Eric Chaim Kline, Bookseller

Eric Chaim Kline, Bookseller

Le Centaure. Revue Illustrée du Sport, de la Vénerie, de l'Agriculture et des Arts (The Centaur. Illustrated Review of Sport, Hunting, Agriculture and the Arts) [COMPLETE FIRST RUN OF THE PERIODICAL, IN EIGHT BOUND VOLUMES, W/ 271 ILLUSTRATED PLATES, INCLUDING 27 ORIGINAL ALBUMEN PHOTOGRAPHS]

Paris: Leon Crémiére, 1866-1869. First edition. Hardcover. Folios. Vol.1 (1866): 104pp. (interleaved throughout with 37 un-numbered plates) - Vol.2 (1866): 105-256pp. (+ 37 plates) - Vol.3 (1867): 235, [1]pp. (+ 35 plates) - Vol.4 (1867): 237- 332pp. (+ 34 plates) - Vol.5 (1868): 96pp. (+ 35 plates) - Vol.6 (1868): 97- 192pp. (+29 plates) - Vol.7 (1869): 96pp. (+ 33 plates) - Vol.8 (1869: 97-176pp. (+ 31 plates). Bound in publisher's green and blue-green buckram boards with gilt lettering, ruling and illustrated motifs on the front covers and spines. Edges of the first volume in gilt. Second volume with marbled endpapers. All volumes with engraved illustrated title pages, and some with illustrated frontispieces.

This collection comprises of the complete first run of the now scarce French equestrian, sport, hunting and leisure periodical Le Centaure. The publication was initiated by noted French photographer Leon Crémiére (1831-1913) in 1866, and ran for four years, through to the end of 1869. Crémiére restarted the publication in 1879, running until 1883. At the time of the establishing of Le Centaure, Cremiere had already been appointed an official photographer for the Imperial household of Napoleon III, and had made a name for himself as a prominent photographer of military officials, celebrities, equestrians, and animals - mostly notably horses and dogs.

Each of these first four years of publication is bound in two volumes, with continuous pagination. Illustrated title pages at the beginning of every volume depict the Centaur of the title (Chiron, of Greek mythology) holding a bow and arrow, with a dead lion at his feet. The image is apt given the periodical's focus on Crémiére personal interests - equestrian activities and hunting. Additionally, the periodical contains articles covering a much broader range of topics: agriculture, animal husbandry, natural history, and sports, as well as other recreational and leisure activities, travel, the arts, and fashion.

Le Centaur is most notable for the fact that every issue included multiple full-page illustrated plates bound in. This collection includes a phenomenal total of 271 illustrated plates. The count of individual images present in this collection numbers even more, as a some plates contain two images. The images represent a number of different visual processes, including fine b/w engraved portraits, and both duo-tone (including sepia) and colored lithographic images, with many being gorgeous hand-colored lithographs heightened with gum arabic, providing vibrant color and texture. The issues often included original albumen photographs by Crémiére himself, which was a rarity for periodicals of the day. There are a total of 27 photographs present in this collection, with images ranging in size from 6.5x 4.5" to 9x7". Additionally, some of the plates included here are larger double-page spreads (many of which are hand-colored lithographs). A total of 114 plates in the collection are in b/w, either engravings or duo-tone lithographs. 131 plates are colored. Most of the plates throughout are tissue-guarded. The periodical also includes countless additional b/w in-text images, and there are some period advertisements as well.

Text throughout in French.

Some bindings with minor to light rubbing to extremities. Interiors with some minor to light sporadic foxing, usually confined to the margins, and some of the tissue guards. Most images throughout are still clean and vibrant. A few of the hand-colored lithographs have minor tissue-guard residue sticking to the gum arabic sections of the images. There a few instances binding errors throughout, including an instance of wrong page order and an instance of one plate being bound upside down. Ink stamps of Timbre Imperial on a few pages throughout. There is a closed tear on the b/w double-plate in vol.7. Bindings in very good- to near fine. Interiors in very good- to near fine. vg- to near fine. Item #53406

This periodical is extremely scarce. There are no historical auction records of it's sale online. OCLC only locates three holdings of the publication of any kind worldwide, all in Europe. Is possible that only some of these are complete.

Price: $12,500.00

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