Berlin: Ernst Wasmuth A.-G. (1927). First edition. 176/330. 41 (1)pp., 42 plates with printed tissue guards. Original quarter vellum over brown paper-covered boards with gilt vignette on cover, gilt lettering on spine. Title page with publisher's device and black double frame. Cover design by Lucian Zabel. With an introduction on Russian culture, the tradition of ballet and theater, set and costume design by Carl Einstein. Many of the plates with dates ranging from 1910 to 1923, including motifs created during the war. The motifs of the plates range from close-up figure drawings to simple folk costumes, elaborate gowns for members of the Court, mystical figures and various set designs.
Illustrated with forty-two plates, nineteen of them fully or partially colored by hand or pochoir, some heightened in gilt or silver, three b/w, one sepia-toned lithograph and nineteen plates reproduced in high quality offset printing. The title page calls for forty-two plates and six illustrations in the text. Our copy is illustrated with seven tipped-in color offset reproductions and one b/w lithograph as endpiece on page seventeen.
In addition the work is extra-illustrated with five color offset reproductions: one full-page embossed color plate with extensive hand-applied gilt overlay facing page seven (Le Roi), a full-page embossed color offset reproduction with extensive silver overlay facing plate one (Phedre Thesee, dated 1923) and three full page color offset reproductions facing plates fifteen (L'Amazone, with black overprinting), twenty-five (Scheherazade, embossed and heightened in silver, and Lampe d'Aladin, multicolor overprint)) and thirty-six (La Sultane, embossed and overprinted in gilt, facing the same image though with greater detail).
The copies listed in OCLC vary in publication dates, all calling for 42 plates and six in-text illustrations. Auction records call for 1925. One auction record for the 1925 edition calls for the lithograph line drawing in the text. Our copy contains two plates dated 1922 in addition to others dated 1917. We've been unable to find any bibliographic record that describes seven in-text illustrations or the five additional illustrations facing four of the plates and the first page of the text as described.
Text in German. Binding with light wear along edges but vellum smudged and variously discolored. Block lightly starting at a few plates (11, 15, 19, 27, 30, 42). A couples of tissue guards for plates loose but present. Binding in overall good-, plates in very good+ to fine condition. Good- to fine condition. Item #49047
Leon Bakst (1866-1924) was a Russian painter, costume and set designer. Bakst studied art at the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts and was a member of the Sergei Diaghilev circle. In 1893 he moved to Paris for four years, studying at the Academy Julian. He founded the magazine 'Mir Iskusstva (World of Art)' with his friends Alexander Benois, Sergei Diaghilev and Valentin Serov. Bakst is best known for his work in set and costume design for the Ballet Russes.