This tiny book, is a bibliographic mystery, well at least it is to me, as I am unable to locate any reference to it. So as always in these cases I would very much appreciate any information that anyone can offer. The illustrations that accompany the book are delightful, and I guess them to be circa 1930. But that is all I have, a guess.
Contes Libertins, par Grecourt, Nogaret,Vergier, Piron etc… n.p , n.d, Clandestine publication C 1930? In original publishers, anonymous card covers, title printed in black on front, No print or publication details, a clandestine publication. 120 numbered pages, (12.5 x 8 cm) with blanks for placement of tipped in, unsigned colour illustrations, which are contained in an opaque folder. Each of the eight illustrations is indexed with a title and page placement number. Overall condition of book is good, being rather crumpled and separating from cover at the centre of the book (but holding), the illustrations are in very good near fine condition.
The reference to Dutel presumably says the same but in French.
QU’EN PENSEZ-VOUS? n.p., n.d. [c.1958] (Losfeld). In original, publishers textured cream coloured card covers, title in purple on front cover, otherwise completely anonymous. (23 x 14.5 cm),blank ffep, half title, Title Page, blank verso, followed by 21 illustrations on 22 pages (inc 1 double page illustration) all printed in black on thick card. Absolutely no text or publication details.
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 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
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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This one is for the bibliophiles, no illustrations! A very rare item, effectively a pornographic novelette, written in letter form, a salacious account of an alleged visit by an English doctor to a convent prison in Siberia, where he witnesses and records the most severe of tortures and punishments to the female inmates, by which he finds himself extremely aroused, and following his departure from said institution seeks to re-enact his experience by employing prostitutes versed in the fetishist arts. Strong stuff not for the faint hearted. And yes it is in English, a French version was published in a compendium of flagellation material also by Carrington but minus the sexual content.
Curious Sidelights of Social History: How Women are Flogged in Russian Prisons, Narrative of a Visit to a Convent Prison in Siberia, by an English Doctor. Paris, Librairie des Bibliophiles, 13 Faubourg Montmarte,1899. In original publishers paper wraps, printed in red and black on a salmon pink paper, over plain card covers. List of English Publications printed on back cover, interestingly this is clearly over-stamped “12 Jan 1903”, Title page duplicates the cover and is also printed in red and black. Contents. 12.07cm. x 19.69cm. xvii + 48pp. Printed on laid paper. Condition, Under a protective opaque sleeve, the book is complete, but shaken, stitching visible, in paper wrap, some light foxing to front cover and spine, Very Good.
This title is from the Michael Neal Collection
The date stamp, obviously a later addition at the top of the back cover is possibly another indication that the books were stored in sheets and wrappers added when a copy was ordered, thus explaining some confusion caused to bibliographers, when advertisements for titles often list books, printed years after the publication of the book under scrutiny.
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How Women are Flogged Flogged in Russian Prisons
Narrative of a visit to a convent prison in Siberia by an English doctor. Paris: Libraire des Bibliophiles, 1899.
12.07cm. x 19.69cm. xvii + 48pp. Printed on laid paper. Title page printed in red and black.
A note in the Kinsey copy states: “More erotic than the French version in Villiot’s Curiosities et Anecdotes de flagellation”.
A rare and controversial item, not published until after the death of the author, originally published in text only by Simon Kra around 1926, followed by a number of clandestine editions, some allegedly illustrated, but difficult to authenticate as to whether the illustrations were issued with the book or were extra illustrated by owners of the various editions of the book. For our example this is not a problem because the illustrations clearly belong to the scenarios offered up in the text. The artist remains anonymous, but has been accredited elsewhere to Peter Schem, and I am inclined to agree with this as I have owned other titles attributed to Schem.
As always with delicately coloured illustrations, it is difficult to do them justice with digital imagery and the tendency is to try and enhance the colouration, I have resisted that temptation in this listing and the images are as close as I can get to the originals. A lovely copy of a rare and interesting title and hard to believe it is now over 70 years old.
Pierre Louys: Manuel de civilité pour les petites filles à l’usage des maisons d’éducation. n.p. Londres (Nice) MCMXLVIII, (1938). 105/271 copies “pour un groupe d’amateurs” on Vélin de Rives (total edition 299). The edition is illustrated with 12 clearly erotic original lithographs on panels that have been coloured by hand. As issued in off white textured slip case with slightly dirty edges and corners. Quarto (25 x 17 cm.). 104 pp., 4 ff. as loose gatherings, 12 aquarelles in pochoir. Printed wrappers in black and pale green, printed throughout in green and black. With an interesting limitation notice.
And an extraordinarily beautiful book it is too. Purchased as an investment piece. I must admit that I am not a particular fan of the artist Viset, (Luc Lafnet), even though I have had many books illustrated my him, his Viset identity is usually reserved for his explicit work, Jim Black, mainly for his flagellation material. If I have to choose, then the Viset material, to me is comically obscene, and Jim Black, just weird but not really weird enough.
As for clandestine publishing, and its mysteries, then the combination of Perceau, Briffaut and Duflou, singularly or in any combination, have produced some of the finest of books and this one is no exception, I leave the decision making to the experts and my favourite expert is Patrick Kearney and the bibliographical description is his.
Note: The images are in book form and taken in a way that does not stress or damage the book, as a result they are not flattened images, and may have shadows caused by the curvature of the page when the image is taken, I adjust exposure to give the clearest picture for presentation on this site, the images in the book are clearer and sharper than the images presented here, they are after all engraved plates and not photographs.
