Books for Trade: Claude de LAUNIES; CROISIÈRE AMOUREUSE, EO, New-York – Paris, Sous le signe du grand écart, s.d. [Paris, Maurice Duflou, vers 1937]

This Book

Rare erotic work of the 1930s, signed by a certain Claude de Launies, a pseudonym behind which Renée Dunan (1892-1936 or 1944), a pioneer of the feminine, or perhaps Johannès Gros (?-1936/37) could hide. The book was published by Maurice DUFLOU (1885-1951), who used for the occasion a fictitious cover, “Sous le signe du grand écart”. It follows the sexual adventures of a young American woman, Marjorie. It is set on the ocean liner “Normandy”, on which she embarked from New York, that she will be seduced by a stranger, before perfecting her sexual knowledge in Paris where, as she says, she intends to “learn love”. For, you imagine, to believe the books and her friends, it would only be in Paris that we know how to dress… and undress.” The clichés have a hard life… Whether or not Paris deserves its reputation as the capital of love, Marjorie will have fun in every sense of the word: sodomy, lesbianism, sadomasochism, several affairs, “tester” of lovers for a Countess, etc. Almost everything goes with delight! Pleasant curiosa, fun and well written enough for the genre.

Title Page and Limitation

CROISIÈRE AMOUREUSE, roman érotique de Claude de LAUNIES, illustré en couleurs – EO, New-York – Paris, Sous le signe du grand écart [Maurice Dulflou], New York – Paris [Paris], no date, printing [around 1937] paperback, in-8 (about 21.5 H x 15 L cm) – (3 ff.) – 151-[1] – (1 ff.) cream-coloured textured wraps titled in blue; on front cover only, over plain card covers. With 12 free compositions in colours, unsigned, 12 off-texts (approx. 16.8 H x 11.2 L cm with about 8 mm bowls; drawings of approx. 15 H x 9.5 L cm) Text decorated with 9 wood cuts in bistre / red, attributed by Dutel to Louis BERTHOMMÉ SAINT-ANDRÉ (1905-1977) 2 headings (the first repeated five times; the second, four times), 6 cul-de-lamps and 1 title sticker. 120/ 350 ex. of the current print on velin pur fil.

Condition: Cover/ shirt: a little shabby, with some smudges.. There are various small spots or freckles on the first plate, and several smudges, especially at the back head (which seems to have been  glued) and at the top right on the second plate, at the level of an old tear (about 4 cm) that has been (mischievously) restored (glued and paper inside). In addition, small slits in the head and tail of the back (about 2 cm and 1 cm). Brown traces of adhesive on the inner covers (likely adhesives of an old protection), with a slight transfer on the half title and the last page (see images) . Top slice a little dusty. Otherwise, nice overall freshness, generally clean if not a few small freckles isolated or discharges on some sheets: p. 8-10 (8 mm), 27 (gutter), 62-64 (lower corners), 70, p. 79, p. 88 – Text may be slightly affected (p. 8-10 or p. 88), but engravings are spared. A small line of zig-zag ink (8 mm) p. 119 at the gutter

Front Cover

back cover

Chapter heading

illustration 1

Chapter ending

sample text

illustration 2

illustration 3

Sample Text

illustration 4

Sample text

Sample Text

illustration 5

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illustration 6

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illustration 7

illustration 8

illustration 9

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illustration 10

illustration 11

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illustration 12


Scissors and Paste. Duflou Bibliography

Note from Duflou bibliography:

20. LAUNIES, (Claude de). – Croisière amoureuse.
New York, Paris, sous le signe du Grande Ecart [c.
1937]. 8vo. pp. 152. Twelve colour plates and many
culs-de-lampe, the latter being designed by Berthommé
Saint-André. Limited to 352 copies. [No repository
copies located, but cited in the important “Curiosa”
auction held at Nouveau Drouot on March 11th 1987,
lot no. 70. Dutel, no. 1317.]

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