PRESENTED TO CHARLES GARNIER

L’architecture des nations étrangères. Etude sur les principales constructions du parc à l’Exposition Universelle de Paris (1867)

Paris, A. Morel, 1870.

Folio, pp. [iv], 27, [3], with 56 plates (numbered to 73), of which eleven are chromolithographed and four are double-page; some light spotting and dust-soiling (generally restricted to plate margins), but a very good copy in recent red morocco-backed marbled boards, spine richly gilt.

£9500

Approximately:
US $12692€10787

Make an enquiry

First edition. This is a presentation copy, inscribed on the half-title to the author’s friend Charles Garnier, architect of the Paris opera house that bears his name: ‘A son ami Ch. Garnier. Souvenir affectueux A. Normand’. The two men had known each other since they were both ‘pensionnaires’ at the Academy of France in Rome in the late 1840s and early 1850s.

Normand’s work is a detailed record of the principal edifices of the vast architectural theme park constructed for the Exposition Universelle of 1867, ‘a spectacle without equal which, in all probability, future generations will never have the opportunity to witness’ (translated from Normand’s preface). The 1867 exhibition was the first such event to feature actual buildings (temples, palaces, houses, schools) rather than mere models or architectural drawings. Normand devotes most attention to the Egyptian section (designed by Jacques Drevet) and to those of Tunisia and Morocco (both designed by Alfred Chapon).

‘In 1867 Tunisia’s and Morocco’s displays in Paris seemed to some observers a deliberate escape from the economic and political upheavals the two countries were experiencing. Agricultural, industrial, and commercial spheres were omitted: instead, there were palaces with exuberant interiors and furniture, royal costumes, and armour – simply “everything that glitters, shines, and adorns”. Others noted the artistic value of the Tunisian and Moroccan pavilions. Alfred Normand claimed that they “were important not only for their size, but also for their tastefulness, their picturesque effect, and especially the brand new and charming sensation that they arouse in us . . . . [Here was] a particular type of dwelling, where art was not excluded . . . from everyday activities” ’ (Zeynep Çelik, Displaying the Orient: architecture of Islam at nineteenth-century World’s Fairs, pp. 122–3).

Alfred Normand (1822–1909) was an architect and a photographer. His most notable commission was the celebrated Pompeian-style villa (now demolished) built for the prince Jérôme Bonaparte on the Avenue Montaigne in Paris.

You may also be interested in...

(FURNITURE, Trade Catalogue).

Album of original furniture designs, 80 leaves with over 125 designs, highly finished in ink and watercolour.

A fascinating album of original furniture designs in the Empire and Restoration styles, assembled for use as a trade catalogue, with all designs numbered in pencil and most described on the interleaved sheets (with designs numbered in ink). The furniture designs are all highly finished showing different woods and decorations; there are two round tables in lacquer, one with intricate Chinese design. The catalogue was assembled with some care. A curious feature of it is that some designs seem to be composite; whereby the legs were drawn directly on the paper but the top (writing desk, occasional table etc.) were drawn on a different sheet and then pasted on. The same can be observed with some additional features whereby the standard furniture was available with various add-ons.

Read more

‘I LOVED TO PHOTOGRAPH THE GREAT CITY’ COBURN, Alvin Langdon.

London … with an Introduction by Hilaire Belloc.

First edition of Coburn’s first book, with twenty photogravures hand-pulled from his own press in Hammersmith.

Read more