GRAS, Madeleine, binder. MAILLOL, Aristide. LONGUS. ~ Daphnis & Chloe.
French edition, the version written by Amyot & edited by Courier. No. XXXIII of 500 signed copies, this signed by Maillol and initialled by Gonin, being one of the large paper Hors Commerce copies with roman numerals (often with two extra suites in black and sanguine but this with just one extra suite in sanguine). 49 woodcuts by Aristide Maillol (including one on the cover of the wrappers) with an additional complete suite of 48 woodcuts in sanguine (including one on the wrapper cover). Printed on Papier Maillol. Pp. , 217, . Thick 8vo., beautifully bound, including the suite, by Madeleine Gras in full light brown morocco with a perfectly executed curving gilt tooled pattern on both sides with gilt lettering and curves on spine, suede doublures and endpapers, signed on the upper turn-in, all wrappers bound in, all edges gilt. Housed in the original chemise and slipcase. A very fine, handsome copy.
Madeleine Gras (1891-1958) was a Parisian bookbinder whose work was first exhibited at the 1922 Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts. Her first teacher and a big influence was Henri Noulhac who also taught Rose Adler.
A few copies of Gonin’s ‘Daphnis and Chloe’ appeared with the 48 extra prints in sanguine and a very few with two extra suites in black and red. The extra suites always includes a sheet of the decorated initials used in the text but doesn’t include the two lone goat woodcuts on pp. 8 and the table des matieres in the text as they not unique and are from the groups of three goats illustrating pp. 72 and 161.
Gonin and Maillol’s book was a triumph of simple lines and subtle typography. Maillol had been introduced to book illustration by Harry Graf Kessler who had used Maillol to illustrated the Cranach Press ‘Eclogues’ in 1926. In 1937 Maillol returned to the delights of book illustration when images he had produced originally for the Cranach Press ‘Georgics’, which was to be unpublished by Kessler, were taken up by Gonin who then went on to produce this wonderful edition of Daphnis and Chloe which was simultaneously published in limited editions in French, English and German.
The illustrations are beautiful, John Buckland Wright was a great fan and wrote to Sandford at the Golden Cockerel Press: “They are probably far more erotic then even you would want me to do - I don't know - perhaps they correspond with your ideas. Actually I think you'd be prosecuted for publishing. Anyhow, they are quite perfect”.