Dents de Lait, Dents de Loup.
(Paris: 1959). Folio. 65pp. From an edition of 211 copies, this is one of fifteen copies signed by the artist, Jacques Villon, the poet, Henri Pichette, and by the editor, Pierre de Tartas; and with an extra suite of all thirteen etchings, plus duplicate extra suites of the four double-page etchings, two of which are in color. This extraordinary illustrated work shows Villon's range of style, as it includes abstract, Cubist, landscape, and floral studies. It also shows his range of technique, with areas of cross-hatching, aquatint, and color aquatint. The two-color aquatint spreads are interspersed with the text of the poems. A member of the Duchamp family, Villon left the study of law to join the Cubist movement and became particularly known for his virtuosity in color etching. The extra suites of the four double-page plates are printed on japon nacré. This copy has been bound by French master-binder Renaud Vernier in full dark brown box calf with plaquettes set into the front and rear panels that rotate on a stainless steel axis. The plaquettes are formed from two types of lacquered exotic hardwood: macassar ebony and French Guyanan wacapou. Vernier explores the double nature of the title through the revolving panel, placing "Dents de Lait" on one side with the lettering in dark ebony against the lighter wacapou wood; "Dents de Loup" is given the opposite treatment on the other side of the panel. This motif is extended to the back cover, where Villon's name appears on one side, wacapou on ebony, and Pichette's name on the other in reverse. Endleaves are done in "Sienna earth" suede. The finish work on the binding was executed by Claude Ribal, Vernier's long-time collaborator, whose initials appear on the lower rear doublure. Housed in a matching chemise and slipcase. The former apprentice of legendary binder Pierre-Lucien Martin, Vernier has been recognized by France as a living national heritage, and in 2000, he was named "Maître d'Art" -- the only binder in France to be awarded this title. A brilliant synthesis of binding and illustration, resulting in the perfect livre d'artiste. Extremely fine. (Item ID: 4436)
(The Artist & the Book, p. 214).
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- By This Author: Pichette, Henri
- By This Illustrator: Villon, Jacques (illust.); Vernier, Renaud (binder)