Illustrated books earning more followers

NEW YORK — Bidders competed for fine examples of Modern Art books, exquisitely illustrated volumes and scarce graphic design and typography titles at Swann Galleries’ May 9 auction of Art, Press & Illustrated Books.

Christine von der Linn, Swann’s Art Book specialist said, “We were thrilled at the response to the exhibition and participation in the sale. The interest in graphic arts and the appreciation of masters of design, both American and foreign, has consistently grown and

George Barbier, Le Bonheur du Jour ou, les Graces à la Mode, Paris, 1924, fetched $10,800 (including buyer's premium). (Photo courtesy Swann Galleries)

George Barbier, Le Bonheur du Jour ou, les Graces à la Mode, Paris, 1924, fetched $10,800 (including buyer’s premium). (Photo courtesy Swann Galleries)

continues to gain more followers.”

The sale’s top lot was Fernand Crommelynck, “Le Cocu Magnifique,” with 12 original hors-texte engravings after Pablo Picasso, signed by both Crommelynck and Picasso, Paris, 1968, at $12,000. (All prices quoted include buyer’s premium.)

There was much interest in George Barbier’s tour-de-force of art, fashion and theater design, “Le Bonheur du Jour ou, les Graces à la Mode,” with 16 plates colored in pochoir by Henri Reidel, Paris, 1924, $10,800.

Two record-setting works were a first edition of the “Catalogue of the Morgan Collection of Chinese Porcelains,” two volumes containing 158 chromolithographed plates, New York, 1904-11, $8,400; and Hsiang Yüan-Pien, “Noted Porcelains of Successive Dynasties,” with 83 color plates, Peking, 1931, $4,560.

Among illustration highlights were the Limited Editions Club edition of Oscar Wilde’s “The Ballad of Reading Gaol,” illustrated and signed by Zhenya Gay, and bound by Roger Powell, New York, 1937, $4,080; and Leonard Baskin’s “Irises, A Book of Etchings,” one of only 35 copies, signed, Leeds, Massachusetts, 1988, $6,000.

For more information, contact Swann Galleries, 104 East 25th St., New York, NY 10010, or 212-254-4710, or visit