After another long absence, I return with some very rare ephemera from the Paris Olympia Press. Listed here only briefly, I will post more detailed descriptions if there is any interest.
I shall in the coming days post some more illustrated erotica, in particular some material from the now defunct Erotic Print Society.
I am still considering letting my Olympia Press collection go to a new home, but in the mean time I continue to seek the few missing items.
The New Paris Teaser
The New Stripteaser
Olympia Press Catalogue 1960
The above items are all rare, but none so rare as the New Stripteaser, no copy has ever been in any of the major collections, and at the time the last bibliography as released, it was only identified as having been mentioned in a catalogue.
The Burroughs 1960 catalogue, is now a rarity because of the Burroughs connection.
I am still seeking 2 Teasers, “The Paris Teaser” and “Paris Exotique”, the English and French versions of the same publication.
As I have often mentioned before, the ephemera is the biggest challenge in trying to complete a collection. I am always delighted to find a catalogue. This one used to be quite common. I am always happy to be offered any similar items.
Below is a variant of the 1956 catalogue, with a link to my original listing. Same item but a different colour banner, orange instead of purple.
Having suffered a stroke last year, I was forced to consider what would happen to my collection should I die. A serious enough issue, given tales of shark like dealers descending on the recently bereaved and picking off the prized items from remaining partners who have no idea of what to do with the books, and even less idea of the potential value.
This is especially true of erotica as there is an understandable embarrassment, attached to such material, especially illustrated books, and I have heard of some such material being destroyed to avoid having to deal with it, and though this is perhaps the best disposal for modern pornography, this is less of a problem with my Paris Olympia Press collection as they are 99% without illustrations.
Having explored possible methods of disposal, I had been in negotiation with Bonhams of London with a view to the collection going to auction this June, when a combination of my own health issues and an extended family crisis prevented me from cataloguing the books, a task that Bonhams offered to cover, but I really wanted to complete myself.
So i find myself delaying the selling of the collection, and almost immediately other items turn up, within the past month or so, I have obtained a catalogue that I do not have a copy of, one of the missing Teaser magazines and a much improved copy of “The Castle of the end of Love”, a very hard to find Ophelia Press title.
I must admit to a sense of relief at still having the collection, as after so many decades of collecting the loss would be hard to take. It my be that I will reconsider next year, which gives me more time to locate the few missing items that would allow me to complete. Which also means that I will continue with this site, given that its sworn purpose is to assist with completing my Paris Olympia collection, something that is easy to forget, given that the vast majority of the books that I list are nothing to do with the Olympia Press at all.
So to give me a reason to carry on, please remember to look out for Paris Olympia material for me. And if you have any erotica (not photographic pornography please) that you want rid of then complete a contact form and I may be able to assist.
Below is an image of my Paris Olympia Press collection as of today. Coming soon recent finds and some very rare illustrated erotica.
A truly pristine item of ephemera, and a most welcome addition to my collection. This is a perfect example of the material that I am seeking, this one is courtesy of Arcana Cabana in the Netherlands, who kindly agreed to seperate the price list from an edition of Justine, where it had sat between the leaves, untouched for over 50 years. You can view the Arcana Cabana site below.
Paris Olympia Press, Price list and Order form, Spring 1962.
Printed both sides in black and red on a single sheet of pale yellow card, measuring 27×9 cm. Paris bookshop sticker affixed to base of the form on the verso.
The titles in red are highlighted as new editions due to be published, interestingly, the low number Traveller’s Companion Series titles had been in print since 1955/56, therefore at TC 13 ” The Secret Life of Robinson Crusoe” was formerly entitled “The Sexual Life of Robinson Crusoe”, at TC 29, “Helen and Desire” was actually reissued as “Desire and Helen”, and at TC 40 ” The Organisation” was reissued as “The New Organisation”. Legend has it that the changes in title of these reprints was a ploy to confuse the Brigade Mondaine, who worked to lists of Olympia titles that had been banned in France, but as few, if any of the officials could read English a simple ploy such as above was enough to throw them off the scent.
You can also see that at TC 57, the sixth volume of Juliette was about to be issued, the slot for TC 58 was held vacant,eventually (in 1965) was occupied by “Juliette” volume seven, but at one stage in (catalogue 1958) it had been scheduled fo a TC edition of Becketts” Watt”. The title at TC 90 planned as ” The Sex Life of Ulysses” eventually came out as “A Bedside Odyssey”.
Another anomaly, under the Othello Books series (numbered 111-116), which were all to be published in 1962, at 116, sits “Sextet” by Hume Parkinson, which was not issued in this series, and appears to been passed over in the Danish imprint “Odyssey Library”, where it was supposed to be published in 1963, eventually turning up as TC 94 the last title to be published in the Travellers Companion Series in 1965.
