A Book of Cats, Being Twenty Drawings by Foujita [UNIQUE COPY, WIYH THE ADDITIONAL SUITE OF PLATES, THREE SIGNED IN PENCIL]
New York: Covidi Friede, 1930. First edition. Hardcover. 1/500. Folio. 84pp. . Housed in a new illustrated custom red leather clamshell box with gilt tooling and lettering on the front cover and spine. The plates are all individually protected in sheets of mylar housed separately in a red cloth chemise. Red buckram boards with silver lettering on the front cover. Includes the publisher's original mylar dust jacket. Pages uncut. #49 from this limited edition of 500 copies hand-numbered and signed by Foujita on the colophon. Contains an unopened page at the colophon. Each copy was issued with a suite of 20 additional loose plates of the images from the book, printed on Japanese vellum. All known copies of these additional suites contained the artist's pencil signature on only one of the plates. This unique copy contains 3 plates hand-signed by the artist in pencil: "Atarah and Hesione," "Ahinoam" and "Pasithea." The loose "Ahinoam" plate with our copy is surprisingly printed on arches paper instead of the traditional vellum.
The most rare and sought after book on cats, this delightful work contains 20 illustrated plates of etchings of cats and kittens by acclaimed Japanese-French artist Leonard Tsuguharu Foujita (1886-1958). Each cat image has its own name and is accompanied by a poem about the respective cat by British writer Michael Joseph (1897-1958). These images display an incredible amount of personality and subtlety, really showing the character of cats as they pose, rest or are depicted in a state of play. All images have the artist's dated signature in English and Japanese printed in the plate. All bound pages are printed on Arches paper.
Binding with some light sunning to the edges of the covers. Minor rubbing to corners. Minor smudging and a few small scratches to the covers. Interior with minor foxing to the front and rear endpapers, as well as the interior front cover. A few sporadic small water spots to a number of pages throughout, including a few of the plates (mostly in the margins). All plates from the loose suite are clean. Interior back cover with the sticker of famed San Francisco bookseller Paul Elder & Co. Original mylar jacket with some chipping, sunning and closed tears. Binding in very good+, interior in very good condition overall. vg to vg+. Item #48668
Leonard Tsuguharu Foujita (藤田 嗣治, 1886-1968) aka Tsuguharu Fujita, was among the most acclaimed Japanese artists in the West during the 20th century. Known primarily as a painter and printmaker, Foujita pioneered a form which applied Japanese techniques to western-style paintings. After studies in both traditional Japanese art and Western art, he moved to Paris in 1913 to pursue his career. There he lived in the famed Montparnasse neighborhood, and quickly became friends with many of the most famous names in the art world of the time, including Juan Gris, Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse. He was most noted for his works depicting cats and for nudes, acheiving more financial success than many of his acclaimed contemporaries, during this period. He lived in France until 1931, when he moved to South America, later returning to Japan from 1933 until the end of WWII. He returned to Europe after the war and finally became a naturalized French citizen in 1955. He lived in France until his death in Switzerland in 1958.