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Pittsburgh (1944). large 4to. An large quarto portfolio of nineteen wash drawings by Avinoff, with an accompanying poem by George Golokhvastoff. The images are highly homoerotic and depict a young man rising from the sea in a variety of mystical settings, and angelic hierarchies with luminous layers of light. Avinoff (1884-1949) was a Russian nobleman who left the country during the revolution and settled in Pittsburgh, where he became a well known entomologist. Later in his life, he became friends with Alfred Kinsey and much of his work is on deposit at the Kinsey Institute. One of 200 copies issued, very good in original chemise and slipcase (the slipcase is a bit battered with some tape repair).
Scrapbook prepared by Cecil Beaton over the period 1935-1944, with some later inclusions. Decorated paper over boards, cloth spine lettered "Scrap Book." 14 1/4 x 11 3/4 inches (35 x 20 cm); 50 ff., with mounted newspaper clippings (most poignantly those dealing with the death of his friend, the artist Rex Whistler), notes and letters received by Beaton (including a five-page letter from the poet and Surrealist Edward James, among others), telegrams and bills, fair copies in his hand (some extending for pages) of texts that interested him, etc. etc. Some leaves with evidence of extractions, some loose clippings, some later and unrelated material laid in at front. The sections in Beaton's hand include a three-quarter page section of observations on roses in art; a four-page copy of a work by Norah Lindsay "Summer Roses of Long Ago;" a sheet laid in with copies of four of Shakespeare's sonnets; and another with an unidentified quotation; and a typed sheet of musings on Beaton's 8 Pelham Place stationery (his London address). Beaton scrapbooks are rare in commerce. Sold with a copy of Beaton. The Art of the Scrapbook, Assouline/Knopf 2002.
A. Michel: Paris (1932). 314pp. Benoit's eerie novel about a famous taxidermist who becomes obsessed with protecting birds on his "ile verte". Philippe Jullian's copy which is extra-illustrated with twelve original watercolor drawings illustrating the text. One of 140 large paper copies on Hollande (#50), Jullian has inscribed his name and date (avril 1943) on the colophon page and notes his contribution ("12 aquarelles de Ph. S. Jullian" ). Twenty-four at the time, this is likely among the first collections of his original works- he went on to illustrate numerous books throughout his life. Very good in original wrappers, edges a bit browned.
Paris: Inversions (1924-1925). 4to. A complete set of the extremely rare magazine dedicated to homosexual issues in France. Although Fersen's journal Akademos is often cited as the first gay journal, Inversions (and its successor L'Amitie) were far more explicit in their open treatment of gay issues. The editors were not part of Parisian literary circles, but managed to obtain contributions from some of the most forceful proponents of homosexual rights, many of which contributed under pseudonyms: Numa Praetorius , St. Ch. Waldecke , Louis Estève , Willy , G. Pioch, Claude Cahun , Georges d'Autry, Pierre Guyolot-Dubasty (Axieros) , Marcel Dartus, Havelock Ellis and Camille Spiess. Four issues of the magazine were produced before formal complaints were made about its content (one objector called it an "official review of pederasty, which clearly proclaims its ignoble program") which lead to an official prosecution. In April of 1925, the magazine changed its name to L'Amitie in an effort to forestall the prosecution, but the principals were eventually convicted of "d'outrage aux bonnes mœurs et de propagation de méthodes anticonceptionnelles" and the two editors were incarcerated for three months. The magazines were printed on inexpensive acidic paper and as a consequence deteriorated rapidly and rarely appear in commerce. This set is in fair condition- all pages are present but many are laid into marbled boards, with browning and chips to edges. Laid in is a 1 pp.TLS regarding Claude Cahun's contribution to L'Amitie. There is a long pencilled notation on the front endpaper about the history of the magazine from the previous owner (noting that he has never seen another collection).
Privately Printed . This notorious story about a priest's infatuation with a young acolyte that ends in mutual suicide was originally published in the short-lived homosexual magazine The Chameleon. The story raised a public furor during Oscar Wilde's trial because of his association with the magazine and the piece was labeled "garbage and offal" by his critics. The prosecutor in the trial referred to it as "in essence, a teaching of sodomitical practices." Although there is no colophon, the edition of the present volume is reputed to be 50 copies only for private circulation. The book was published by Leonard Smithers according to Nelson (Publisher to the Decadents @ 350) wherein he places the actual publication date at 1905. Mendes 170, Ellmann 403-4, Murray's List 171. Very good in original buff wrappers, some cracking and loss to spine, a bit of edge wear, but a nice copy.
