Paris: Librairie L. Conquet, 1885. Item #04582
Le Violon de Faïence…
"A Violin Made of Pottery - That Would Make Stradivarius Himself Jealous"
With a Fine Original Watercolor Drawing by Jules Adeline
CHAMBOLLE-DURU, binder. CHAMPFLEURY, Jules. ADELINE, Jules, artist. Le Violon de Faïence… Nouvelle Édition. Illustrée de 34 eaux-fortes de Jules Adeline. Avant-Propos de L'Auteur. Paris: Librairie L. Conquet, 1885.
One of 150 copies printed on Papier du Japon Impérial (this being number 144), initialed by the publisher and with the plates in three states.
This copy enriched with a fine original pen, ink and watercolor drawing on the half-title and limitation leaf, of a cabinet with books, ornaments and artists materials taken from the engraving at the beginning of chapter II (page ), signed at lower left by Jules Adeline.
Octavo (7 5/8 x 5 1/8 inches; 194 x 130 mm.). Title-page printed in red and black. xv, [i, blank]. 160, pp. plus [4, advertisements]. Engraved frontispiece "Avant-Propos" and thirty chapter head and tail pieces, all in three states. Original printed wrappers (front wrapper in three states, rear wrapper in two states) bound in together with the original printed paper spine and an additional engraved tailpiece.
Handsomely bound ca. 1885 by Chambolle-Duru, stamp-signed in gilt on front turn-in. Full midnight blue morocco, front and back covers with an elaborate gilt frame and gilt violin corner pieces. In turn surrounding an elaborate gilt violin, inlaid with blue and olive green morocco. Spine with five raised bands, decoratively tooled and lettered in gilt. Double-ruled board-edges and decorative gilt turn-ins, Marbled end-papers, all edges rough gilt. A very fine example.
Chambolle-Duru. An important French bindery that was run by René Victor Chambolle (1834-1898) and Hippolyte Duru (1803-1884).
Jules Adeline (1845-1909) was born in Rouen. He was a French artist, engraver and historian. During his lifetime he produced about nine thousand drawings, engravings and watercolors, mainly on the old town of Rouen. During the years 1873-1885, he exhibited his engravings at the Salon of French Artists and won a medal at the World Fair in Philadelphia in 1876. In 1880, he was elected a member of the Rouen Academy, of which he was president in 1890. In 1886, he was one of the founding members of the Society of Friends of Rouen Monuments .
[CHAMPFLEURY]. Jules François Felix Fleury-Husson (17 September 1821 - 6 December 1889), who wrote under the name Champfleury, was a French art critic and novelist, a prominent supporter of the Realist movement in painting and fiction. While pursuing his career as a man of letters, Champfleury specializes in the art of faience and soon appears as an authority in the field. In 1872, he was appointed "head of the Sèvres Manufactory's collections" and, in 1876, "curator of the museum and the collections at the Manufacture" and finally, sub-director in 1887, a position he held until his death. A great collector himself , he is ironic about his own mania in an autobiographical novel, The Violin of Earthenware . (Le Violon de Faïence… ).
The Violin of Faience. The scene is laid in Nevers, the center of the fine pottery districts of France; and the characters, Gardelanne and Dalègre, at the first warm friends, end in being rival collectors, consumed with envy and suspicion. Gardelanne, who lives in Paris, having learned of the existence of a violin made of pottery - that would make Stradivarius himself jealous, charges Dalègre, his old companion at Nevers, the home of their boyhood, to hunt it up; and on his failing to find it, undertakes the search himself at last, discovering it in a collection of old rubbish, and buying it for a mere trifle, much to Dalègre’s chagrin. To satisfy his friend, however, he puts a clause in his will leaving to him the violin; a concession that helps to convert the former love of his friend into eagerness to hear of his death. At length the coveted porcelain comes into Dalègre’s possession, and is about to be assigned to the shrine long kept waiting for it, when, on being tuned for a few delicious notes of greeting, the precious idol cracks and falls to pieces on the floor. The owner, in his grief and mortification, is for a time thought by his friends to have fallen in “defaience.” He has horrid dreams of people who have turned into fine vases and may not mingle too freely with their companions lest they spoil their glaze. At length, recovered from his malady, he marries; and amid the joys of home, contrasts the happiness of domestic life with the hollow pleasures of those unfortunates “whose feelings are turning into stone.”.