Here I offer a wonderful rare complete Christmas 1901 Edition of the iconic French satirical magazine.. L'Assiette au Beurre. It is full of original signed lithographs depicting Christmas ~but with a unique twist...by the celebrated French satirical illustrator Paul Balluriau. The covers of this magazine alone sell for $50-$100+, making this rare complete version a real bargain.
Poster Art was so influential in Paris during the Art Nouveau era that even social comment publications used the genre to best make their political point.
L'Assiette au Beurre (The Butter Plate) was a French satirical magazine, created by Schwartz, that preferred pictures to text. It was a long running, hard biting, social comment magazine~issued from 1901-1912~ using the talents of the best known poster artists of La Belle Epoque, and instead of incisive words used the cartoon and caricature method to make it's political points. It was at the forefront of social comment, boldly challenging the hypocritical morality of such powerful bodies as Government, Religion and the Armed Forces. And highlighted the scourges of the working classes such as alcoholism, poverty, and illness. All the contributing artists shared a penchant for anarchy and social reform. Combining great artistic talent with witty satire, it is still a major reference for cartoon and caricature even today.
While there were 593 issues it is rare to find one complete. Especially in the A+ condition of this magazine. With lithographs by this artist selling at more than $300 each, many dealers would sell this page by page, but as a social history document I felt it was imperative it be kept intact.
Printed on cream paper and influenced by the Japanese woodblock prints of the time using only 3 colors (orange, white and brown), it measures 12 1/4' x 9 3/4". Including the front and back covers it has 8 pages of lithographs.
Issue #39 was the first Christmas (Noel) issue, dated December 1901, and it's comment understandably was anti-religious. It cost just 30 centimes in 1901. Individual pages from L'Assiette au Beurre come up for sale from time to time, but I have never found a complete edition before. This is a unique opportunity to own a complete set of bitingly witty satirical drawings from the Art Nouveau era.
Each issue featured the work of one single artist. French born Paul Balluriau was the artist for this issue. There are 14 original Lithographs in total, all signed in plate. I have included as many pictures as possible of his exquisite rendering. The one featuring the Angel Gabriel is my particular favourite. picture #9
Paul Balluriau~1860-1917~ was a highly respected Montmartre based poster artist and a regular contributor to social comment magazines such as Le Rire, Gil Blas Illustre and La Semaine Suzette
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