London : Printed and published by John Fairburn,  and London, Printed and Pub. (for. F. O'Neill) by T. Dolby . Two quite rare pamphlets, both describing the events surrounding the arrest of Percy Jocelyn (1764-1843), bishop of Clogher; in 1811. Percy Jocelyn (1764-1843), bishop of Clogher was accused by James Byrne of "taking indecent familiarities" (possibly buggery) and of "using indecent or obscene conversations with him". Byrne was sued for criminal libel by Jocelyn and on conviction was sentenced to two years in jail and also to public flogging. Recanting his allegations at the prompting of the bishop's agent, the floggings were stopped. In 1822, Jocelyn was caught in an act of homosexuality with a guardsman in a London public house and he absconded to Scotland where he worked as a butler for the rest of his life. Edward Prime-Stevenson discusses the case in his classic survey of homosexuality, The Intersexes: "Even more dramatic is the history of another great Irish churchman, Bishop Jocelyn, of the See of Clogher, in the early part of the nineteenth century. Relatively a young man, though already advanced in dignity, Bishop Jocelyn was also an inborn uranian. After having had several homosexual relationships without detection, Jocelyn fell in love with a strikingly handsome young soldier, in the Life-Guards, stationed in the diocese, a trooper named John Moverly, who was also uranistic. The Bishop was handsome, genial, and a man of the world, though he filled his religious station becomingly. In 1822 the intimacy came to light. A great scandal ensued." See, Norton, Mother Clap's Molly House @217-222 Both pamphlets are bound in a contemporary 3/4 leather binding along with the colored frontispiece to the second volume.
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.
Berlin: Blaetter für die Kunst (1907). 4to. 53 pp. The lavishly produced tribute create by Stefan George to honor his talented young consort, Maximilian Kronberger. George's homosexuality is most clearly revealed in the love poetry he devoted to Kronberger, whom he identified as a manifestation of the divine. Kronberger died unexpectedly of meningitis in 1904 on the day after his 16th birthday. Deified by George, the cult of 'Maximin' became an integral part of the George circle. Printed in red and black with gold embossed cover drawing by Melchior Lechter and gilt edges. One of 200 numbered copies printed on Japanese paper, vellum boards, gilt edges, decorative devices throughout. photographic frontispiece. A stunning example of a very rare book.
Paris [L'Imprimerie Sainte-Catherine, Bruges] (1920-1921). 2 volumes. 8vo., 220pp.; 166pp. The first, privately issued edition of Gide's influential confessional memoir, issued four years prior to the first published edition, limited to twelve copies. Cyril Connolly, who included the book on his list of the 100 key books of the modern movement wrote that "Gide's autobiography is a work of art or rather the true portrait of the artist as a young man, for his horizon was much larger than Joyce's and he writes with an electric excitement". This first printing includes explicit passages suppressed in both the first published edition (1924) and the first English-language edition (New York, 1935) and was extremely controversial for its description of his sexual encounters with boys in North Africa. Considered one of his greatest works (certainly his most personal and revealing), the memoir recounts Gide's sexual awakening while on a journey to Algeria in 1893-94, where he met Oscar Wilde and Lord Alfred Douglas, who shocked him with their boldness. In Tunisia he lost his virginity at the age of twenty-three to Athman, a fourteen-year-old Arab boy, and came to accept his own homosexuality. Henceforth his published works invoked the never resolved tensions between a strict artistic discipline, a puritanical moralism, and the desire for unlimited sensual indulgence and abandonment to life. The memoir covers the first twenty-six years of his life Gide was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1947, the first openly gay man to have received the award. In the presentation speech offered at the award ceremony, the Swedish Academy stated "The significance of these memoirs thus is indicated in the mysterious Biblical quotation of the grain of wheat which here represents the personality: as long as the latter is sentient, deliberate, and egocentric, it dwells alone and without germinating power; it is only at the price of its death and its transmutation that it will acquire life and be able to bear fruit." Si le Grain ne Meurt was placed on the Catholic Church's list of prohibited books in 1952, the year after Gide's death. Lovely examples in the original wrappers, laid into chemises and slipcases (signed Devauchelle) , raised dentelles, gilt decorations, marbled endpapers. The first volume (this example is #8) was issued in an edition of twelve copies and the second volume (#1) was issued in an edition of thirteen copies. A beautiful example of an important twentieth century document. .
