Classics, Illustrated & Extra-Deluxe
Philadelphia Productions with a PARISIAN Aesthetic
Anacreon, Sappho, & Publius Virgilius Maro; Paul Avril, illus. Antique gems from the Greek and Latin. Anacreon: Odes [with] Sappho: Odes, bridal songs, epigrams [and] Virgil: The Bucolics [with] Catullus: Odes to Lesbia and the Nuptial song of Peleus and Thetis. Philadelphia: George Barrie & Son, 1902. 8vo (21.6 cm, 8.5"). 2 vols. Anacreon: , xviii, 201, , xviii, 65,  pp.; col. illus. Virgil: , xxix, , 199, , xxi, , 151,  pp.; col. illus. $3000.00
Click the images for enlargements.
“CONNOISSEUR EDITION”: A wide-margined, lavishly bound set of Greek and Latin poems printed for subscribers only, with English translations done by a variety of eminent names, and numerous illustrations by Édouard-Henri Avril (using his pseudonym Paul Avril). The text on each page is framed by a floral or architectural border in French style, printed in blue-green for the former style and bistre for the latter.
Present here are four volumes of the “Antique Gems” series bound into two, with this set marked asnumbered copy XI (eleven) of only twelve printed featuring “duplicate impressions of the illustrations, finished with watercolors” — the Greek or Latin and the English versions appearing here on facing pages with the engravings repeated on each side, the classical-side vignettes left unadorned and the English-side versionshand-painted with remarkable delicacy and precision. In one instance, what would have been the unpainted duplicate has been colored and used as the doublure inlay (see below), and in two other cases hand-colored vignettes appear without any uncolored opposites; all other illustrations are doubled as described above with an apparently extra engraving having been colored to serve on the doublure in one case.
Binding: Publisher's dark green morocco framed in double gilt fillets, spines with raised bands, gilt-stamped titles, gilt-stamped motifs in compartments, andstunning doublures of inlaid violet and teal morocco with ornate gilt tooling. Each inside front cover bears a different small delicately color-printed medallion derived from an engraving associated with a poem, inlaid at center, and the rear inside covers feature similarly sized and placed classical heads of inlaid tan and cream gilt-tooled leather. Patterned silk endpapers; all edges gilt. A signed binding, with rear doublures stamped “Bound by Barrie.”
Bound as above, spines evenly sunned to slightly lighter green, minor rubbing to extremities. Doublures virtually pristine, pages clean and crisp. A simply, gloriously luxurious set, inspired by European elegance but produced by an American firm for American bibliophiles. (41693)