Paris: The Limited Editions Club, Printed by R. Coulouma, 1930. Masereel, Frans. Limited Edition. Wraps. No. 714 of 1500 copies, quarto size, 724 pp., signed by Franz Masereel, two volumes (complete) with original chemise and slipcase. Near fine. Item #17032424
Victor Marie Hugo (1802-1885) remains a household name today; he was a prolific author who published many popular works, including this one (also known as "The Hunchback of Notre Dame") and "Les Miserables". "Notre-Dame de Paris" was "the first work of fiction to encompass the whole of life, from the King of France to Paris sewer rats" (n.b., quote from Wiki) and was translated into English two years after publication; both the story and the characters have stamped themselves upon our cultural consciousness, and have often been turned into films, plays, and even the opera and ballet.
Frans Masereel (1889-1972) is considered one of the most famous Flemish woodcut artists of his time, and can be counted as one of the fathers of the modern graphic novel. The 1920s saw a revival of the medieval woodcut tradition, with Masereel cited as "the undisputed king" of this revival. He is perhaps best remembered today for his "wordless novels", particularly Mon Livre d'Heures (Passionate Journey).
With an introduction by Andrew Lang (1844-1912), a prodigious author in his own right and literary critic; his "fairy tale" series remains highly sought after today.
This set with the attractive Ex-Libris plates on the front free endpaper of both volumes of Charles Vetter, the plate designed by M.D. Carr and dated 1945. Mr. Vetter was apparently a pilot for American Airlines, with a stylized version of their early logo placed upon a stack of books on the lower right; he apparently also loved sports, with a set of ski poles and a tennis racquet with balls also incorporated into the design.
___DESCRIPTION: Bound in pink Ingres paper wrappers, small illustration on the front wraps of the Cathedral of Notre Dame, prior owner bookplates in both volumes as set forth above, frontispiece in Volume One a Masereel woodcut of Quasimodo, additional illustrations, both full-page and in-text, throughout the text; set in monotype Bodoni, Arches paper, quarto size (10.25" by 7.75"), pagination: Volume One, [i-iv] being the preliminary leaves, [i]-xxx, -309; Volume Two, [i-iv], -376,  colophon; limited edition of 1500 copies, this no. 714, signed by Frans Masereel. The paper wraps still in their original glassine wrappers, housed in a chemise and slipcase, both of grey and tan mottled paper, the chemise with the original cream laid paper spine label with black lettering.
___CONDITION: The volumes could almost be deemed fine; if read, it was gently, as the corners are straight, the text blocks strong, the hinges solid, the wraps and interiors both clean and bright, and other than the Ex-Libris plate of Charles Vetter free of prior owner markings; both text blocks slightly cocked, and a hint of rubbing to the head and tails of the spines, else fine. The glassine wraps also near fine with only the same hint of rubbing to the head and tails of the spine. The chemise strong and clean, with sunning to the spine and the original paper spine label, the paper covering the joints beginning to crack; the slipcase very good plus, strong and sturdy, some of the paper covering has flaked off revealing the cloth lining beneath, the seams at the openings just beginning to separate (one seam to about two inches, the other three only about a quarter-inch). Overall a near fine set, with all of the original pieces, with powerful images by one of the greatest 20th-century illustrators, by one of the 19th-century's great authors.
___CITATION: LEC Bibliography no. 13.
___POSTAGE: Please note that the set is unusally heavy and additional postage may apply, please inquire for details.
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