This Book: GAUTIER, Théophile. – Lettres à la Présidente et galanteries poétiques. édition contenant soixante-cinq lettres inédites et le texte exact de la lettre d’Italie. Publiée avec une introduction et des notes par Helpey [Louis Perceau]. Accompagnée d’une étude sur la Présidente par Sylvestre Bonnard [Pierre Dufay]. Neuilly [Paris]: éditions du Musée secret [?Maurice Duflou],
Beautifully bound in quarter black leather, with 5 raised bands, author and title in gilt on spine, on blue and grey marbled boards, with matching inner lining. Three sets of additional fep’s, Original covers and spine preserved. Photographic frontispiece of the author, title page printed in red and black matches the cover exactly, 199 numbered pages, printed on Japon Imperial. Letter “I” of 15 copies lettered A-0. (dimensions in binding (23.5 x16 cm) (Weight 1kg)), photographic image on page 101. The 11 engraved plates signed “Viset”, with artists embellishments are all in the latter part of the book after page 121. The list of contents are as detailed in the image below. A fine collection quality copy.
Table of contents
Bibliographical description courtesy of Patrick Kearney
GAUTIER, Théophile. – Lettres à la Présidente et galanteries poétiques. édition contenant soixante-cinq lettres inédites et le texte exact de la lettre d’Italie. Publiée avec une introduction et des notes par Helpey [Louis Perceau]. Accompagnée d’une étude sur la Présidente par Sylvestre Bonnard [Pierre Dufay]. Neuilly [Paris]: éditions du Musée secret [?Maurice Duflou],
1927. 8vo. 199 pp., pl. et portrait. photographiques deThéophile Gautier et de Mme Sabatier, pl. gr. à l’eauforte signées Viset [Luc Lafnet]. Limited to 465 lettered and numbered copies. [Bibliothèque Nationale (3 copies).
A slight diversion back into the world of clandestine publishing. This one has some familiar features around the structure of the title page and the printers motif, but I am hesitant to attribute it to a particular publisher without a little more research. Perhaps one of you knows who the guilty party was?
I have seen this one listed for sale elsewhere with 10 illustrations, and in fact Dutel sees only 10 illustrations, there are in fact 11, one being the frontispiece, as the images below will evidence.
ANON; SÉDUCTION. Jeunes amours. Avec des gravures sur cuivre par un artiste célèbre. Published by Aux dépens d’un amateur, pour le profit de quelques autres, MCXXXIX (1939). No Publisher, printed 30th April 1939. In original pink card sleeve and slipcase, 143 p. 24.5 x 20 cm. Loose sheets, White cover with title printed in red, Inner envelope with colour illustrated frontispiece, limitation 49/99, Title page printed in red and black with printers motif medallion printed in red. 10 loose full page illustrations, with very delicate hand coloured etchings. Chapter headings decorated in red and black, black motif chapter endings. Pink Cover and sleeve show signs of use and some discolouration, contents clean and bright with all 11 colour illustrations. Complete Very Good.
Introducing the first in a new series of books illustrated by Martin Van Maele. I shall in time link to existing material by this artist already on this blog, much of which , are from titles published by Charles Carrington, another collection focus for me in months to come. This title however is not from Carrington, but is a clandestine publication, from one of Briffaut’s , many under cover imprints.
Les Gaietés de Béranger; A Éleuthéropolis , A l’Enseigne de Cupidon, n.d [c1920]. 8vo. (23 x14 cm), 102 pp (inc, 2 pages Table of contents). Frontispiece + 11 unsigned engravings done in black. Clandestine title but Briffaut. True first with no reference to the artist ( A later edition credits “Van Triozem”, Martin Van Maele’s preferred alter ego for more explicit works), this copy, with uncut pages, and loose illustrations, which are indexed by pencilled description of location in text as well as page number. Very good copy, possibly unique edition.
I am embarking on a short list, of titles which are all , what I refer to as rescued books, this is because although the general condition is at best Fair to Good, they are such rare titles that their importance outweighs any consideration of condition.
R. de B. Voluptueux souvenirs ou Le Souper des douze. Pour la bibliothèque des “Disciples d’Éros” [Maurice Duflou], Romainville. [Paris]1927. Contents 143 pp ,Rebound in red boards. Original frontcover, preserved. 12 B&W inset illustrations by Achille Devéria, reproduced in half-print and drawn in bistre on coated paper. Specifications : In-4 ecu. Book reserved for subscribers only and not for the trade. Edition limited to only 350 copies, this one being no 215/350, on paper Pur Fil Lafuma.
Notes : This work was written to accompany two series of engravings by Devéria: The Five Senses and The Seven Deadly Sins .
A very nice clandestine publication, text only and in a very nice binding so awkward to provide images, but of interest to the serious erotic bibliophile.
Pierrot: Séduction. Jeune amours au chateau, à la pension. (Suivi de quatre pièces célèbres: L’Examen de Flora, Les Filles de Loth, L’Ode à Priape, Deux Gougnottes).: En vente partout et nulle part [n.p. Paris, Briffaut], 1910. 8 °. 250 p.. In a half leather fine binding on coloured boards, 5 raised bands, gilded decoration to head and tail of spine, title ” Pierrot – Séduction -Divers” in gilt lettering on spine. All page edges in gilt. Original covers preserved printed in red and black on orange card covers, title page printed in red and black, each of the additional texts have their own half-title. Produced in a limited edition of 350 copies this copy unnumbered. Bookplate pasted inside front board. Very good near fine condition, A rare title. My copy appears to differ from two others listed on the web.
There appears to be some confusion as to who Pierrot was, and it is suggested that he may be a Dr Brennus, not to be confused with Don Brennus Alera, that is just lazy bibliography.