Daphnis and Chloe

One of Only Twenty Copies
Daphnis & Chloe Bound As Never Before
Magnificent Illustrations in Three States

[BINDING]. [Société des Beaux Arts]. LONGUS. Daphnis and Chloe. With Illustrations by Raphael Collin. Preface by Jules Claretie. Paris: Société des Beaux Arts, 1895.

Edition de Deux Mondes, limited to twenty copies only, this copy indicated with a star. Quarto (10 5/8 x 7 7/8 in; 270 x 200 mm). xvi, 166 pp. Printed on velin. With eleven in-text illustrations in three states (full color, black and white, and single color) and twelve plates in two states, one color and one black and white, all with tissue guards.

Bound in a sumptuous azure crushed morocco lavishly gilt and inlaid in the Art Nouveau style, covers with large central fleur-de-lys in gilt and maroon morocco within an elaborate frame of lily bouquets and garlands inlaid in maroon, orange, and white; raised bands, spine gilt in compartments, the smaller ones at head and tail with an inlaid maroon fleur-de-lys, large central compartment with a spray of lilies in maroon and white, and two compartments with gilt titling. Broad wide turn-ins with elaborate gilt floral and foliate decoration. Burnt orange morocco doublures, front doublure featuring an oval inset of white kidskin (or perhaps vellum) with a hand-colored engraving of a female figure. Ivory moiré silk endleaves, blue marbled endpapers. Top edge gilt, other edges untrimmed and unopened. A magnificent copy.

ABPC notes that only one copy of this very strictly limited edition of Daphnis et Chloe, identically bound, has come to auction since 1975.

A fine luxury volume attractively printed on Japanese vellum with immense margins, beautifully bound in inlaid morocco, and well-illustrated with a series of engravings that were considered to be some of the most attractive of the period. Ray says that in a survey published in 1895, the 'Daphnis et Chloe' with Collin engravings, first published in 1890, came in fourth in a poll to determine the ten most successful modern French illustrated books. The edition under notice appears to have been produced at around the same time, as part of a series of deluxe volumes of literary works handsomely bund and illustrated by some of the best contemporary artists.

The Société des Beaux Arts produced lovely limited editions, usually numbering around 500 copies. Ours is a supremely luxurious, strictly limited issue with an elegant Art Nouveau binding. Item #02294

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