Friday, January 14, 2011

Lautreamont: Les Chants de Maldoror, illustres par Salvador Dali.

Lautreamont: Les Chants de Maldoror,
illustres par Salvador Dali

Right now, this booklet is an enigma.  There is no copyright information and the only printed information inside the booklet reads:


Etienne Braillard in Geneva printed the Argillet edition of 1975 as the retitled Edition complete et definitive des Chants de Maldoror (according to Dali: Les Chants de Maldoror exhibition catalog, 1991).    So, it seems that this booklet likely dates to about 1975.

Let's turn our attention to the details of the booklet.  It is 6.25" x 9.25" and contains 44 plates of Dali's engravings for Les Chants de Maldoror.

These engravings are without the remarques of both the 1934 Skira deluxe edition and the 1975 Argillet edition.  For the Argillet edition, Dali engraved additional designs on the cropped plates that are different from the original remarques (according to Dali: Les Chants de Maldoror exhibition catalog, 1991).

So, the booklet images appear to represent the original unaltered engravings of 1934.

One possibility is that this booklet accompanied the Argillet edition to show the original state of the engravings, another possibility is that the booklet was a promotional catalog or advertisement for the Argillet edition.  Hopefully the actual details of this publication will soon come to light.

In any case, the reproductions in this booklet are the best quality of any Maldoror illustrations I have seen, making this a great find.  All illustrations are crisp, clear, have sufficient contrast, and are full-page.

It is not known where another of these booklets is being sold--it appears to be extremely rare.  Any estimation of collector value must be strictly conjecture, but I am not beyond such speculation.

If the booklet turns out to be associated with the purchase of the Argillet edition of 1975, then the value of this booklet may be quite high considering that one could only get it through the costly purchase of the engravings suite.  In this case, the booklet could be worth several hundred dollars.

If the booklet is simply a promotional publication that is somewhat common somewhere in the world, then the value of the booklet could easily be under $100.

My personal valuation of this item is tentatively in the $300 range.

No comments: