Paris, France: Scripta et Picta, 1948. Van Dongen. Limited Edition . 1/186. Folio (13 3/8" 9 3/4"). Bound in full red levant morocco in a striking modernist design by Georges Crette. Spine titles in gilt. Boards decorated in interlaced oval patterns with dark green, black and white morocco inlay/onlay and gilt outline. Blue silk endpapers ruled in gilt. All edges heavy gilt. Housed in half red morocco chemise and red morocco trimmed slipcase. Fine in matching chemise and slipcase. Item #76602
Voltaire's 1768 philosophical novel follows the protagonist touring many nations, finding differing cultures and social structures, and of course searching for love. Through this narrative Voltaire advances values now described as part of the Enlightenment in Europe.
Crette was an apprentice and protégée of master binder Marius-Michel. Crete gradually moved to a mature Art Deco individual style.
“Crette assumed control and began to direct the flow of new business, an arrangement formalized in 1923 and put into effect in April 1925, a month before Marius-Michel’s death…Adhering initially to the Art Nouveau floral esthetic, which allowed him to retain Maris-Michel’s old clients, he gradually began to promote his own more geometric style, which was built around compositions of gold and blind-tooled fillets…His designs were often similar to those of Henri Creuzevault: crisp and in harmony with the text, composed of repeating symmetrical punched decoration, such as overlapping circles.” (Art Nouveau and Art Deco Bookbinding, by Alastair Duncan and Georges de Bartha), p. 189.