CREVEL, René (author) and Max ERNST (illustrator). Mr. Knife Miss Fork. Paris: The Black Sun Press, 1931. 8° (176 x 115mm). Title-page printed in red and black. 19 black and white photograms with original printed tissue guards. (Very occasional faint soiling.) Original black cloth, spine and front cover richly panelled and blocked in red, blue and gilt, back cover repeating the design in gilt, top edge gilt, the others uncut (lacking publisher's slipcase). Provenance: Jacques Matarasso (his sale, Loudmer, 2-4 December 1993, lot 284, lot card loosely inserted).
FIRST EDITION, ONE OF ONLY 50 COPIES ON HOLLANDE PAPER, SIGNED BY BOTH CREVEL AND ERNST on the half-title and frontispiece respectively. 'Although it is usually said that Ernst collaborated with Man Ray to make photograms of his frottages, it is more accurate to call them cliché-verres, using a process that Man Ray had explored previously in his Eggbeater series of 1917. Ernst's rubbings (from the embossed patterns on greeting cards, postcards, bookcovers, etc.) were done on very thin, translucent pieces of paper, which were then used as photographic negatives to make the prints. THE WHITE-ON-BLACK IMAGES DO A FINE JOB OF REPRESENTING THE DARK VISIONS OF DEATH AND DESIRE', 101 Books, pp.66-67; Auer, p.178; Minkoff A41; Published in Paris, p.409; Rainwater, Max Ernst: Beyond Surrealism 30; Spies and Leppien, Max Ernst: Das graphische Werk 13A.