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Paris: Edition du Monument. Paris (1908). This lavish edition of Lorrain's classic decadent novella dedicated to the master designer Rene Lalique, illustrated throughout by O. D. V. Guillonnet. Lorrain was openly gay, often citing ancient Greece as noble heritage for homosexuality and became colloquially known as 'The Ambassador from Sodom.' Very good in full morocco boards, marbled endpapers, top edge gilt, spine lightly sunned. This one is one of the tete de l'edition (#4) of 25 copies on Japan Shidzuoka initialled by the publisher, Fernand Ferroud. Ex libris P. Brunet. Tipped in to the text is a 1 page holograph letter from Lorrain to Jérôme Doucet.
Paris: Éditions de la Galerie Simon [Kahnweiler](1921). 28pp. The precocious writer's first work, which was published when he was only 18 years old. Les Pélican, one of Kahnweiler's most elegant publications, is a two-act satirical play accompanied by Laurens' whimsical, cubist illustrations which capture the absurdist tone of the play. The play was performed for the first time on May 24, 1921 at the Théâtre Michel in Paris to much acclaim. Radiguet, a true enfant terrible, was a protege of Jean Cocteau until his untimely death in 1923 at the age of 19. Very good in custom full blue morocco binding, marbled end papers, with original paper cover mounted at rear. Number 80 of 100 printed copies on Holland laid paper, signed by Radiguet and Laurens. Includes 7 original engravings (one of the tipped in front cover and 2 full page) by the French sculptor and illustrator Henri Laurens (1885-1954).
Garcia Monge: San Jose de Costa Rica (1923). 150pp. A collection of short essays on a variety of subjects by the Uruguayan writer, some of which were extracted from earlier publications. Very good in leather boards, light brownign to endpapers. Warmly inscribed by the author to Enrique Canepa on endpaper.
Stockholm: Svanbäcks Boktryckeri (1890). 4to. 67pp. Carl von Platen was a Swedish dilettante nobleman and an amateur photographer who took provocative photographs of young men posing in dresses and swimwear. This penchant led to his being prosecuted for indecency in 1903 and his photographs were seized by the authorities. Thereafter, he spent a period in a private nursing home, then traveled around Europe and wrote travelogues. In 1918, Von Platen was arrested by the police for the second time in Malmö, when he tried to kiss a boy in the Kramer hotel elevator. This edition, a travelogue of sorts, contains 18 photographic images of various locations he encountered in his travels Limited to 100 copies, several penciled corrections to the text, light wear to boards.
An important collection of art notebooks and related ephemera created by the British artist Gerald Leet (1913-1998). Leet was an accomplished artist and teacher who became a War Artist and later "Artist to the Queen Mother." The collection includes scores of small watercolours mainly from the 1920's of people and scenes and both the image and the captions often providing a humorous insight. These early works cover the period when he was a student at Goldsmiths and later at the Royal College of Art. During WWII Leet spent much of his time in South Africa and Egypt and there are a number of very well crafted "architectural" style drawings and watercolours from this period. Later he came to the attention of Lord Wavell, Viceroy of India and it was Wavell who arranged his appointment as official war artist in New Delhi. It seems his strength as a "head and shoulder" craftsman was particularly important and most of the images from this period (all in a separate "notebook" ) are pen drawings of head and shoulder of Indian and other troops etc. . Denton Welch portrayed Leet (as Marcus Lynch) in his most famous novel "A Voice Through a Cloud". His work for the Queen later Queen Mother (sketches of her Staff) earned him temporary accommodation at Windsor Castle. Over 375 individual paintings or sketches, in 5 sketch books, generally very good.
One ALS addressed to "My dear Ellis," likely the renowned English researcher on sexuality, Havelock Ellis (1859-1939), a contemporary who had been a protégé of Tuke's father. It discusses the rental of an art studio in London, and Tuke's planned trip to Panama and Jamaica. Tuke's Jamaica paintings from this trip were the subject of a 2015 exhibition. Very good.
