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Bruxelles: de Nobelle (1912). 189pp. The first biography of the Belgian Romantic painter, whose lurid and often morbid paintings presaged the Symbolist movement. Some of his works were inspired by Edgar Allen Poe and many were quite homoerotic in their portrayal of masculine beauty. Although derided by many (for his personality as well as his art) his works appeared in a number of public and private collections (Somerset Maugham owned several of his works). Very good in lightly worn wrappers, inscribed by the author on endpaper.
Madrid: Sucesores de Rivadeneyra (1925).122pp. Precioso was one of the intellectuals who were part of the "Decadentismo" movement in Spanish culture, along with Antonio de Hoyos y Vinent and Álvaro Retana. He was one of the guiding lights behind the fiction collection known as La Novela de Hoy (The Novel of Today). This popular novel was part of the "novela de la noche" series and contains lesbian characters. Very good in decorative wrappers, lightly worn.
Firenze: Piero Betti (1960). 223pp. In June 1960, in Florence, Giorgio Quintini published what was, for the time, a scandalous novel. The cover and the title give a clear idea of the content: love and sentimental triangles in a roman à clef with many recognizable portraits from contemporary Florentine, Umbrian and Roman life.
Paris; Monnier & cie (1886). 387pp. mention of 8th ed (perhaps fictive). A classic of French decadent writing, this novel tells the tale of Mary Barbe, an unloved girl who learns to counteract the cruelty of her upbringing by exploiting her sexuality. She ruthlessly crushes the men who fall in love with her until she meets a young medical student (prone to nosebleeds) who allows her to take out her sadistic fantasies upon him. An early feminist tale- Mary is never punished for her transgressions; she grows in power and depravity, with ‘a heart serene and a dagger raised.’ Very good in original decorative wrappers, lightly worn and sunned. Quite uncommon.
Torino: Fratelli Bocca Editori (1896). 112pp. The author's defense of homosexuality, which was extensively expanded in his Uranisme et Unisexualité: étude sur différentes manifestations de l'instinct sexuel, which appeared the following year. This is the first appearance in Italian of the work and contains the essay "Il Processo Oscar Wilde," the first essay on Wilde to appear after hsi prosecution the year before. Very good in later buckram boards, bookplate on front paste-down, booksellers sticker on first prelim., signature on title page and notes on final page. The final page has the stamp of Manoel Lacerda, one of the most influential figures of the radical left of the Republican movement in Portugal. His signature also appears at the end of the text. Light browning to pages, but very good.
Edinburgh: G.P. Johnston (1895). 223pp. A curious collection of 1890s poetry- each poem bears the name of an artist or writer, including Oscar Wilde, Paul Verlaine, Rimbaud, John Gray, Lionel Johnson, etc. Printed dedication to Walter Pater. Very good in gilt-decorated boards, spine dulled, corners bumped. The endpaper bears an equally curious inscription: "Wingett (?) Fisher from the girls/ Wilton House 4-2-03." Brian Reade's penciled note on endpaper notes the book's scarcity. Limited to 666 copies.
Paris: La Maison des Amis des Livres (2010). This short work is prefaced by a short essay by Sylvia Beach, the renowned publisher and book seller and founder of Shakespeare & Co. Beach and her longtime friend Adrienne Monnier translated the work, which originally appeared in Mesures in 1935. This edition is limited to 100 copies and includes a number of previously unpublished photographs of Beach and Monnier. Fine in wrappers, uncut.
Paris: E. Ganeau (1723). 78pp. 4to. An uncommon publication on the cult of Hadrian’s beloved Antinous. Heraldic bookplate of Louis Bauffremont (1685-1755), Knight of the Golden Fleece (Spain) “God ayde the first Christian” and “More joy for mourning”. Very good in contemporary vellum boards, slight separation at head of spine, usual wear at edges.Rare.
London: Bogue [Printed at the] Chiswick Press (1881). 63pp. 8vo. The British peer's first collection of verse, preceding Rose Leaf and Apple Leaf for which Oscar Wilde provided an introduction. Rodd and Wilde eventually parted ways after Wilde courted scandal and Rodd went on to a prominent career in the Foreign Service. The poem "If any one Return" has a particularly homoerotic caste. By the high cliff's edge where the wild weeds twine, And he would not speak or move, But his eyes would gaze from his soul to mine, My eyes that would answer without one sign, And that were enough for love. Rebound in quarter roan and marbled boards, raised bands, marbled endpapers, original parchment front wrapper (worn and stained) is bound in at the rear. Rare.
London: D. Bogue: [Chiswick Press] (1881). The British peer's first collection of verse, preceding Rose Leaf and Apple Leaf for which Oscar Wilde provided an introduction. Rodd and Wilde eventually parted ways after Wilde courted scandal and Rodd went on to a prominent career in the Foreign Service. The poem "If any one Return" has a particularly homoerotic caste. By the high cliff's edge where the wild weeds twine, And he would not speak or move, But his eyes would gaze from his soul to mine, My eyes that would answer without one sign, And that were enough for love. Good in parchment wrappers with ownership inscription of Henry Dunkin (alumnus with Rodd of Haileybury School) dated 1881. Wrappers chipped with loss at edges, penciled notes of Brian Reade on endpaper.
Paris: Printed for Private Distribution (Contact Editions, 1929). The author of these gay stories was a seventeenth century Japanese writer whose stories about samurai man-youth relations have been widely reprinted. The stories collected here were translated by Ken Sato and are the first English transcriptions, published by Robert McAlmon's Contact Editions. Originally intended to be a two volume book, McAlmon reported to Sylvia Beach that many of the stories "got lost in the mails," but there were still enough (111 printed pages), he reckoned, to provide amusement "without the matter getting wearisome." He had read the Sato manuscript on his trip to America and had found a pleasing naiveté in the stories as well as "situations so completely horrifying to Anglo-Saxondom" that he vowed "they'd better be done."' (Hugh Ford, Published In Paris, Garnstone Press, 1975). Very good in original lightly worn wrappers, small closed tear at head of spine. With the small bookplate of renowned gay collector Herbert Boyce Satcher on front free endpaper. One of 500 copies printed, although rarer in commerce than this would imply.
Organisation Commune des Régions Sahariennes (ND). 27pp. 4to. One of the first attempts to publish in Berber alphabet on characters engraved by the National Printing Office. Blue cardboard cover closed by a red cord, 30 drawings including 6 full-page and color, excluding text. Light wear to covers. This appears to be a reproduction of the first (1958) edition, the numbering and the text "Imprimerie Nationale de France" are missing on the back.
Paris: Impr. de P. Dupont (1898). Sarluis (1874-1949) came to Paris at the age of 20, where he befriended a group of intellectuals and artists surrounding Oscar Wilde. An fin de siecle aesthete, he exhibited at the Salon de la Rose Croix and at the Salon des Artistes Français, as well as numerous galleries in London and Paris. Sarluis’ paintings typically feature mythological or symbolical subjects painted in a modern style. Good in sewn wrappers, some loss to front edge, light wear. Inscribed on the front endpaper to Eugene Tardieu, the first French translator of Wilde's Potrait of Dorian Gray. Several library stamps on preliminaries. Quite rare.