No mention on this list of any of the Ophelia Press titles, which generally appear to have been run as a seperate enterprise the Ophelia titles are generally themed around flagellation and sado masochism which traditionally sat outside of mainstream erotica.
Such a significant amount of information from such a small piece of paper, and perhaps something of an explanation for my fascination, with the Olympia Press ephemera material.
Paris Olympia Press, Price list and Order form, Spring 1962.
After a long break from the blog, I am back in action more because of circumstances than by plan, but determined to make the most of my enforced idleness, I am updating material related to the collection and still seeking the few items that I do not have. Alongside this I am gathering the rare and obscure and hopefully bizzare items from around the web, to keep the semi-literate amongst you amused.
So just to remind you that the dedicated purpose of this blog is to provide access to information and images from erotica of all types, for free and to people who might not otherwise ever have sight of these books. But the primary purpose is to complete this Paris Olympia Press collection, and now that I need so few book titles, i am very keen to find the ephemera, for example catalogues, flyers, communication on headed paper, busines cards or anything associated with The Paris Olympia Press. l regularly update on new material coming into the collection, and list items that I am looking for under Books Wanted.
Here is an image of the collection in its latest state, please keep looking, If you have an item that you think might be of interest please use the contact form to get in touch.
Another great rarity and a very welcome addition to my collection, this was very kindly gifted to me earlier this year and arrived unexpectedly on my Birthday, the donor was John Mc Leish of Glasgow, who informed me that this item was formerly in the collection of Gershon Legman. I have had copy of this title before and the one referenced in the Bibliography as in the collection of Angus Carrol actually originated with me. Pat Kearneys speculation that the two items were stapled together at a later date is an error , as evidenced by this copy which has the same side stapled condition. I am tempted to separate the two pamphlets as the catalogue is of significant interest as it lists Beckett’s “Watt” at number 58 in the Traveller’s Companion Series, which never happened, I attempted to communicate this to a fellow collector who is convinced he has seen a copy of this TC Watt.but i have as yet had no response.
For now you will just have to settle for the limited images posted here as I do not want yet to seperate the two, and risk damaging either. Although it would be interesting to copy the catalogue in full, this will have to wait until I pluck up courage to carry out the operation, currently with only one reliable hand such a delicate task is at the moment beyond me.
On the Old Theme of Literature & Censorship with A List of Olympia Press Titles and Others. Paris Olympia Press 1958
The bibliographical information below is provided courtesy of Patrick Kearney, The Paris Olympia Press, Liverpool University Press 2007.
MY NOTE: The catalogue is dated MXMLV11 (1957) on the cover, it references Imp Mazarine as the printer but has no print details.
14.7.1 1958. On the Old Theme of Literature & Censorship. – 17.4 x 8.8 cm. Printed on white wove paper. A dated pamphlet of 32 pages, incl. plain typographical wrappers. A curious publication comprising for the most part extracts from the minutes of the Select Committee on the Obscene Publications Bill, which had been published by the British Government in1957. Printed by Impr. Mazarine, Paris.
Notes: It is doubtful that Girodias would issue a pamphlet of this sort unaccompanied by a sale catalogue or price list for his publications. A copy in Angus Carrollřs collection is stapled together with the item following (14.8.1). Whether the two were issued together as a single unit is uncertain. Despite being the same size and having the same date and printer, each is printed on a different coloured paper and they are connected awkwardly with two staples driven through the side. The possibility exists, however, that they were issued together but became separated, and were badly reunited by a later collector.
14.8.1 1958. A List of Olympia Press Titles and Others. 17.4 x 8.8 cm. Printed on pale blue wove paper. 24 pp. including plain typographical wrappers. Extracts from, or write-ups of, a number of Travellerřs Companion and Ophelia Press titles. There is a 2-page price list and order form, advertisements for German editions of Tropic of Cancer, Tropic of Capricorn and Querelle de Brest. There are also advertisements for L‘Erotisme au cinema and Technique de l‘erotisme by the prolific Giuseppe Maria Lo Duca. These illustrated works were actually published by Jean-Jacques Pauvert, but apparently distributed in some way by the Olympia Press. Printed by Impr. Mazarine, Paris.
Notes: Possibly issued to accompany a 32-page pamphlet called On the Old Theme of Literature & Censorship, reprinting extracts from the minutes of the Select Committee on the Obscene Publications Bill, which had been published by the British Government in 1957. See item 14.7.1, above.
This small volume has been listed on book sites for some considerable time, and was of no particular interest to me until I relised that from the description and photograph of the cover that this was likely to be the edition with colour illustrations, this from the knowledge that, the numbered edition has blue wraps and the unnumbered edition has pink wraps, this copy has a cream wrapper and was therefore likely to be the Alphabetical limitation, and so it turned out to be, but with a very sweet reward attached. Iinclude the booksellers listing, to assist with the story, and offer my profound thanks to Keogh Books, for this unique addition to my collection.
