• The Steven A Greenberg Collect auction at Christies

    Sale 2651

    The Steven A Greenberg Collection Masterpieces of French Art Deco

    12 - 13 December 2012, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 43

    [FRANCOIS-LOUIS SCHMIED, illustrator (1873-1941), JEAN DUNAND, laqueur (1877-1942), GEORGE CRETTÉ (1893-1969), binder.] ERNEST RENAN, translator. Le Cantique des cantiques. Paris: F.-L. Schmied, 1925.

    Price Realised  

    [FRANCOIS-LOUIS SCHMIED, illustrator (1873-1941), JEAN DUNAND, laqueur (1877-1942), GEORGE CRETTÉ (1893-1969), binder.] ERNEST RENAN, translator. Le Cantique des cantiques. Paris: F.-L. Schmied, 1925.

    8o (245 x 170 mm). ILLUSTRATIONS: 80 pages each with colored wood-engraved illustration, decorative or pictorial initial or borders by F.L. Schmied. SEVEN WATERCOLORS BY SCHMIED tipped in, including frontispiece, three designs for the binding plaque, the design of the doublures, and two additional watercolor illustrations. BINDING: contemporary brown morocco, by GEORGE CRETTÉ gilt tooled with four horizontal gilt fillets and a light brown morocco band at foot of binding, set with a central lacquered circular plaque (106 mm) by Jean Dunand after F.L. Schmied of a female head, gilt ruled white morocco doublures with large design of the Star of David in gilt with red and black morocco inlays, silk linings, gilt edges, half morocco chemise and morocco tipped slipcase.

    LIMITED EDITION, number 64 of 110 copies signed by Schmied on the limitation page. EXCEPTIONALLY FINE AND UNIQUE COPY enriched with original designs for the binding and additional watercolor illustrations of the text.


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    Georges Cretté, one of the most talented students at the Parisian École Éstienne, worked in Marius-Michel's prestigious bookbinding studio as the lead finisher until the master's death in 1925 when, a month later, he took over the firm known for its floral Art Nouveau flair. In order to retain Marius-Michel's clientele, Cretté initially continued this aesthetic. Gradually, however, his own geometric style took hold of which the present lot with its overlapping lozenge pattern is a fine example. His crisp, linear Art Deco designs often incorporated inlays of metal, ivory or enamel and exotic leathers and animal skins. The use of gold fillets was a hallmark of Cretté's designs and executed with such virtuosity as to earn him the nickname maître des filets. In some instances his bindings incorporated panels by contemporaries such as Paul Jouve, François-Louis Schmied and Jean Dunand. Cretté would also execute work for fellow binding designers such as his good friend Schmied who, while producing most of his own designs, did commission from Cretté on occasion, such as the two here offered titles Paysages Méditerranées (lot 42) and the present lot.

    Provenance

    Henri Piccard (inscription by Schmied).