21 March 2005
DUTUIT, Eugène (d. 1886) -- Edouard RAHIR (1862-1924). La Collection Dutuit. Livres et manuscrits. Paris: L. Danel at Lille for the Librairie Damascène Morgand, 1899.
Large 2o (455 x 300 mm). LIMITED EDITION OF 350 COPIES, of which this is no. 98. Printed on Marais wove paper, watermarked Collection Dutuit and dated 1898. All pages ruled in red. With 70 text illustrations, 9 reproductions in heliogravure by Dujardin and Charreyre, 4 chromolithographic plates on papier du Japon, reproducing illuminated manuscripts (signed by Pralon and Engelmann) and 30 color plates of bookbindings (printed in relief). Original publisher's binding executed by Magnier, tan paper over paste-board (small defects), black-rule borders on sides, gilt label on spine, edges uncut. Provenance: Baron Horace de Landau (1824-1903) bookplate.
A sumptuous private-library catalogue, containing THE BEST COLOR PLATES OF BOOKBINDINGS EVER PRODUCED. Léopold Delisle of the Bibliothèque nationale called the catalogue "un des recueils les plus précieux que nous possédions pour l'histoire de la typographie et de la reliure;" Wilfred Merton of Emery Walker, the Hammersmith plate-makers, considered the binding reproductions unsurpassed and attempted unsuccessfully to imitate Danel's process (see lot 133). First, a burnished gold ground was laid on a sheet of Japan-vellum paper, then the colors were printed on top. The book cost 200 francs. The Landau-Breslauer copy is well preserved and has the original prospectus (including a splendid plate of a Grolier binding) loosely inserted.
The Dutuit Collections survive today in the Musée du Petit Palais in Paris; for the books Rahir's work must still be consulted as no modern catalogue supersedes it.
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