Vienna/Leipzig: C.W. Stern Verlag, 1909. First edition. Softcover. Quarto.  264pp. [5 leaves of fold-out plates at the rear]. Red pebbled soft leather stiff wrappers. Spine with raised bands and gilt lettering on a green leather label. Housed in a finely-produced custom slipcase in marbled paper over red leather. Marbled endpapers. White ribbon marker. Copy #1147 from an unknown limitation.
An informative and engaging visual and historical survey of eroticism in French illustration, caricature, and prints of the 18th and 19th centuries, by French journalist and art historian John Grand-Carteret (1850-1927). The work is profusely illustrated with more than 250 b/w in text images as well as an additional 51 interleaved larger plates; many are double-page and some are in color and/or are reproduced lithographically. The author contextualizes all the images here by the history, commerce and morals of the various periods, including the sexual morays of the day, and the illicit and clandestine trade in erotic and pornographic imagery. Many of the images here have since become famous or infamous.
Considering the explicitness, subversiveness, and sometimes shocking nature of the sexual images here, is it surprising that the work was published at all during this period, in a finely produced edition like this. Having said that, it makes sense that the publisher had the book printed privately, only for a limited number of subscribers, and that the work was not publicly available in book shops. The translation was take from a manuscript of the work by Grand-Carteret, which was ultimately never published in the author's native French, making this the first, and perhaps only edition of this work.
Text in German.
Slipcase with minor rubbing to extremities. Spine with minor rubbing to the edges of the leather label. Interior with a very few instances of minor to light stains and/or smudges to pages, mostly in the margins. Slipcase and binding in near fine, interior in very good+ condition overall. Book block tight. A very nice copy of this work. vg+ to near fine. Item #49634
Series title: Publikation der Gesellschaft Österreichischer Bibliophilen (Publication of the Society of Austrian Bibliophiles), Vol. 16.