WITH A WONDERFUL LARGE ORIGINAL DRAWING BY COCTEAU
COCTEAU, Jean. Dessins. Paris: Libraire Stock, 1923 [i.e. 1924]. Large quarto, original cream paper wrappers, uncut. Housed in a custom clamshell box. $9000.
Signed limited first edition, number 44 of only 625 copies, this being one of only 50 copies “sur Hollande Van Gelder,” with a large laid-in original pen-and-ink drawing by Cocteau entitled “Hommage a Paul Morand,” depicting a wealthy woman reclining in a lounge chair, a copy of one of Morand’s books dangling from her hand.
Dessins contains more than 100 line cuts of Cocteau's early drawings, dedicated to Picasso with the apology: "Poets do not draw. They untie the knots in handwriting and then retie them differently." Because some plates were spoiled in the printing and therefore had to be restruck, the work did not actually appear until 1924. Cocteau's large original laid-in drawing depicts a stylish woman lounging on a wooden chair, a copy of a book by Paul Morand dangling from her hand. Paul Morand, often classified as a modernist and imagist, met Cocteau in 1917 at the premiere of Cocteau's ballet Parade. The two were very much part of the same avant-garde artistic and social movements. Morand remained a member of the literary elite throughout his life, though he was an unapologetic collaborator with both the Vichy regime and the Nazis during World War II. Owner signature.
Interior generally fine, slight soiling and a bit of wear mainly to extremities of original wrappers, expert joint repairs. A scarce near-fine copy, most desirable with original drawing by Cocteau.