Paris: Librairie Borel, 1896. Item #04344
Pierre Loüys Aphrodite - "The best selling work by any living French author in his time"
A Superb Art Nouveau Style Binding by Charles Louis Lucien Lanoé
LOÜYS, Pierre. LANOÉ, Charles Louis Lucien, binder. Aphrodite. Moeurs Antiques. Illustrations de A[ntoine]. Calbet. Collections de Edouard Guillaume "Nymphée". Paris: Librairie Borel, 1896.
Tall octavo (7 3/8 x 3 1/2 inches; 187 x 90 mm.). [viii], 394, [1, imprint, verso blank], [1, advertisement, verso blank] pp. Illustrated throughout with monotone illustrations, mainly in the text, a few full-page.
Elaborately bound 'Art Nouveau' style in dark green morocco (ca. 1920) by Charles Louis Lucien Lanoé (signed in ink "CH. Lanoe Relieur doreur" on verso of front free-endpaper). A very attractive art nouveau binding with the covers decorated in gilt and with fourteen flowers and stems inlaid in green, red, brown and cream morocco's. Spine with four raised bands, elaborately inlaid with floral designs in various colored morocco's and lettered in gilt. Double ruled gilt board edges, turn-ins with gilt greek key pattern, marbled paper liners and end-leaves, original pale green wrappers printed in green and red bound in, all edges gilt. Minimal darkening to spine, otherwise absolutely fine. Housed in the original leather edged marbled-paper slipcase.
Charles Louis Lucien LANOÉ (1881-1959) was a bookbinder. Born in Nice (Alpes-Maritimes) - died in Paris. Upon leaving the École Estienne he worked in the workshops of Ch. Meunier and Quesnel. He joined Petrus Ruban's studio in 1903 and succeeded him in 1910. He stopped working as a bookbinder in 1956. He married August 20, 1903 Georgine Charlotte Santin at the town hall of the 5th district. He also practiced wood engraving, painting and music. He was an officer of the Academy in 1913 and a Knight of the Legion of Honor in 1936. He was a member of the Historical Society of the 6th arrondissement of Paris from 1932-1938.
Pierre Felix LOÜYS (1870-1925) was a French poet and writer, most renowned for lesbian and classical themes in some of his writings. He is known as a writer who sought to "express pagan sensuality with stylistic perfection". He was made first a Chevalier and then an Officer of the Légion d'honneur for his contributions to French literature.
He was born in Ghent, Belgium, but relocated to France where he spent the rest of his life. He studied at the École Alsacienne in Paris, and there he developed a good friendship with a future Nobel Prize winner and champion of homosexual rights, André Gide. From 1890 onwards, he began spelling his name as "Louÿs", and pronouncing the final S, as a way of expressing his fondness for classical Greek culture (the letter Y is known in French as i grec or "Greek I". During the 1890s, he became a friend of the noted Irish homosexual dramatist Oscar Wilde, and was the dedicatee of Wilde's Salomé in its original (French) edition. Louÿs thereby was able to socialize with homosexuals. Louÿs started writing his first erotic texts at the age of eighteen, at which time he developed an interest in the Parnassian and Symbolist schools of writing.
During 1896, Louÿs published his first novel, Aphrodite - Mœurs Antiques (Aphrodite - Ancient Manners), a description of courtesan life in Alexandria. It is considered a mixture of both literary excess and refinement, and, numbering at 350,000 copies, was the best selling work by any living French author in his time.
Antoine CALBET (1860-1944) a student of Alexandre Cabanel, and was highly regarded as painter and illustrator of nudes and genre scenes. His subject matter and treatment of the human figure reflect an eighteenth century, Rococo influence, often including naturalistic, pastoral scenes depicted in a manner exuding lightness, elegance, and decorative charm. Beginning in 1880, Calbet exhibited regularly at the Salon des Artistes Français, eventually becoming a member, and earning medals in 1891, 1892, 1893, and 1900. Calbet provided numerous illustrations, notably: Aphrodite by P. Louys, Madame Neigeon by E. Zola, and Le Jardub de Berenice by M. Barres.