. The artist's personal collection of fifty original etchings which he created for Proust's epic novel, À la recherche du temps perdu. Jullian's etchings originally appeared in the 1949 edition of the book and have been described as a mixture of Honore Daumier and Rex Whistler. "No one evoked better a palace or a party, a vapid youth or a disabused dowager. No frailty goes unrecorded, no pretension unexposed." (Philip Mansel, Times Literary Supplement (2011). Each etching is annotated in pencil by the artist and the images are tipped into parchment boards, with an original penned drawing on the cover. Not to be confused with XV Portraits d'après l'oeuvre de Marcel Proust, which was issued in an ediiton of 150 copies around the same time. Near fine with light wear to spine, wood veneer slipcase.
Paris: Impr. de J. Haumont (1945). 34pp. Sir Coleridge Arthur Fitzroy Kennard (1885-1948) was educated at Eton and circulated in Oscar Wilde's milieu (his mother financed the Epstein memorial for him at Pere Lachaise). He was also a great friend of Ronald Firbank and Vyvyan Holland and for many years was Firbank's most ardent supporter and literary confidant. One of several publications issued during his lifetime and surely one of the oddest- it might be argued that the book is in fact a spoof, created by a third party, to denigrate Kennard or bring amusement to others. The poems herein, all in English, are erotic to some extent, a number quite homoerotic: "O! let me calm/ Your fevered blood / Quick! Let me drink,/ Deep in the chasm,/ The growing flood/ Of your vast spasm!" One of 380 numbered copies, finely printed on Johannot, cream wrappers lightly worn. Rare.
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.
Beloeil [Auguste Poulet-Malassis: 1867]. 75pp. A collection of witty and scandalous anonymous verse by the seventh Prince de Ligne, a soldier-diplomat, belle-lettrist, and notorious seducer. His subjects range from sharp reminiscences of court and military life to a lament on the difficulty of rhyming the French for “buggerer”. Despite his history of fathering numerous illegitimate children, the Prince exalts male companionship and sexuality: for example, the first poem is an ode to the virtues of masturbation, while the second is an assault on an old colonel who prevented the Prince from going on break with his young fellow officers, and the fourth is an epitaph for someone “whose ass suffered diseases that his cock escaped” and who “prayed at the brothel but got a hard-on in church.” A brief note by the Prince introduces each poem, and occasional editorial footnotes are scattered throughout. His poems are followed by a supplement from the filthy 1728 satire Histoire du prince Apprius by Pierre-François Godard de Beauchamp; an editor’s note informs us that it was read in secret by the Prince de Ligne in his adolescence. The satire’s original preface has been transposed to the end by the editor, providing this publication’s title, which, given the contents, might be better translated as Ass-backwards. This book was published in 1867 by Poulet-Malassis, a friend of Baudelaire, from one of two then-surviving exemplars of the final volume of the Prince’s light verse, privately printed ca. 1782. An interesting editorial foreword justifies its publication “for the sake of bibliophiles and learned men” while excusing the scandalous content as the kind of youthful vices “to which the entire history of polite society attests.” The colophon notes the original book was printed “without title, author, place, or date”, but in this re-edition, the still-anonymous author’s identity is only thinly disguised: Beloeil, the given place of publication, is the ancient manor of the House of Ligne. Published in an edition of 70, of which this is one of 16 on Hollande with wide margins. An exceptionally rare survival: only one institutional copy appears on WorldCat, held at the Bibliothèque nationale de France. (Thanks to Connor Wood for the description). Réf. Vercruysse 213. - Launay, "Impressions, publications, écrits d'Auguste Poulet Malassis", Bulletin du bibliophile, 1982, II, pp. 185-208 (cit. p. 190, n° 330). - BGL III:1094 -1095. - Pia 1224. - Pas dans Drujon. - Prov. Comte Sosthène de la Rochefoucauld (note dactylogr.). - Baron de Spandl (vente Simonson, Brux., 8-04-1978, n° 6. Very good in 3/4 morocco boards, marbled endpapers, top edge gilt, half-title has a corner missing, light wear to edges. Laid in is a 1 p. typed note indicating the book was purchased in 1951 from the Comte Sosthene de la Rochefoucauld.
London: Walter Scott (1886). 148pp. A collection of poems, velied but clearly Uranian in tone, evoking the spirits of Ganymede, Adonis, Narcissus and other classical figures. Raffalovich, the wealthy Russian emigré, was an acquaintance of Wilde and intimate of John Gray for many years. A frequent writer on homosexuality in medical journals, he also published several other volumes of prose and poetry. Original tan cloth with bevelled edges lettered in red and decorated in black. Covers lightly worn, light loss at head and tale of spine, spine a bit dulled, small mark on endpaper, bookplate of Anthony Reid (by Ralph Chubb) on front pastedown. Inscribed by the author to Mrs. Lovett Cameron (aka Caroline Sharp), the British romantic fiction writer. Young 3177*. Rare.
