La Foire aux Idées
Paris: J. Monrocq, 1850. Item #05391
The Original Folio Edition of 'Fair Ideas'
ADAM, Victor, illustrator. La Foire aux Idées. Paris: J. Monrocq, [1851-54].
First edition complete. Large quarto (11 7/8 x 9 1/4 inches; 302 x 235 mm.). [Title on front cover]. One hundred numbered leaves, a varying number of illustrations on each page. Plates lithographed by Becquet freres.
Publisher's quarter dark green morocco over embossed black cloth boards, front cover decorated in gilt surrounding the title in gilt, smooth spine ruled in blind and lettered in gilt. Spine faded - still a fine example.
The original large quarto edition of 1851-54 containing one hundred numbered lithograph plates with between one and fifteen subjects on a page. All plates have the running title "La Foire Aux Idées Par V. Adam", the imprints of "Paris. J. Monrocq - éditeur" & "Lith. de Becquet frères, à Paris", and all signed "V. Adam".
A wonderful selection of sketches, jokes, caricatures, costumes, games, animals and fantasies…
OCLC locates just four copies (of the later edition with 120 plates) in libraries and institutions worldwide: Trinity College Library (CT, US); Smithsonian Institution (DC, US); Princeton University (NJ, US) and The Bibliotheque Nationale de France.
According to ABPC no complete copies have sold at auction over the past 100 years.
There was a later edition which contained 120 lithograph plates
Extraordinary magazine of subjects drawn by Victor Adam of black lithographed plates, like so many vignettes borrowed from his past or future thematic albums (Animals of all species, Horses and riders, Little tales put into action, etc. ) or even illustrations from the albums of Allouard and Koeppelin or Micheland France in the 14th and 15th centuries or Memorable Facts in the History of France, etc. Published in 1855 under the title The Fair of Ideas (1851-1854) Grrrrrande exhibition of sketches, loads, drolleries, caricatures, costumes, games, animals, fantasies, the plates were printed in quarto format, lithographed by Becquet frères and coated of the signature V. Adam with the current title La Foire aux Idées, by V. Adam, and the address Paris - Monrocq brothers publishers Lith. Becquet brothers in Paris.
Smaller format albums were published under the same title where each original board was divided into two parts. Jean-Victor Adam… is the son and pupil of the engraver Jean Adam; he made himself known as a painter of battles. His lithographic production was abundant, to the point that “one can regret that the artist did not curb his overflowing facility; maybe he would have won, for he was not without talent (?) However, it would be very surprising if, among the thousands of pieces of a draftsman who takes his subjects from the news, the curious did not find some useful and interesting information. (Beraldi).
Jean-Victor Adam (1801-1867) was a French painter and lithographer. Born in Paris he was the son of Jean Adam, an esteemed engraver. During the years 1814 to 1818 he studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, and also in the ateliers of Meynier and Régnault. In 1819 he exhibited 'Herminia succouring Tancred.' He was almost immediately afterwards employed to paint various subjects for the Museum at Versailles, amongst which are, 'The Entry of the French into Mainz,' 'The Battle of Varroux,' 'The Taking of Menin, 'The Battle of Castiglione,' 'The Passage of the Cluse,' 'The Battle of Montebello,' 'The Capitulation of Meiningen;' the last three in association with Alaux. He also exhibited down to the year 1838: 'Henry IV., after the Battle of Coutras,' 'Trait of Kindness in the Duke de Berri,' 'The Postillion,' 'The Vivandiere,' 'The Road to Poissy,' 'The Return from the Chase,' 'Horse-fair at Caen,' and numerous other subjects. He then retired from publicity, till 1846, when he appeared as the exhibitor of some works in lithography, to which branch of art he afterwards restricted himself. In this line he produced a lithographic album, 'Views in the Environs of Paris,' 'Studies of Animals for an edition of Buffon,' &c. He obtained a gold medal in 1824, a second class medal in 1836, besides several others from Lille, Douai, and other cities. He died at Viroflay in 1866.
The Engravers of the 19th Century, guide for the amateur of modern prints, 1885, I, p. 19, n°9 under the heading “Macedonias and Placards”: “album of a hundred sheets with small subjects, it is one of the most famous collections among all those that Victor Adam drew”.
Grand Carteret, 620; Beraldi,