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THE KINGDOM OF THE PEARL
New York: Brentano's, 1915. First American Trade Edition. No. 12 OF 675 COPIES printed for sale in the United States (with an additional 100 copies signed and in quarter vellum; a total of 775 American copies) n. Hardcover. 297 x 236 mm (11 3/4 x 9 1/2"). 6 p.l., 150, [2] pp. First American Trade Edition. No. 12 OF 675 COPIES printed for sale in the United States (with an additional 100 copies signed and in quarter vellum; a total of 775 American copies). Publisher's ivory-colored cloth over gray patterned boards, top edge gilt, others untrimmed, and in the rare original dust jacket. Housed in a sturdy (slightly soiled) slipcase. CONTAINING 20 COLOR PLATES BY DULAC, with original descriptive tissue guards. Hughey 54e. Tissue guards uniformly toned as usual, jacket with extensive neat repairs to underside, small losses along top edge, sunning to spine, and other minor defects, but the volume itself in very fine condition. This is a desirable copy--in the rarely seen dust jacket--of a survey of pearls in history, culture, and legend, offered in an edition the contemporary literary critic of the "London Times" described as "fantastically Persian" and showing Dulac "at his best." After originally publishing the work under the title "Au Royaume de la Perle" in 1919, the author commissioned Dulac to produce watercolors appropriate to the text. He then arranged for Parisian publisher H. Piazza to issue a new edition with the Dulac illustrations and, later, for an English translation to be published in London. The print run for the latter edition was 1,500 copies, but when the book was commercially unsuccessful, the remaining sheets were sold to Brentano's in New York for the present American edition. Hughey says that the illustrations here "display a ripening of a Dulac style first seen in 'Sindbad the Sailor,' employed in some of his 'Fairy Book' pictures and developed fully in 'The Tanglewood Tales.' It is a Persian miniature style, but made quite his own. His plates . . . do much to bring a fanciful touch to the otherwise stark exposition of a treatise on pearls." This work is a curious amalgam of illustrative achievement and commercial strategem: at the time of the book's publication, Léonard Rosenthal was the largest dealer of natural pearls in the world and was known as "The Pearl King."
      [Bookseller: Phillip J. Pirages Fine Books and Mediev]
Last Found On: 2015-10-05           Check availability:      Biblio    

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