NP (1926). sm. 8vo. 367pp. Privately printed first edition of this classic gay novel, usually translated into English as "The Hustler." Der Puppenjunge is the first frank serious literary depiction of the life of a male prostitute, and of the world of the men who support them. The Scots-German anarchist, Mackay, wrote a number of theoretical works that generally appeared under his own name; he adopted the pseudonym "Sagitta" for the small number of defiantly gay novels and "sociological" discourses on the gay life for which he is best known. Der Puppenjunge was described by a contemporary reviewer as belonging "to the few books in the literature on 'our subject' that may raise a claim to art." Christopher Isherwood praised the novel, as well and wrote that "I have always loved this book dearly-despite and even because of its occasional sentimental absurdities." Thomas Riley, in his landmark study of Mackay, calls the novel "one of the strangest stories in modern literature." The novel was entirely financed by Mackay and printed in Holland. Very few of the books were sold in his lifetime and most were destroyed after his death. Very good in original blue cloth binding, lightly worn slipcase. (#433 of 500 copies). See, Schock, Das Buch der schwulen bücher; Tamagne, A History of Homosexuality in Europe @284; Hergemöller, B., Mann für Mann @ 481-82; Riley, T. Germany's Poet-Anarchist.
London: David Nutt in the Strand (1894). 168pp. The only published prose collection by the eccentric Estonian count, a highly praised collection of macabre stories. Stenbock, a contemporary of Oscar Wilde, was "bizarre, fantastic, feverish, eccentric, extravagant, morbid and perverse" according to Arthur Symons and many others shared similar thoughts about the gay poet, whose life ended the year following publication of this collection at age thirty-five. See Adlard, Stenbock, Yates and the Nineties; Young 3631* A very good copy of a quite rare book with cover illustration by the author, light cover wear, rear cream boards lightly darkened, endpapers lightly browned. Sullivan (ed), The Penguin Encyclopedia of Horror and the Supernatural, p. 401. Locke, A Spectrum of Fantasy Volume II, p. 104. See Tymn (ed), Horror Literature 3-227. Bleiler (1978), p. 186. Reginald 13606.
Fontenay-aux-Roses, France: New Review Editions (1931). 33pp. This collection of gay poetry by the American expatriate is of great rarity. Thoma's early life is rather obscure, but In 1930 he joined Samuel Putnam's New Review as an associate editor and was involved in much of the New Review 's warfare against Edward Titus's conservative This Quarter on the one hand, and Jolas's avant-garde transition on the other. Befriended by Jean Cocteau (to whom one of the poems in this collection is dedicated) he was well known among the expatriates in Paris in the 1920s. Inscribed twice by the author on endpaper, once to Jean-Marie Auffret and again to Oswell Blakeston "(But what is writ in red is lye/For what is writ in green is true/this book is for Oswell Blakeston/Richard Thoma"). Blakeston [Henry Joseph Hasslacher] was a protege of Kenneth Macpherson and Djuna Barnes and was involved with the film periodical Close Up and other Pool Group publications. Very good in original wrappers, light wear to covers, small split at head of spine, linen chemise. Hand-colored printed illustration by Emlen Etting on half-title. Very rare in commerce- this is the first example we have seen. One of 100 numbered and signed copies (#77). Young 2553*.
Imprimé sous le manteau et ne se vend nulle part. [Paris: Albert Messein, 1903.] In-12 (183 x 116 mm). The first edition of Verlaine's explicit paean to homosexual love, which includes the "Sonnet au trou-du-cul" written in collaboration with his lover Arthur Rimbaud. The editor Le Dantec refused to include this collection in the modern critical edition of Verlaine's complete works. Enfer 1151. Pia 601 A beautiful copy of the special edition, limited to 25 (this is copy #1), bound in full morocco, signed H. Duhayon, raised bands, edges gilt, original wrappers present, wood slipcase, ex libris of Henri Fischer. With the holograph corrections to the page numbers (46. 47. 48) Van Bever & Monda, p. 67; Carteret Romantique II, p. 435; Paul Verlaine, Oeuvres poétiques complètes, Pléiade, p. 1375; Pia Enfer, 650; Dutel I, p. 170, N° 397*.