An Almanac for Amorists
by Broughton, James
Condition: , covers slightly sunned and with some loss at lower fore-edge of front cover, internally clean, book in good condition
, 38 pages, SIGNED and dedicated to Daphne Hunter from the author, and with photo of author at the front, Daphne Hunter starred in the 1953 film ‘The Pleasure Garden (directed by James Broughton) alongside the actor and illustrator Kermit Sheets, who illustrated this book.
Rare opportunity to se the delicately coloured illustrations , and so please see below. Apart from the additional material hand written by the author, for the collector, the format is slightly larger than the other editions and the illustrations are hand coloured, This copy is a unique alphabetical limitation 26 on Vélin d’Arches, | numbered A to Z; = 26¾ – Z³ ,see image for detail. The bibliographical information displayed below the images is courtesy of Patrick Kearney The Paris Olympia Press, Liverpool University Press 2007.
AN ALMANAC FOR AMORISTS James Broughton, 1955
2.6.1 AN ALMANAC FOR AMORISTS James Broughton, 1955
[Within a drawing of a pedestal, with three steps leading to summit, and surmounted by two pillars supporting a narrow, flat roof. In front of left pillar, the figure of a naked man, with a naked woman in front of right pillar. In one hand the woman carries a sign bearing the author‘s name; both figures support a banner with the title on it. The name of the Paris publisher, and place and date of publication are printed on the steps.] [In fancy lettering: ] JAMES BROUGHTON
| AN | ALMANAC | FOR | AMORISTS | [design of bird in flight ] | COLLECTION | MERLIN | PARIS 1955 |
Collation: 42 pp. 18.2 x 13.8 cm. Perfect bound, without signatures, edges untrimmed.
Contents: p. [i-iv] blank. p. [v] AN ALMANAC FOR AMORISTS, reverse blank. p.  title, as above. p.  Copyright 1955 | by James Broughton. | All rights reserved |in all countries. | Published by | Collection Merlin | 42, rue de Seine | Paris (6e) | in collaboration with | The Olympia Press. | Designed and decorated | by Kermit Sheets. p. , poetic dedications to Esto Broughton, Madeline Gleason and Robert Duncan. p.  A grateful acknowledgment | is made to Marguerite Caertani | in whose review, Botteghe Oscure, | many of these poems first | appeared under this same title. | Some of the other poems | were originally published | in Furioso, Folder, and Wake.. p.  contents, reverse blank. p.  full-page drawing illustrating Spring, reverse blank. pp. 9-37, text with full-page drawings illustrating the remaining seasons on pp. [15, 23, 31]. p.  list of Broughton’s other volumes of verse, and his films. p.  This edition of | An Almanac for Amorists | consists of 676 copies : | 26 on Vélin d’Arches, | numbered A to Z; | 150 on Pur chiffon, | numbered 1 to 150;| 500 on Offset supérieur, | unnumbered. |[all in bold:] IMPRIMERIE DES POÈTES | 20, Rue de la Harpe, Paris-5e | 1955. pp. [40-42] blank.
Binding: White wrappers, printed in black, overlapping on fore-edge and trimmed flush top and bottom. On front cover, a drawing of a naked man and woman, viewed from behind, holding a banner on which is written in fancy lettering AN | ALMANAC | FOR | AMORISTS. At foot of drawing is a narrow banderole bearing the author’s name. Printed down spine: James Broughton [-] AN ALMANAC FOR AMORISTS [-] Merlin. The back cover is blank.
Notes: (1) There are three Olympia Press issues of this printing: (a) The first issue, 26 copies on Velin d‟Arches lettered A to Z; (b) the second issue, 150 copies on Pur chiffon numbered 1 to 150; and (c) the third issue, 500 trade copies, unnumbered, as indicated at the end of the book. (2) There are known copies of the third issue (on Offset supérieur) which have added on the title page at the bottom either HALCYON PRESS LONDON or GROVE PRESS NEW YORK. It is unknown if these copies are part of the original 500 printed by the Olympia Press or if more were printed to accommodate these additional sub-issues. Both the Halcyon Press andeditions have a pink dustjacket,identical in design to the wrappers except that the name „Merlin‟ on the spine is replaced with the name „Halcyon‟ or „Grove‟ The inside flap of the front wrapper gives some critical comment on Broughton‟s work, the address of the English publisher or distributor (Halcyon Press, 15 New Row, London, W.C.2) or the American publisher or distributor (Grove Press, 795 Broadway, New York City 3), and the price of the volume, 4s 6d or $1, repsectively. The inside flap of the back wrapper, and the back wrapper itself, are both blank. (3) The printing of this work would seem to have been done by Bronislaw Kaminski, aka Bruno Durocher, who was also responsible for some reprints for the Olympia Press, and for The Castle of the End of Love, the unofficial first Ophelia Press title.His Éditions Caractères had a number of subsidiary imprints, including L‟Imprimerie des Poètes.
