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First edition

Jules BARBEY D'AUREVILLY Les diaboliques


Les diaboliques

E. Dentu, Paris 1874, 12x18,5cm, (1f. faux-titre) (2 f. front.) (1f. titre) (1f.) (2f. préface) pp. 8 à 354 (1f. tab)., relié.

First edition, of which there were no large paper copies.
Near contemporary red half morocco over marbled paper boards by P. Ruban, spine in six compartments, raised bands bounded by black fillets, date gilt at foot of spine, marbled endpapers and pastedowns, covers preserved, top edge gilt.
Attractive ex libris engraved by Provost-Blondel on pastedown, representing a helmet with a feather, medallion and a strip with the motto “Tojours en face.” The ex libris belonged to Victor Coué, a 2nd Lieutenant killed in the First World War.
This copy has two frontispieces: one lithograph heightened by Félicien Rops showing a caricature of Barbey d'Aurevilly with the caption “Il n'a pour page que son ombre. TS [his page is none other than his shadow]” and a portrait of the author engraved by Paul-Adolphe Rajon (1843-1888).
This copy is further enriched with the eponymous series of engravings by Félicien Rops done between 1882 and 1886 with a view to a new edition by Alphonse Lemerre.
The meeting of these two major works of literature and history of art from the end of the 19th century makes for an exceptional and unique copy, since – contrary to what is generally thought – Rops' prints never actually accompanied Barbey's text in a genuine illustrated edition.
The series is composed of three frontispiece plates: La Femme et la folie dominant le monde I et II [Woman and Madness Ruling the World I and II], Le Sphinx [The Sphinx], and six others referring respectively to six of Barbey's short stories and figuring at the beginning of each: Le Rideau Cramoisi [The Cramoisi Curtain], Le Plus Bel Amour de Don Juan [Don Juan's Finest Affair], Le Dessous de cartes d'une partie de whist [The Undersides of the Cards in a Game of Whist], à un dîner d'athées [At an Atheists' Dinner], Le Bonheur dans le Crime [The Joy of the Crime] and La Vengeance d'une femme [A Woman's Revenge].
A very good copy in a practically contemporary binding. 

5 000 €

Réf : 51011



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