This diminutive little almanach contains 27 engraved etchings, both black and white and color, of the much-loved French Bell Époque artist, Henri Boutet. It was published by Georges Chamerot in Paris for the year 1891.
Henri Boutet (1851-1919 Paris), was known as "le Petit Maître au corset" because of his candid illustrations of Parisian women. He focused on the genre "La Parisienne, and depicted women ranging from ordinary shop assistants to elegant ladies. He was a master at portraying their common qualities of coquettisness and feminity. His images give us a window to the past of the charm and frivolities of Paris during the Belle Époque.
This is a "tirage de luxe", a special printing that placed the illustrated pages within a paper board binding (this is one of only 50 examples). This lovely binding is ornamented by a beautiful, signed illustration on the front cover board. The text includes 16 "grand illustrations" and many vignette illustrations. Each illustration is vivacious and amusing.
The French text presents short stories, poems and the year's calender for 1891. There is diary section in the back, with one page for each month (each with a color vignette illustration) which still remains unused and blank. The tops of the pages remain uncut, in a "just published" state.
The book remains in good condition. The pages pull slightly from the spine, but are still attached by the original sewing threads. The illustrations are bright and clear, there is very little foxing to the pages. The book measures: 4 1/4" x 3 3/8" x 1/2" thick.
It is truly a special treasure from a magnificent time in Parisian history.
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Fine 18th and 19th century French smalls: Layaways Welcome