Two autograph letters from the acclaimed painter to his longtime friend and confidant, Charles Kains-Jackson, both dated 1926. Tuke was best known for his paintings of maritime subjects, particularly of nude young men at the beach. The first is dated 11 February 1926, toward the end of Tuke's nine-week stay in Jamaica and was written on the letterhead of the Waterloo Hotel on Black River. Tuke writes: " I have done quite a lot of sketches & studies & found some good subjects, if one was ever to come back here for any length of time." The second letter was dated at Hampstead, England on 4 May 1926, shortly after his return, discussing his plans to visit the artist colony at Kardomah, Wales with friends: "Masson, Colin, and Towsey are all staying this week-end with Sidney Lomer!" Tuke's patron Sydney Lomer once famously asked Tuke to define the genitals more clearly in one of his paintings. "Colin' was possibly Colin Goodwyn, a model for his 1900 painting 'The Coming of Day'; 'Masson' was in all probability the artist's close friend Charles Masson Fox (1866-1935); and the final guest would be the photographer Stanley Towsey. Tuke also writes "If you come here I can show you a number of my sketches and you can inspect the new room I have added to the house." Signed as H .S. Tuke, each 2 pages, the first 8 1/2x5 1/2 inches, 21 1/2x14 cm, and the other a bit smaller; moderate wear and soiling to the first letter and minimal wear to the second.
London: Cassell (1939). 636pp. Hichens is perhaps best known as the author of the Green Carnation and his friendship with Oscar Wilde and Alfred Douglas. This lengthy novel opens with a visit by the protagonist to Magnus Hirschfeld's tomb in Nice, and one of the characters is inspired by Hirschfeld's partner and protégé, Li Shiu Tong. A very good copy in the original jacket, which has light wear small closed tears at edges, signature on endpaper and light browning to endpapers. Uncommon. The American edition was issued the following year.
An original pen and ink drawing of two young lovers (3.5" x 3"). Matted and framed (8.25" x 8.5"). Philippe Jullian (1919 – 1977) was a French illustrator, art historian, biographer, aesthete, novelist and dandy. The drawing was likely used to illustrate one of the many illustrated books for which he became well known. Very good in gilt frame.
London: Barrington (1970-71). Issues 1-4 of this short-lived publication, each limited to 250 copies. Barrington had been imprisoned for publishing pornography in the 1960s and issued these publications in a more limited way in order to avoid legal problems. Each issue contains images of male nudes printed on Barrington's lithography machine, bound in blue stapled wrappers. See Smith, Physique: The Life of John S. Barrington @184. Uncommon.
Berlin: Barsdorf (1919). 240pp. A history of the Eulenburg scandal, which received wide publicity and is often considered the biggest domestic scandal of the German Second Empire. It led to one of the first major public discussions of homosexuality and was the first occasion that the word "homosexual" was introduced into common usage. A good copy in boards, spine is damaged, original wrappers present.
NP: Zwolle (1936, 1937). 2 vols. 91pp., 87pp. Two books which deal with the famous case against the Dutch paymaster general L.A. van Ries, who was accused of homosexual activities and who lost his position as high ranking official because of the controversy. Very good in black wrappers, cover labels with light wear.
A limited edition series of photographs by George Platt Lynes, one of the most innovative and influential photographers of the 20th century. Five male nudes have been selected for this unique portfolio, drawn from a collection of negatives acquired directly from the artist by Dr. Alfred Kinsey in the 1950s. The hand-crafted platinum prints have a beautiful tonal range that is well suited to Lynes’ distinctive compositions. Published in an edition of 20 portfolios and 2 artists’ proofs, the photographs are approximately 8 x 10 inches and printed on 11 x 14 inch 100% rag paper. The prints are matted on acid-free museum board and presented in an elegant cloth-covered 17 x 15 x 2 inch archival box. This example is #5/20, fine as issued.