Stein's Scarcest Work

    Gertrude Stein. Before the Flowers of Friendship Faded Friendship Faded. Written on a poem by Georges Hugnet. Paris: Plain Edition, [no date, 1931]. First edition, limited to 120 copies signed by the author. Small folio, approximately 11.5 x 8.25 inches. 33 pages, printed on handmade paper. Publisher's original saddle-stitched binding with coarse brown wrappers printed in black on front cover, original glassine dust jacket. Binding thread snapped and covers detached, light soiling near centerfold of front wrapper. Glassine chipped at spine and edges. A very good copy of this fragile publication.

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    By this point in her career, Stein was already a critically acclaimed author. In this collection, she masterfully exhibits her famous penchant for wordplay that reveals a deeper psychoanalytic meaning. This is the second book published by Plain Edition, a publishing venture undertaken by Stein and her partner, Alice B. Toklas. Souhami, Gertrude and Alice, 181-183.

    After the self-financed publication of her first novel by Grafton Press, financial restraints caused Stein to seek out other means of getting her work published. The Plain Edition operation was largely funded by the sale of Stein and Toklas's personal collection of original Picasso paintings. Due to the extremely limited number of copies released during each run of Plain Edition titles, they have become much sought after. Wilson, page 24.

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    Auction Dates
    April, 2016
    6th Wednesday
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