FIVE VOLUMES FROM THE RENOWNED BIBLIOMANIAC EDITION OF DE KOCK'S WORKS, FROM A LIMITED EDITION OF ONLY TEN SETS, IN MAGNIFICENT ART NOUVEAU BINDINGS, WITH ORIGINAL SIGNED ARTWORKS BY JOHN SLOAN AND WILLIAM GLACKENS, CO-FOUNDERS OF THE ASHCAN SCHOOL
DE KOCK, Charles Paul. Works. Boston, Paris, London: Frederick J. Quinby, (1903-04). Five volumes. Small quarto, contemporary full crimson morocco inlaid with Art Nouveau iris motifs on covers and doublures, both front and back. $8000.
Five exemplary volumes from the renowned limited "Bibliomaniac Edition" of De Kock's Works, number four of only 10 sets produced, these being two volumes each of Frère Jacques and The Gogo Family, and one volume of Friquette, all printed on French-folded vellum, illustrated with six original works by John Sloan (a watercolor and five signed etchings), three by William Glackens (a watercolor and two drawings, one signed) and two by Frederic Gruger (a watercolor and a drawing), as well as signed original works by Louis Meynell, Elmer Boyd Smith, and W.J. Sinnott— 22 works altogether. Ornately bound by the Harcourt Bindery with inlaid Art Nouveau iris motifs, superb inlaid leather doublures, with richly illuminated initials, head- and tail-pieces throughout each volume.
"Though best known as a painter of incidents on the streets of New York, John Sloan began his career as an illustrator… Between 1892 and 1915, his illustrations appeared in newspapers, books, and magazines, and on advertising posters. Sloan produced a wide range of illustrations, including on-the-spot news pictures for the Inquirer and Philadelphia Press, though it quickly became apparent that this was not his strength, unlike his friends William Glackens, George Luks, and Everett Shinn who excelled at rapid sketches" (Heather Campbell Coyle). From 1902 to 1905, his work for the Press was supplemented by a major commission to create 53 paintings and etchings of "raucous behavior and silly plot twists" (Huntington Library) as illustrations for this luxurious edition of the comic novels of Charles Paul de Kock. In all, Sloan produced 53 original works for the series. "The De Kock commission honed Sloan's abilities as an etcher and earned him praise as an illustrator" (Coyle). "William J. Glackens is an artist whose oeuvre is so diverse, it defies labeling" (Area of Design). Glackens' early training began at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, along with Sloan, Shinn, Luks, and Robert Henri, all of whom in 1908 founded the group called "The Eight," later known as the Ashcan School. Glackens' illustrations, particularly those involving animated crowds of people, exhibit brilliant and expressive draftsmanship, as do a smaller series of etchings of urban subjects" (Gale Encyclopedia). "Frederic Rodrigo Gruger combined those rare qualities of an innovative technique, a keen sense of design and attention to details which caused him to be referred to as an artist's artist… Norman Rockwell, reducing praise to its simplest terms, stated plainly: 'I admired him very much" (Society of Illustrators). In addition to Sloan, Glackens and Gruger, three other contemporary artists are represented: Louis Meynell, Elmer Boyd Smith, and W.J. Sinnott. The 22 original artworks contained in this exquisite selection from De Kock's novels are exemplary of the Ashcan School's distinctive style of illustration. The illuminated initials and head- and tail-pieces throughout each volume are done in rich and vibrant detail that include scenes and landscapes. The 22 original artworks contained in this exquisite edition of De Kock's novels are exemplary of the Ashcan School's distinctive style of illustration. The edition itself was designed as a tour de force of book production, projected to be 100 volumes but apparently abandoned after 48 volumes (only one "complete" set of 48 volumes has ever appeared).
Fine condition, artworks superb, magnificently bound, with only light rubs to two volumes.