“A LOVELY AND MOST CHARMING JOB”: EXTRAORDINARY SUITE OF 11 ORIGINAL CALDER ETCHED PROOFS FOR LA FONTAINE’S FABLES, USED TO CREATE THE LINE-CUTS FOR PRINTING
CALDER, Alexander. Suite of 11 original etched proofs for the 1948 Quadrangle Press publication of the Selected Fables of Jean de la Fontaine. WITH: Sample pages and original prospectus for the book. WITH: Typed letter of transmittal signed on Quadrangle Press letterhead, dated July 26, 1948. WITH: Trade edition of the book. New York: Quadrangle Press, 1948. Fifteen items altogether. Quarto, eleven sheets of original etchings; four sample pages and folded prospectus; sheet of stationery, measuring 8-1/2 by 11 inches; book bound in original slate-gray paper over boards, original dust jacket. $9500.
An extremely important suite of 11 splendid original etchings by Calder for La Fontaine’s Fables—apparently the only surviving original etchings for this work. With the trade edition of the book, accompanied by the original prospectus, sample pages and letter of transmittal.
Includes a typed letter signed from R.G. von Ripper of the Quadrangle Press to Louis Eude, art director of Town and Country Magazine, transmitting "the prospectus, some proof pages, and a number of original etchings," and hoping Eude will "see fit to reproduce one or the other of them, with a little information about this forthcoming book of ours, in your September issue." Von Ripper continues, "I feel that Calder has done a lovely and most charming job for this new book of ours." All of the etchings (some with multiple images) are brushed with white opaque solution for photographic reproduction and bear occasional pencil production notes. The illustrations in the book were printed as line cuts produced from this set of proofs—apparently the only surviving suite of Calder's original etchings for this book.
Etchings fine (with only a few faint fingermarks). Book and dust jacket very good. Prospectus separated and chipped along fold. Letter fine. An important collection of original Calder artwork.