Sims Reed Rare Books×

Le Marteau sans Maître

Kandinsky, Wassily. Char, René

Paris. Editions Surréalistes. 1934
The édition de tête of the first edition of René Char's collection with Wassily Kandinsky's original frontispiece etching and bound by Georges Leroux.

From the édition de tête limited to 20 numbered copies on papier de Hollande van Gelder with Kandinsky's original dry point engraving as frontispiece; only copies from the édition de tête were issued with the original engraving.

Kandinsky's untitled etching, issued in only 20 impressions, was followed by only two further etchings, those for 'La Main Passe' (1934) and 'Fraternity' (1939), before Kandinsky's death in 1944. Pablo Picasso was a profound admirer of Char and of the work, which collected all of Char's poems published after 1927, and submitted an etching for the second edition - printed in a very similar format to this edition - published again by José Corti's Editions Surréalistes, in 1945. A third illustrated edition was also published, illustrated by Joan Miró, in 1976. This first edition and in this issue of 20 copies with Kandinsky's etching is the rarest of the editions; Picasso's etching for the édition de tête was issued in 25 copies while the version with Miró's etchings was an edition of 215 copies, 50 with an additional suite.

'Le Marteaus sans Maître' includes 'Abondance Viendra', 'Poèmes Militants' (it appeared here for the first time), 'Arsenal' (corrected and with four new poems), 'Artine' and 'L'Action de la Justice est Eteinte'. In the present copy, the poems 'Sosie' and 'Détachement' feature corrections by Char in green ink. He has amended the last line of 'Sosie' to read: 'Je ne vais pas au bout de ta pauvreté' for 'tes misères', a change reflected in the subsequent editions.The first line of 'Détachement' ('La fleur du pissenlit a perdu son identité') is crossed through and Char has drawn an arrow to it from a note beneath: 'Ce vers ricanait qu'il meurs / comme tant ce fin ricane. / R. C.' 'Détachement' was renamed 'Dentelée' for subsequent editions but was altered considerably by Char and the first line crossed through here was removed entirely.

'Des trois éditions illustrées du 'Marteau sans Maître', celle-ci (la première) est la plus rare ... Dans une lettre à Char du 28.11.1933, Kandinsky accepte la demande de fournir une gravure pour son livre, bien qu'il ne connaisse pas l'auteur. Avec 'La Main Passe' de Tzara, c'est le seul ouvrage poétique illustré par Kandinsky [sic] ... '. (De Parallèlement à Chanson Complète).

'Auflage: 20 eigenhandig signierte Exemplare auf Van-Gelder-Butten ... Veroffentlicht in der Luxusausgabe von Rene Char, 'Le Marteau sans Maître', Paris, Editions Surréalsites, 1934.' (Roethel).

[Roethel 199; see 'De Parallèlement à Chanson Complète' pp. 357 - 364; see lot 100 'Bibliothèque François Ragazzoni Seconde Partie: Editions Originales', Paris, 13 / 14 May, 2003].
pp. 142, (i). 8vo. (192 x 146 mm). Leaf with half-title recto and 'Du Même Auteur' verso, leaf with Kandinsky's dry point engraving as frontispiece verso, printed title in red and black with copyright verso, Char's verse, two leaves with 'Table' and final leaf with justification and achevé d'imprimer recto. Full black crushed morocco by Georges Leroux with his signature gilt, boards with abstract geometric rules in gilt and green and outlined parallelograms, several with inlaid café crème calf, smooth spine with gilt titles, café crème calf doublures, bright green brushed suede free endpapers, original publisher's printed wrappers in black and red and backstrip with titles in black preserved, a.e.g., black morocco-edged green paper-covered board slipcase with additional signature at foot.
#47944

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