Paris: L'Edition D'Art. H. Piazza, 1920. First French edition. One of 1,500 copies. Original strong blue color wrappers, embossed and ornamented with sponge-like designs in silver and gilt; small paper label printed with brown lettering and design on front cover. This copy is not numbered but is an "Examplaire Offert par Léonard Rosenthal a M. Poupon".Large quarto (11 7/8 x 9 1/4 inches; 302 x 234 mm.). 139, [1, printer’s imprint] pp. Ten mounted color plates, with descriptive tissue guards.A fine copy.
“Au Royaume de la Perle was first published in Paris (by Payot) in 1919 without benefit of the Dulac illustrations which the author Mr. Rosenthal so eagerly sought. But when, in 1920, Dulac found time to produce 10 pictures, Mr. Rosenthal not only purchased the water colours, but had another publisher, Piazza of Paris, publish a 1,500-copy new edition of his Perle book with the Dulac illustrations. Also Dulac reveals in a reply to a Mr. Carroll of Massachusetts who hoped to buy one of the Pearl illustrations that Mr. Rosenthal also purchased the copyright to the 10 pictures. However Mr. Rosenthal did allow his book with Dulac pictures and in English translation to be published in England by The Nisbet Publishing House…The English edition, although praised by The Times Literary critic as Dulac ‘at his best’ was not a commercial success. In order to make use of the 775 sheets remaining from 1,550 printed for the English edition, arrangements were made in 1925 to market an edition through Brentano’s, booksellers in New York…The Pearl pictures indeed display a ripening of a Dulac style first seen in Sindbad the Sailor, employed in some of his Fairy Book pictures and developed fully in The Tanglewood Tales. It is a Persian miniature style, but made quite his own…His plates, truly genius, do much to bring a fanciful touch to the otherwise stark exposition of a treatise on pearls” (Hughey).
Hughey, 54a. (Item #3637)