anecdotal histories of the umbrella, the glove and the muff, each decorated and illustrated by Paul Avril and with four original drawings for the book.

The original drawings, each for a vignette, border or tail-piece, are as follows:

- thick sheet of card (260 x 158 mm) with the original drawing in black ink for the border of page 20 in 'L'Ombrelle' featuring chivalric scenes of tournaments, knights in armour, threatened maidens and so, the large central area for the text blank and crossed through with the note 'biffer / ces 2 lignes', the verso inscribed (by the artist?) 'Ombrelle / scènes moyen âge / page 20 [sic] / P Avril' in pencil; the published border is reduced in size.

- thick sheet of card (165 x 222 mm) with the original drawing in pencil for the vignette at the foot of page 61 in 'L'Ombrelle' showing a variety performance on an outdoor stage, the performers and the audience holding umbrellas, the verso inscribed 'page 61 / P. Avril' as for the previous drawing and in the same hand; the published vignette is reduced in size and printed in bistre.

-thick sheet of card (164 x 244 mm) with the original drawing in pencil for the vignette at the foot of page 81 in 'Le Gant' showing a 'chambre ardente' and the torture on the rack and by waterboarding of the Marquise de Brinvilliers, the verso inscribed 'Ombrelle [sic] / scène de l'inquisition / page 81'; the published vignette is reduced in size and printed in bistre.

- thick sheet of card (260 x 165 mm) with the original drawing in black ink for the final tail-piece of the book printed at the conclusion of 'Le Manchon' on page 132 showing eight putti flying hand-in-hand around a column surmounted with an umbrella, gloves and a fur muff (i.e. the contents of the book); the published tail-piece is reduced in size and printed in sanguine with the word 'FIN' added to a cartouche at the head of the column.

'Avril's ... drawings demonstrate how much he benefitted from the tightening of design which process reproduction makes possible. Reduced toafraction of their original size, their verve and precision are substantially enhanced.' (Gordon Ray, pg. 384).

[Ray 288 / 288A].
pp. iv, 138. Large 8vo. (268 x 180 mm). Half-title, printed title in red and black with vignettes in blue, 'Avant Propos', Uzanne's texts 'L'Ombrelle (Le Parasol - La Parapluie)', 'Le Gant (La Mitaine)' and 'Le Manchon (La Fourrure)' and 'Appendice, final leaf with achevé d'imprimer, the majority of pages with an elaborate decorative border in a variety of colours and the text illustrated with vignettes and text illustrations also in a variety of colours, all by Paul Avril, throughout. Contemporary blue half-morocco by Fock with binder's signature to front free endpaper verso, marbled boards and endpapers, banded spine with elaborate decorative gilt tooling and gilt title in six compartments, original publisher's printed wrappers with elaborate decorative vignettes in gilt and colour preserved, striped silk placemarker, t.e.g.

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