Item #05611 Souvenirs de Carnaval. Paul GAVARNI, Guillaume Sulpice Chevallier.
Souvenirs de Carnaval
Souvenirs de Carnaval
Souvenirs de Carnaval
Souvenirs de Carnaval
Souvenirs de Carnaval
Souvenirs de Carnaval
Souvenirs de Carnaval

Souvenirs de Carnaval

Paris: Rittner et Goupil, 1837. Item #05611

French Society Enjoying the Foibles and Vices of Carnival as Depicted by Gavarni
Six Exceptionally Rare Hand Colored Lithograph Plates

GAVARNI, Paul [Sulpice Guillaume Chevalier]. Souvenirs de Carnaval par Gavarni. Paris: Rittner et Goupil, [1837].

First edition, first issue. Elephant folio (20 3/4 x 13 1/2 inches; 527 x 343 mm.). Original front pink wrapper (as title) with small lithograph illustration by Gavarni. Six superb hand-colored lithograph plates, all heightened with gum-arabic and all with the small oval, marginal blind-stamp of the publishers. Some occasional light marginal foxing.

Contemporary half red scored calf over red cloth boards. Front cover with rectangular red scored calf label bordered and lettered in gilt, smooth spine. Some light wear to extremities, still a very fine copy of this great rarity.

Exceedingly rare suite of whimsical prints depicting French society enjoying the foibles and vices of carnival.

Gavarni, the pen name of Sulpice Guillaume Chevalier, was a highly successful French illustrator and his work is accredited with capturing the essence of excess that enraptured Paris in the 19th century. Souvenirs de Carnaval is given the date ‘1837’ based on the date inscribed on the stone on plate 5. The majority of Gavarni’s later works centered around serious subject matter: they sought to unpack the failings of French familial life and directly and pointedly critiqued Parisian society. However, his earlier published prints, as seen with the present suite, displayed a more whimsical and lighter satirical take on the popular pleasures of the Capital, capturing the debauchery and decadence of high society life.

Most of Gavarni's later works, which became more serious, were aimed at a different section of the public, which had previously granted him so wide a popularity, as did his works on Carnival, of which this was one of the last.

RBH only lists one copy at auction in the last 50 years (this copy).

OCLC & KVK locate just one (uncolored) example in libraries and institutions worldwide: The Gordon N. Ray copy at The Morgan Library & Museum (NY, US). That copy is uncolored and much smaller with a sheet size of just (13 7/8 x 10 5/8 inches; 352 x 270 mm.).

"Suite of nine lithographs, six of which were previously published by Rittner and Goupil under the title: Souvenirs de Carnaval". (Armelhault & Bocher, p.74).

The Plates:

1. L’ENTRÉE AU BAL. Ne perdez pas la tête mon cher!
ENTRANCE TO THE BALL. Don't lose your head my dear!

2. UNE TOMBOLA. Le No. 43 a gagné.....une chandelle!
A RAFFLE. No. 43 won.....a candle!

THE REFRESHMENT TRAY. For ladies and gentlemen.


5. LA LOGE D’AVANT-SCÈNE. Veux-tu souper avec nous beau page!
THE STAGE BOX. Do you want to have dinner with us, handsome page!

6. UN DÉJEUNER. au petit Jour.
A LUNCH. at dawn.

Armelhault & Bocher 308; Beraldi VII, 50; Bobins III, 936; Not in Colas.

Price: $9,500.00