PRESENTATION/ASSOCIATION FIRST PRINTING OF THE ILLUSTRATED EDITION OF OSCAR WILDE’S DEUX CONTES, INSCRIBED BY ILLUSTRATOR SCHMIED
(SCHMIED, François-Louis). WILDE, Oscar. Deux Contes. Paris: F.-L. Schmied, 1926. Quarto, original illustrated portfolio, contents loose as issued, uncut. Housed in a custom clamshell box. $5200.
First printing of this illustrated edition of two of Oscar Wilde’s fairy tales, one of 162 copies, this one out of series and dedicated and inscribed to Schmied’s frequent collaborator, on the dedication page: “J’ai tiré cet exemplaire pour le Docteur J.C. Mardrus, mon ami, et le lui dédie du toute la ferveur de mon admiration. F.L. Schmied.” Additionally signed by Schmied by publisher’s note at rear of text.
Painter and engraver F.L. Schmied was a prolific publisher of illustrated books during the early part of the twentieth century. This illustration of Oscar Wilde’s short stories is one of his most renowned works. J.C. Mardrus, to whom Schmied has inscribed this copy, was a French physician who spent much of his life in the near and middle east and is best known for his translation of One Thousand and One Nights, and other Arabic works, into French. These translations were frequently illustrated and published by Schmied. The dedication reads in translation: “I printed this copy for Dr. J.C. Mardrus, my friend, and dedicate it to him with all of the fervor of my admiration. F.L. Schmied.” Contains two of Oscar Wilde’s most delightful short stories: “The Happy Prince” and “The Nightingale and the Rose.” Both tales involve birds sacrificing themselves for true love. Schmied’s colorful art deco silver and gilt illustrations can be found on almost every page.
Light toning to original illustrated portfolio wrappers. A beautiful, fine copy, warmly inscribed.