Die Aegyptische Helena. Oper in zwei Aufzügen.

[Leipzig, Mainzer Presse for Insel-Verlag, 1928.]

Large 8vo, pp. 97; one of 200 numbered copies, printed on laid paper; title printed in red and black, and opening initial in red; a few spots to endleaves, otherwise a fine copy in the original half vellum over blue paper boards, spine and front board lettered gilt, top edges gilt, other edges uncut; publisher’s original plain paper wrapper and slip-case.


US $906€865

Make an enquiry

Added to your basket:
Die Aegyptische Helena. Oper in zwei Aufzügen.

Checkout now

First edition of Hofmannsthal’s text for Richard Strauss’s opera – Hofmannsthal himself considered it to be his finest libretto. The opera was first performed on 6 June 1928 in Dresden, five weeks before Hofmannsthal’s death. The plot is a free adaptation of Euripides’ Helena, which introduces an Egyptian princess and sorceress, Aitra, into the story of Helen of Troy and her vengeful husband Menelaeus. Aitra assuages the husband’s anger and restores conjugal harmony.

This was the first book produced by the Mainzer Presse. This small private press was founded by Friedrich Wilhelm and Christian Heinrich Kleukens in 1927, following the model of the English private presses. 65 books were produced between 1928 and 1938, each printed with types invented by Christian Kleukens.

Wilpert/Gühring 118.

You may also be interested in...

A MOCKERY OF MELANCHOLY ‘RUFIANDER, Fabius Jocosus’ [pseud. Friedrich Julius ROTTMANN]. 

Curiöse Inaugural Disputation von dem Recht / Natur / Eigenschafften / Privilegiis und Praerogativen des Heut zu Tage bey Hohen und Niedrigen weit und breit regierenden Cornelii, welche unter dem Praesidio durch und durch gelahrten, tieffsinnigen und weitberühmten Herrn Vespasiani Curidemi, omnium facultatum Doctoris & p.t. Collegii Corneliani Vicarii &c. pro Gradu Privilegiis in dignitate A-Corneliorum rite capessendis in Collegio subterraneo, vulgo im Wein-Keller / zur öffentlichen Ventilation wider die Melancholicos darstellet Fabius Jocosus Rufiander Hierosolymitanus, Utriusque Vini ac Cerevisae Candidatus. 

First edition, very rare, of this satirical academic disputation on melancholy, dedicated to the author’s ‘unpleasant and universally despised’ peers in the hope of cheering them up (p. [4] trans.). 

Read more

RILKE, Rainer Maria. 

Les Fenêtres.  Dix poèmes de Rainer Maria Rilke illustrés de dix eaux-fortes par Baladine. 

First edition, numbered 146 of 500 copies on pur fil, of a total edition of 515.  A series of ten poems in French addressed by Rilke to his lover ‘Mouky’ or ‘Baladine’ Klossowska, who herself provided the illustrations.  Elisabeth Dorothea Klossowska née Spiro (1886–1969) met Rilke in 1919, and became his companion until his death in 1926.  Rilke addressed her by the pet name ‘Merline’ in their correspondence, which was published after his death. 

Read more