[n. p.]: Privately Printed for The Pierre Louÿs Society, 1928. Felix, Franz. Limited Edition. Hardcover. One of 933 copies, unnumbered, quarto size, 219 pp. Very good. Item #19032304
Ostensibly a translation of poems by a Greek woman named Bilitis, a contemporary of Sappho, in actuality "The Songs of Bilitis" was written by Pierre Louÿs (1870-1925) himself; the poems, although not truly written by a newly discovered Greek poet, are still valued for their "open and sensitive exploration of lesbian eroticism". Indeed, one of the first lesbian political and civil rights organisations in the United States, the Daughters of Bilitis, founded in San Francisco in 1955, took its name from this work (n. b., quote and info from the webstie of Sacred-Texts).
Providing gorgeous colour illustrations for this limited edition is Franz Felix (1892-1967), a prolific portrait artist and book illustrator, whose paintings here capture the sensuous and joyous feelings evoked in the poems.
___DESCRIPTION: Full green cloth, gilt illustration and lettering inside gilt ruled borders on the front board, gilt lettering and illustration on the spine, top edge gilt, fore- and bottom edges rough cut, frontispiece a full-colour illustration by Felix Franz, with lettered tissue guard, title page in red and black with circular green illustration, twenty-four (including frontispiece) full-page colour illustrations (collated complete), with lettered tissue guards, by Franz Felix throughout, text printed in purple inside green floral borders throughout, with the section "The Tomb of Bilitis" printed in black inside black decorative borders, with black-and-white headpiece; pure rag Unicorn laid paper, quarto size (11.5" by 9"), pagination: [i-xiv] xv-xxxi [xxxii-xxxiv] [1-4] 5-185, one of 933 copies, unnumbered.
___CONDITION: Very good overall, with a strong, square text block with solid hinges, and the interior is clean and bright; boards are clean overall with minor soiling, some rubbing to the head and tail of the spine, edges of the boards, and corners, light toning to the margins of some interior pages, cracked gutter at pages 46 and 47 (text block still strong), and there is a prior owner name written on the front free endpaper, with a small prior owner bookplate to the front paste-down with the same name.
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