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2016-07-27 15:19:29
BRASSAÏ, & Paul Morand
Paris de Nuit
Paris: Edition Arts et Métiers Graphiques,, 1933. Quarto. Spiral bound photographic wrappers, titles to front cover in red. Housed in a black quarter morocco solander box, titles to spine in red, with chemise. Illustrated with 64 full page gravure plates. Slight wear to several punch holes, some minor rubbing but a superior copy of a notoriously vulnerable book. First edition, first printing. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author at the start of the introduction, "à Pierre Cot, Voici un joli decor pour La Patriouille etc... (Chut! Chut! Chut!) tres fideliement P. Morand Paris, fev. 32". Pasted below this is a small photograph of Brassaï in later life which probably relates to the photographer's subsequent inscription on the following leaves where he writes, "Pour Christian-Vincent Matarasso ce Paris de Nuit perdu et retrouve avec toute ma sympathie Brassai Ete Village le 7 mai 1965". Pierre Cot was a politician who was central to the establishing of the French Air Force and later of Air France. The mildly cryptic inscription alludes, we believe, to the French equivalent of Britain's Red Arrows, a display wing of the air force. The Morand–Brassai collaboration remains one of the most influential of all photobooks. It was groundbreaking both in its stark realism and, more importantly, conceptually. From Brandt's Night in London to Bill Owen's A Day Off, photographers have been inspired by the conceit of the captured moment as mosaic. Signed copies of this work are rare, copies inscribed by both author and photographer rarer still.
Bookseller: Peter Harrington [United Kingdom]

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