Item #1003530 Ilsée. Prinzessin von Tripolis. Alphonse Mucha, Robert de Flers, Regine Adler, artist.
Ilsée. Prinzessin von Tripolis
Ilsée. Prinzessin von Tripolis
Ilsée. Prinzessin von Tripolis
Ilsée. Prinzessin von Tripolis
Ilsée. Prinzessin von Tripolis
Ilsée. Prinzessin von Tripolis
Ilsée. Prinzessin von Tripolis
Ilsée. Prinzessin von Tripolis
Ilsée. Prinzessin von Tripolis

Ilsée. Prinzessin von Tripolis

Prague: Kunst-Verlag B. Kocí, 1901. Small folio, measuring 12.25 x 9.5 inches: [10], 52, [4], 53-94, [4], 95-128, [8]. Original pictorial green wrappers printed in gold and black, publisher’s catalogue printed inside rear wrapper. Blind-embossed additional title bound before half-title; 132 color lithographed illustrations incorporating decorative borders; decorative initials and ornaments throughout text. Publisher’s blind-stamped burgundy morocco-grain paper chemise titled in gilt, publisher’s card box with printed pastedown label. Light wear to wrappers at spine ends, silvered spots to publisher’s chemise, light shelfwear to publisher’s box. Housed in a custom clamshell box.

First edition in German of Alphonse Mucha’s Art Nouveau masterpiece. Even among the rich array of fin-de-siècle artists’ books, Ilsée was extraordinary. The first edition, published in Paris in 1897, was inspired by Edmond Rostand’s play Princesse Lointaine, an idealized tale of long-distance love set in the twelfth century. Sarah Bernhardt starred in the Paris production, wearing costumes designed by Mucha, who was commissioned to illustrate the proposed book. Robert de Fler adapted Rostand’s play for publication, but was slow to complete the manuscript, forcing Mucha to work at breakneck speed to complete his illustrations by the publication deadline: “We worked on four stones simultaneously. I did some of the drawings straight onto the stone. Other things, particularly the decorative edgings, I drew on tracing paper which was then passed on to the draughtsmen who continued the work with the colours I specified. I hardly had time to sketch out the motif for an ornament when they came and took it from my hands and got down to work on it.” See Jirí Mucha, Alphonse Mucha: The Master of Art Nouveau, 1966. This first edition in German was translated from the French by Regine Adler, and printed by Czech publisher Bedrich Kocí in an edition of 800; this copy is unnumbered and out of series. Bridges L11a; Carteret IV, 162 (first edition). A near-fine copy, in original wrappers and scarce publisher’s chemise and box, housed in a custom clamshell.

Price: $4,000.00