“TIME SPENT WITH CATS IS NEVER WASTED”: PORTFOLIO OF FIVE SPLENDID LARGE FOLIO ORIGINAL SIGNED COLOR AQUATINTS OF CATS BY JACQUES NAM, WITH ENGAGING TEXTS BY COLETTE, ONE OF ONLY 25 COPIES ON IMPERIAL JAPON PAPER WITH ADDITIONAL ORIGINAL WATERCOLORS IN THE TEXT MARGINS SIGNED BY NAM—THIS COPY WITH AN ADDITIONAL BEAUTIFUL ORIGINAL LARGE GOUACHE PAINTING INSCRIBED AND SIGNED BY THE ARTIST
NAM, Jacques Lehmann and COLETTE, (Sidonie-Gabrielle). Chats. Paris: Chez l'Artiste Jacques Nam, circa 1935-38. Large original portfolio (18 by 21 inches) with printed label, containing six loose folio gatherings, five original aquatints (as issued), and one original large (17-1/2 by 12-1/2 inches) signed gouache painting, laid in. $28,000.
Limited first edition of this portfolio of five wonderful large color lithographic portraits of cats, each signed and numbered by Jacques Nam, accompanied by amusing commentaries by Colette, this copy one of only 25 issued on Imperial Japon paper with multiple original watercolors of cats in the margins of each leaf of text, initialed by Nam, as well as a lovely original charcoal and watercolor drawing on the half title inscribed and signed by Nam, "A Lucien Jonas, en témoignage de ma ___ amitie, Jacques Nam" [For Lucien Jonas, a token of my friendship]. This copy additionally with a splendid large (17-1/2 by 12-1/2 inches) original gouache watercolor painting inscribed and signed by the artist laid in, not called for on the limitation leaf.
"Time spent with cats is never wasted" (Colette). Jacques Nam was known primarily for his paintings and illustrations of animal subjects, mostly cats, which found their ways into the Salon d'Automne and the National Gallery of Beaux Arts. During the early 20th century, Nam provided illustrations for such French magazines as La Vie Parisienne and Le Petit Journal Illustré de la Jeunesse. Colette's works "express a sensibility shaped by the style of the belle époque and informed by a sensual responsiveness to the life of nature and the world of childhood" (Drabble, 213). No one who is fond of cats can afford to miss her descriptions of "Le Siamois," "Simplette," and "Fastagette." This is copy number 27; the 25 copies in this limitation are numbered 6-30, from a total edition of 380 copies. Text in French.
Evidence of mounting to verso of gouache painting, image fine. Just a touch of rubbing to corners of portfolio; plates, text and watercolors all in very fine condition. A splendid production, very scarce and exceptionally desirable with the original large signed gouache painting.