Two volumes, 8vo, pp. 351, [1, blank]; 356; fine, in (not before 1861) crimson morocco, sextuple gilt fillet outer border, single gilt fillet inner border, board edges with double gilt-fillet, spines gilt ruled in six compartments, the second and third lettered direct; turn-ins with sextuple gilt fillet, signed Chambolle-Duru at foot; all edges gilt, rainbow silk markers.
US $3358 €2835
First edition of Gautier’s historical romance based loosely on the life of the French opera star Mademoiselle Maupin, who often dressed as a man. In Gautier’s hands her life becomes the story of a love triangle between Maupin, a man d’Albert, and his mistress Rosette (who falls in love with Maupin in disguise as Théodore). The Preface is famous for its advocacy of art for art’s sake – ‘everything useful is ugly’.
René Victor Chambolle and Hippolyte Duru worked in collaboration from 1861. Well-respected in bibliophilic society, examples of their work featured in the collection of Henri d’Orléans, duc d’Aumale. The Duke considered Duru to be one of the three greatest living binders, “Ce Duru est un habile homme et j’ai de magnifiques reliures qui sortent de ses mains” (1856). While the collaboration was dissolved by 1863, Chambolle remained in charge of the bindery, and subsequent bindings were also signed Chambolle-Duru.
Vicaire III 886.
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