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An original vintage silver print portrait (5.4" x 3.8") of René Crevel by Marc Allégret. Although undated, it would appear to date from the mid-1920s when Allégret was a student of Man Ray's and was taking hundreds of photographs and developing them himself in a small room in André Gide's Paris apartment. Allégret and Crevel had become friends around 1917 and remained so until Crevel's suicide in 1935. He eventually went on to make dozens of films and remains highly regarded in the field of cinematography. Crevel, one of the most exceptional of the Surrealist writers, was photographed and painted by many of the great artists of the period, but this image appears not to have been reproduced and does not appear in François Buot's biography, Crevel (1991). Very good, inscription on verso: "ex-coll. Marc Allegret/Photo de Marc Allegret/Rene Crevel." Mounted.
A very iconic photograph of the eccentric bohemian, taked at the Capri home of Islay Lyons and Kenneth Macpherson (and Norman Douglas). Cunard sports one of her famed ivory bracelets and creative hair nets. One of a series taken by Lyons at the same luncheon and likely the last time that they spent time together. Vintage photograph from the estate of Islay Lyons.
London: W.H. Allen & Co. (London) 1942. An interview between Nancy Cunard and George Padmore on the "colonial question" in which she articulates her own liberal views on "the race question." Very good in illustrated wrappers, light wear. Laid into a custom clamshell box, with the bookplate of Anthony Hobson.
Oxford: B.H.Blackwells (1917). The first of the Wheels anthologies, devised by the Sitwells to publish works of young poets (including themselves). Included in this preiere issue are works by Nancy Cunard, Osbert Sitwell, Edith Sitwell, Arnold James, Iris Tree, E.W. Tennant, Sacheverell Sitwell, Victor Tait Perowne and Helen Rootham. Warmly inscribed by Cunard to "Otto" in "1929 or so" and additionally in 1943 ("I would like to consign this to limbo, dear otto- so keep it dark."). Good in yellow boards, a bit of wear t covers with some abrasions, several pages roughly opened.
Paris: Eugène Renduel, 1835. 2 vols., 8vo. 560 pp. 438 pp. This dark comedic novel was commercially successful when issued and garnered the approval of Balzac ("Mais peut-être, avec autant de talent, étiez-vous tenu de tout savoir ? Le livre est d’une incontestable supériorité, de trop de supériorité même, il sera la lecture favorite de ceux qui dégustent, des hommes d’élite, et ceux-là sont en minorité."). It paints a picture of a "society rotten to the core, a society without faith, without law, without faith, without remorse and without pleasure." The protagonist, Edmond d'Offlize, boasts in a letter to a friend that he can seduce a very rich heiress whose face is so ugly that it would be acceptable "only in the land of the frogs." She is then pursued by d'Offlize and a friend (with whom he may share a romantic relationship) and a great muddle of manners ensues. The Marquis de Custine (1790-1857) was a French aristocrat, perhaps most famous for his travel book, Empire of the Czar: A Journey Through Eternal Russia, published in 1839. He was avowedly homosexual and lived openly in Paris with his lover Edward Saint-Barbe, who remained his life companion. Aloys, his anonymously published novel deals explicitly with homosexuality long before such subjects were commonly written about. See Muhlstein, A Taste for Freedom: The Life of Astolphe de Custine. Very good in later black boards, light wear, early signature on endpaper in volume 1. Uncommon.
Paris: Callman-Levy (c. 1910). The French edition of d'Annunzio's work, with a long and sincere dedication to his onetime lover, Romaine Brooks. Around 1909, Brooks and d’Annunzio met at a dinner given by an artist friend who was famous for his colorful posters and paintings. D’Annunzio commented that much more can be expressed without any color at all, and this prompted Brooks to invite him to see her work. Thus began a complicated friendship that lasted for nearly three decades and had a profound impact on Brooks’s art. She saw him as a martyred artist, another lapidé; he wrote poems based on her works and called her "the most profound and wise orchestrator of grays in modern painting". They spent the summer of 1910 in a villa on the coast of France, in a romantic interlude that was disrupted when D'Annunzio's jealous ex-mistress arrived in town. Their friendship remained strong throughout D'Annunzio's life and she painted his portrait in 1912. Very good in original wrappers, rebound in a full morocco signed binding, gilt top edge, gilt titling, very light scuff s, laid into a marbled paper slipcase.
Asphodel (1998). Hardcover. The bookselling firm of Michael deHartington issued ten catalogues of homosexual literature during its brief existence from 1972-1974. These catalogues included some of the rarest books on the subject and remain a significant resource for students, collectors and bibliophiles. These catalogues, rareties themselves, have been reissued here in a facsimile edition along with an Introduction by Timothy d'Arch Smith, one of the firm's principals, and a widely respected scholar in the field.
Chamalières: Chez l'auteur (1944). Soft cover. Romantic adventures from the author of Billy: Idylles d'amour Grec en Angleterre, illustrated throughout by Essac with numerous tipped-in drawings and vignettes. One of only 132 numbered copies issued. Near fine in wrappers, light edgewear. Decorative slipase. Rare.