Paris: F.L. Schmied aux dépens de M.M. Gonin et Cie., 1928. Item #05296
Francois-Louis Schmied's La Création - The First Three Chapters of Genesis
With Two Original Watercolors and an Original Unpublished Pochoir Plate
In a Superb Art Deco Binding by Gonin from a Design by Schmied
SCHMIED, François-Louis, illustrator. MARDRUS, Joseph Charles, translator. GONIN, binder. La Création. Les Trois Premiers Livres de la Genèse suivis de la Généalogie Adamique, Traduction Littérale de Textes Sémitiques par le Docteur J.-C. Mardrus. Preface de M. le Professeur H. Roger, Doyen de la Faculté de Médicine, President de la Societé de Médecins Bibliophiles. Paris: F.L. Schmied aux dépens de M.M. Gonin et Cie., 1928.
Number 8 of 175 copies signed by the artist, from a total edition of 195. This unique copy with two original watercolor drawings and an original color wood-engraved pochoir variant of plate XI "Le Glaive Flamboyant" which was not used.
Folio (13 3/8 x 9 5/8 inches; 340 x 245 mm.). Printed on Velor Paper. Twelve color-printed wood-engraved pochoir plates by Schmied, (numbers I -VIII & X signed by Schmied in pencil), twenty-eight color-printed text illustrations throughout, most plates and illustrations heightened in gold or silver, with a twenty-two leaf decomposition of plate VIII, and with an additional forty-two leaf suite of the wood-engravings printed in black.
All leaves mounted on stubs: Front wrapper, verso blank; [4, blank], [2, half-title, verso blank], [2, original signed full-page aquarelle (a larger version of the smaller 'text' illustration on page XXII, verso blank], [2, original signed aquarelle "Variante from l'Adam" ( a variation of plate 7 on page XXIX)], [2, Dedication from Mardrus to Schmied, [verso] limitation statement, [1-2, title-page, verso blank], 3-16, Preface, [I]-[LXXXIX, verso blank], [6, blank], [2, Suite des gravures en couleurs de l'examplaire, numbered and signed in pencil "8 15/xx F.L. Schmied", verso blank], [Duplicate suite of color illustrations 28 leaves printed on Chine, one signed in pencil by Schmied], [2, blank], [Rejected color plate "Planche dite = refusée / Cette composition a été remplacée par moi / dans l'ouvrage, par la Planche no. XI / F.L. Schmied"], [Decomposition of plate VIII "Frontispiece - L'Eden" (The Garden of Eden) 22 leaves], [2, blank], [Suite-témoin des gravures sur bois de l'examplaire numbered and signed in pencil "8 F.L. Schmied", verso blank], [42 leaves], [2, blank] pp. Occasional very minor offsetting from color plates to opposite text leaf, otherwise fine.
Bound by Gonin ca. 1928, signed in gilt on front turn-in. The superb binding designed by Schmied for the publishers with an inlaid panel of Stingray Shagreen, is an adaptation of the first plate "La Création". In Christianity, the stingray is a symbol of faith. It is believed that the stingray is a sign of God’s protection over those who believe in him. Christians also believe that the stingray is a reminder of the power of faith and its ability to provide guidance and strength.
Maroon morocco over red morocco, front cover with large vertical inlaid mosaic panel of pink and two shades of brown Stingray Shagreen. At the top and bottom of this panel are two small and two large inlaid panels of dark brown and light brown morocco. The title "La Création" is inlaid in tan morocco and the foredge of the board is decoratively ruled in silver. Smooth spine lettered in gilt, lower cover with similar foredge of the board design - but in gilt. Gilt-ruled inside covers surrounding doublures of olive green calf with linear decorations in tan morocco and gold and silver fillets, red and gold cloth decorated endleaves, blue marbled endpapers, all edges uncut. Housed in a later suede-lined, red morocco edged slip case. Loosely inserted is slip with "2 aquarelles originales", the original typed catalog description of Parisian bookseller Pierre Chretien with his silver book ticket.
The spine and the lower corner of the rear cover had been the victim of smoke damage - we sent the book to Isabelle Devauchelle in Paris who has miraculously renewed the spine to the exact color, texture and specification of the original and restored the lower corner of the rear cover. She also made the matching slipcase. Apart from some very slight darkening of the top edge it is almost impossible to tell that anything has ever been done.
"A daring and innovative design with the copy of the first two books set in capital lettered in narrow columns with decorative bars to fill out the lines where necessary. The small illustrations in the columns are brilliant in color. Dominating full-page illustrations break the continuity of the text. The format is completely changed in Book Three with a wider measure of type and the illustrations integrated with the text. There are 175 copies numbered and signed by Schmied plus twenty copies for those involved in the production. There were also fifteen suites of the illustrations in color and an unknown number of sets of the preliminary proofs in black. It was published by Schmied in conjunction with Gonin of Lausanne, with whom he collaborated on many later books." (Ward Ritchie. Art Deco. The Books of François-Louis Schmied. Number 27 - page 33).
At the beginning of the 1920s the brothers André and Philippe Gonin decided to turn their love of books into a business. They had grown up around bibliophile books in their parents’ shop in Lausanne, so it is no wonder that they aimed to produce the finest possible books for discerning collectors. Philippe Gonin had worked in Paris as a printer and publisher, producing wonderful illustrated classics from authors like Ovid, Horace and Virgil, as well as more “modern” works by the likes of de La Fontaine. At the same time, André Gonin took over the family bookstore in Lausanne, and published a distinguished series of bibliophile books on the side, illustrated by some of the most famous artists of the day.
Ritchie 27 (p. 33).