For me this is exactly what I have been looking for, in a very good year for extremely rare items to complete my collection, here is one item that is amazing to find, and is the real justification for this Blog.
Prospectus for ‘Watt’ a novel in English by Samuel Beckett. Collection Merlin 1953. 12mo. Single sheet prospectus. Fine condition.
The final title to complete my Atlantic Library set. An important addition to the collection, and increasingly difficult to find. Like other titles in the New into the Collection category this title is not for sale or trade.
4.7.1 THE CARNAL DAYS OF HELEN SEFERIS
Frances Lengel [Alexander Trocchi], 1954 FRANCES LENGEL | THE CARNAL DAYS | of | HELEN SEFERIS | THE ATLANTIC LIBRARY | published by |THE OLYMPIA PRESS | 13, rue Jacob, Paris Collation: 192 pp. -128. 17.6 x 11.4 cm., all edges trimmed. Printed on white wove paper. Contents: pp. [1-4] blank. p.  THE CARNAL DAYS |of | HELEN SEFERIS, reverse blank. p.  title, as above. p.  Printed in France | [rule] | Copyright 1954 | by The Olympia Press, Paris. p.  Introductory note. p.  blank. pp. 11-183, text. p.  blank. pp. [185,6], catalogue of all ten volumes of The Atlantic Library series, with descriptive matter for each. p.  PRINTED MAY 1954 | BY IMPRIMERIE RICHARD, PARIS | Dépôt légal : 2e. trimestre 1954. pp. [188-192] blank.
Binding: Orange wrappers, trimmed flush. Front cover: [printed in black and all contained within a white oblong frame matching proportions of book:] FRANCES LENGEL | THE | CARNAL DAYS | OF | HELEN | SEFERIS | THE ATLANTIC LIBRARY‘.
Spine: [lettered in white up spine, and all within a black panel:] THE CARNAL DAYS | [in white across bottom of spine:] 7.
Back cover: [in black:] FRANCS : 660 | NOT TO BE INTRODUCED INTO THE U.K. OR U.S.A.
BIBLIOGRAPHICAL Description provided courtesy of Patrick Kearney The Paris Olympia Press. The Liverpool University Press 2007.
An important addition to the collection, and increasingly difficult to find. Like other titles in the New into the Collection category this title is not for sale or trade.
4.6.1 YOUNG ADAM Frances Lengel [Alexander Trocchi], 1954
FRANCES LENGEL | YOUNG ADAM | THE ATLANTIC LIBRARY | published by | THE OLYMPIA PRESS | 13, rue Jacob, Paris Collation: 192 pp. -128. 17.8 x 11.3 cm., all edges trimmed. Printed on white wove paper.Contents: pp. [1,2] blank. p.  YOUNG ADAM. p.  THE ATLANTIC LIBRARY | LATEST VOLUMES | 1. THREE PASSIONATE LOVERS … | by René Roques | 2. HELEN AND DESIRE … by Frances Lengel | 3. LADIES AT NIGHT … by René Roques | 4. LUST … by Count Palmiro Vicarion | 5. MEMOIRS OF A WOMAN OF PLEASURE | by John Cleland | 6. YOUNG ADAM … by Frances Lengel | 7. THE CARNAL DAYS OF HELEN SEFERIS | by Frances Lengel |8. AN ADULTS STORY … by Robert Desmond | 10. MY LIFE AND LOVES (fifth volume) … | by Frank Harris| For complete catalogues | of Atlantic Library volumes and other titles, | Apply to: The Olympia Press | 13 rue Jacob, Paris, France.. p.  title, as above. p.  Printed in France [rule] Copyright 1954 | by the Olympia Press, Paris. p.  PART ONE. p.  blank. pp. 9-81, text. p.  blank. p.  PART TWO. p.  blank. pp. 85-144, text. p.  PART THREE. p.  blank. pp. 147-, text with, at foot of p. , printing details: PRINTED IN FRANCE | [rule] | Printed April 1954 by Imprimerie Richard, Paris | Dépôt légal : 2e trimestre 1954 . pp. [191-192] blank. Binding: Orange wrappers, trimmed flush.
Front cover: [printed in black and all contained within a white oblong frame matching proportions of book:] FRANCES LENGEL | YOUNG | ADAM | THE ATLANTIC LIBRARY.
Spine: [lettered in white up spine, and all within a black panel:] YOUNG ADAM | [in white across bottom of spine:] 6.
Back cover: [in black:] FRANCS :  | NOT TO BE INTRODUCED INTO THE U.K. OR U.S.A. | PRINTED IN FRANCE.
BIBLIOGRAPHICAL Description provided courtesy of Patrick Kearney The Paris Olympia Press. The Liverpool University Press 2007.