BLACK SUN PRESS -- CROSBY, Harry. Sonnets for Caresse. Paris: N. Trécult for Albert Messein, 1926. 8° (165 x 108mm). Title with publisher's device in red. (Light offsetting from publisher's device and marker.) Original vellum, lettered in manuscript on the spine, hand-painted borders on boards, gold and purple marbled endpapers, original printed wrappers bound in, fabric marker (spine slightly darkened, boards very slightly warped). Provenance: 'Helenka' [?Helenka Adamowski Pantaleoni (1900-1987)] (presentation inscription on flyleaf 'Helenka from Harry , Paris MCMXXVII')--sale, Swann, 1 February 2001, lot 28.
THIRD EDITION, LIMITED TO 108 COPIES, THIS NO.23 OF 100 ON PAPIER VERGé D'ARCHES. INSCRIBED BY CROSBY. The original recipient of the volume was probably Helenka Adamowski Pantaleoni (née Adamowski), the Broadway and film actress, who later founded the U.S. Fund for UNICEF and became the President of the U.S. Committee for UNICEF. Adamowski and Crosby met at Harvard while he was a student there after World War I and Adamowksi was, like Crosby, a member of the Cercle Français--'an intellectual, and [...] a great beauty' (G. Wolff Black Sun, p.68). She remembered him at this time as 'an incredibly sensitive, high-strung, poetic individual who was wound up to such a pitch that even in those early days I wondered whether he would survive the year [he was] grave [yet] full of mischief ... a sort of mercurial being' (loc. cit.). In the somewhat cynical milieu of student society, Adamowski was one of the few members of Crosby's circle that he would reveal his nascent literary interests to; when he and Adamowski stayed at a friend's house in Cape Cod, she recollected him sitting 'by the hour outside leaning against the cottage wall and philosophizing. He had a deep spirituality and interest in poetry' (op. cit., p.69). Minkoff A3c.