Sims Reed Rare Books×

Impressions of the Russian Ballet

[russian Ballet]. Allinson, A[drian]. P[aul]., Ethelbert White, Michel Sevier and Randolph Schwabe. Beaumont, C[yril]. W[illiam]

London. C[yril]. W[illiam]. Beaumont, 75 Charing Cross Road. 1918–1921
The complete series of Cyril Beaumont's appreciations of the productions of the Ballets Russes, each in the original wrappers and with illustrations coloured by hand.

Cyril Beaumont's 'Impressions of the Russian Ballet' presents his analysis and appreciation of eleven ballets (including the two issues devoted to the two parts of 'The Sleeping Princess') with frontispieces and vignette illustrations derived from the sets and costumes. As a bookseller in the Charing Cross Road, Beaumont's specialisation, at first general, had tended towards dance and by the end of the First World War he had also begun to publish on his favourite theme: the ballet.

Each of these appreciations is a remarkable production with a distinctive wrapper designed by the artist involved - Allinson, White, Sevier or Schwabe - together with their illustrations, all in the present series, coloured by hand. 'The Sleeping Princess Part One' is one of 40 copies on Japanese vellum; although no specific limitation is given for the remaining issues on wove paper,the UCLA catalogue suggest 150 copies were published.

The ballets described, with their illustrators, are the following: 'Cleopatra' (A. P. Allinson); 'The Good Humoured Ladies' (A. P. Allinson); 'Carnaval' (A. P. Allinson); 'Scheherazade' (A. P. Allinson); 'The Three-Cornered Hat' (Ethelbert White); 'Thamar' (Ethelbert White); 'L'Oiseau de Feu' (Ethelbert White); 'La Boutique Fantasque' (Michel Sevier); 'Children's Tales' (Michel Sevier); 'Petrouchka' (Michel Sevier); 'The Sleeping Princess Part One' and 'The Sleeping Princess Part Two' (Randolph Schwabe).

Although individual issues can be found, complete sets of 'Impressions of the Russian Ballet' are necessarily scarce. OCLC lists examples at Princeton, UCLA, Smith College (lacking the two final numbers) and the Royal Danish Library (ten numbers only) while COPAC adds a copy at the University of Northumbria; it is likely the V & A and other institutions also hold copies but have catalogued the single issues individually.

Full details of each of the issues are available on request.
12 issues. Small folio. (c.262 x 194 mm). Each issue (the first two are numbered) with frontispiece with colouring by hand, printed title, text describing each of the ballets by Beaumont and with between four and six vignettes also with colouring by hand; the illustrations by Allinson, White, Sevier and Schwabe. Stitched as issued in original publisher's printed pictorial wrappers of various paper stocks in different colours, several with additional applied labels with titles, hand-coloured vignettes etc., black cloth chemise with gilt spine with blue morocco label with gilt title and matching slipcase.