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    [Fine Binding by Séguy]. George Barbier, Schmied [illustrators], Albert Flament [text]. Personnages de Comédie. Paris: Meynial, no date [1922]. Limited edition of 150 copies, of which this is number 47, signed by Barbier in pencil to the limitation page and with an additional plate. Small folio. Unpaginated. Illustrated half-title and title pages, 13 full-page plates, 2 half-page plates, and illustrated initials, tailpieces, and other decorative devices, many heighted in gold or silver. Contemporary full vellum with inlaid and painted decoration to front board by Séguy with his monogram in blind, front board with painted border and interlaced patterning in purple and silver, surrounding a central decor composed of chrysanthemums in yellow and orange and a black domino with purple ties, the whole surrounded by leaves and sprays in bright green, title in black to spine, cream linen placemarker, original wrappers preserved. Minor edgewear, somewhat rubbed. Internally clean and tight, top edge trimmed and gilt, other edges untrimmed; additional plate tipped in at front, some offsetting, text block edges toned with minor wear. Housed in a wool-lined marbled slipcase, toned and worn. Near fine.

    Emile-Alain Séguy (1877 - 1951), known for his series of extraordinary Art Deco pochoir portfolios, 'Suggestions', 'Samarkande', 'Floréal', 'Insectes', 'Bouquets et Frondaisons', 'Primavera' and 'Papillons', also produced a number of remarkable bindings. Executed in a style reminiscent of the composition of his portfolio plates, a dense, layered, floral decorative scheme, the bindings we can locate are most usually for books published between c.1900 and 1910 such as a copy of Bonnard's 'Parallèlement', de Musset's 'Rolla' and 'Les Chansons de Gueux' illustrated by Steinlen. The binding presented here, for a book published some 20 years later, features a painted and inlaid composition by Séguy to the front board, signed with his blindstamp, different in style to his earlier work but retaining an association with his decorative pochoirs and Art Deco. Emile-Alain Séguy is not to be confused with the entomologist Eugène-Alain Séguy (1890 - 1985) although the idea of a precocious talent designing important bindings at the age of 18 or 19 is seductive.

    *Note: Updated to include the identification of the binder as Emile-Alain Séguy, and with a brief biography of his work.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2021
    9th-10th Wednesday-Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 12
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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