Cendrars (Blaise)

Lot 94
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Estimation :
2000 - 3000 EUR
Result with fees
Result : 4 044EUR
Cendrars (Blaise)
Ɵ A night in the forest. First fragment of an autobiography. Au Verseau, Lausanne, 1929. 3 etchings by Charles Clément, with in the 20 head copies on japon impérial justified by the authors, the frontispiece enhanced in color by the artist and signed, an original Indian ink drawing, a refused etching included in the suites: a signed suite of the four etchings on japon nacré, a signed suite of the 2nd state of the four etchings, a signed suite of the four sanguine etchings on auvergne. Each of these documents (drawings, suites) is presented under its own titled cover. The receipt announces a copy on old japon with drawings and the manuscript, but it seems that it never saw the light of day; in addition, 475 copies on auvergne, i.e. 25 hors commerce, were printed. First edition (33 x 25 cm). Binding: mosaic box by Julien Bogousslavsky, executed by Loutrel (2006), slipcase. Publisher's nominative first copy on japon impérial, dedicated by the author and illustrator, complete with all announced documents (original drawing and suites), with an additional suite on auvergne and an autograph letter signed by Cendrars complaining about the "ignoble" drawings... "To Monsieur Fritz Roth in memory of Artigaux Blaise Cendrars". With a letter from the painter to the raised frontispiece: "A Fritz - à Celui qui vendait ses pères Avec mes félicitations Clément". The original drawing (monogrammed) is a variant of the frontispiece depicting Cendrars with his hand cut off (here the left hand, whereas in the frontispiece engraving it is the right hand, due to the inversion caused by printing). The present copy contains an autograph letter signed by Cendrars to Meuillot (1 page in-4 in blue ink), in which he states: "You're right. The drawings are despicable. I've been betrayed by a man I thought was intelligent"... The copy also contains an additional suite on auvergne of the book's three etchings, the book's subscription form (postcard format on orange strong paper), and a leaflet (4 pages in-8 on auvergne, s.d. [1925]) entitled Note sur le Verseau, outlining the history and plans of the publisher, the Société des Éditions du Verseau in Lausanne, founded in 1925: "Le Verseau will publish, early next year, in a deluxe edition, a previously unpublished work by Blaise Cendrars: Une nuit dans la forêt" (A Night in the Forest). The project dated back to 1925, but Cendrars took his time to write the text, and didn't send his typescript until early 1929, even though he had promised the publisher it by 1927, and according to the note above, the publisher was already expecting it by 1926! Une nuit dans la forêt, as its subtitle suggests, is Cendrars' first autobiographical essay, as always heavily laced with fiction. Whatever the Aquarius leaflet says, Cendrars wasn't exactly a prophet in his own country, and this remains the only book of any importance to have been published in Switzerland. Charles Clément (1889-1972) was a well-known painter in Switzerland at the time, although the present engravings were clearly not to Cendrars' taste. The dedicatee of this copy, Fritz Roth, along with his brother Max and brother-in-law Carl Sauter, was the founder of Éditions du Verseau. He also ran the most successful antiquarian bookshop in French-speaking Switzerland between the wars. Provenance: Fritz Roth; Grégoire Salmanowitz.
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