Limited edition, number 109 of 280 copies. Loose sheets in portfolio, as issued. Publisher's original vellum wrappers with titles and decoration in gilt to the upper cover. Page edges untrimmed. Profusely illustrated throughout with hand-coloured wood-engraved illustrations and decorative borders by Florian after drawings by Giraldon. Housed in the original silk-lined cream cloth portfolio case with titles in gilt. A lovely near-fine copy, the binding clean and bright with just a tiny nick to the head of the spine. The contents with the occasional dot of foxing are otherwise in good order and free from any previous owners' inscriptions or stamps. The illustrations remain fresh and vibrant. The portfolio case has marking and wear but is structurally sound and generally in very good condition. With an original watercolour illustration by Giraldon depicting a lake scene with a lyre in the foreground, all contained within a decorative floral border, signed and inscribed by the artist in black ink to the foot. Also included are 5 original bookplate designs in ink, pencil and watercolour by the artist (3 on card, 2 on tracing paper), all initialled in pencil; a hand-coloured wood engraving for the title page of Giraldon's illustrated edition of Alfred de Musset's Les Nuits, signed with initials in pencil (possibly a proof or first printing?); his inscribed visiting card; and two other watercolours probably also by Giraldon, although unsigned. The first depicts a pastoral scene of two figures beneath a tree, the second a beautiful, delicate portrayal of a woman gathering flowers, with pencil verse underneath and sketches in the right-hand margin. Other than some minor wear to the margins of the bookplates and a few dots of foxing to the margins of the signed watercolour, all of the artwork remains in very good, clean condition. A fine and most attractive group.
The watercolour is signed and inscribed by Giraldon to the French journalist and bibliophile Paul Eudel: "pour mon vieil ami P. Eudel / août 1903 / A. Giraldon". It does not appear in the present work, but seems to be part of the same suite of illustrations, so is perhaps an unused design. A superb copy of Giraldon's Art Nouveau masterpiece, containing eight pieces of original artwork. "His most considerable accomplishment as an illustrator...The grace and elegance of its title page set the standard for the book as a whole". (Ray). [Carteret IV, 403; Ray 306].
Stock code: 18186