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    The Black Sun "Dangerous Liaisons," with Fourteen Illustrations by Alastair

    [ALASTAIR, illustrator]. Choderlos de Laclos. Les Liaisons Dangereuses. With Illustrations by Alastair. [Translated by Ernest Dowson]. Paris: The Black Sun Press, 1929. The Black Sun "Dangerous Liaisons," with Fourteen Illustrations by Alastair

    One of 1,000 numbered copies on Moirans Paper (this copy being Numbers 562 and 259), out of a total edition of 1,020 copies. Two quarto volumes (11.0625 x 8.75 inches). [2, blank], [6], 276, [6], [2, blank]; [2, blank], [6], 262, [4], [2, blank] pages. Each volume with five inserted plates and two full-page illustrations by Alastair. Printed in red and black.

    Original cream-colored fold-over wrappers printed in red and black. Light foxing and browning to wrappers, spines chipped at head and tail and starting to split. Paper very slightly browned. A very good copy of this fragile item. In the original glassines. Glassines chipped and torn, slightly browned at the edges, with the spine of Volume I glassine lacking.

    "This classic eighteenth-century erotic novel, written in the form of letters exchanged by the protagonists, deals with two libertines, the Vicomte de Valmont and the Marquise de Merteuil, and their various enterprises to corrupt and seduce the innocent. Alastair, discussing the placing, described the illustrations to his publisher as belonging to the book 'by atmosphere and the persons-but not in a strict illustration of a scene described in the book'" (Victor Arwas, Alastair: Illustrator of Decadence, p. 42).

    Alastair is the pseudonym of "German-born writer and illustrator, pianist, dancer and mime artist Hans Henning Voight (1887-1969), who claimed to be the illegitimate offspring of a hot-headed Bavarian prince and a pretty Irish girl. This account of his origins is as dubious as his mysteriously acquired title of 'Baron', since, of all the is probably of him that it could most truly be said the he 'created himself'. He was largely self-taught. His drawing style was heavily influenced by that of Aubrey Beardsley. Pictures usually comprised a delicately outlined single figure or couple, the details filled in with solid areas and fine lacelike patterning. In much of his work there is an intense eroticism, redolent with sadomasochistic elements. The faces are like masks, with large expressive eyes" (Clute and Grant, The Encyclopedia of Fantasy, p. 15).

    Minkoff A-31.

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    Auction Dates
    February, 2008
    21st-22nd Thursday-Friday
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