• Paris: Maison Quantin, 1889
  • Vellum paper; binding in dark-green morocco with floral motifs
  • Inv. LM251
  • No. 5, unique specimen from a print run of 100 copies on vellum paper

‘La mare au diable’

Illustrations by Edmond Adolphe Rudaux (1840–?)
Binding signed by Émile Carayon (1843–1909)

As is the case with many bibliophile editions, this example of La mare au diable is enriched by the inclusion of a series of proofs of state of the prints (two), including the pure etching, which were used to illustrate the novel. In this case, the compositions of Edmond Adolphe Rudaux appear inset, at the start of each chapter, and at the head of the page, comprising a total of seventeen original watercolours. The binding by Émile Carayon, which is decorated in a pattern of stylised floral motifs, is signed on the front inside cover.

George Sand, a pseudonym of the female romantic writer Amantine-Lucile-Aurore Dupin, was particularly well-known for her rural novels. La mare au diable is the author’s greatest demonstration of the way in which love acts as an essential asset in overcoming the misfortunes imposed by the class system or the social conventions experienced by simple characters, revealing a nostalgia for a lost innocence.

Acquired by Calouste Gulbenkian, through L. Giraud-Badin at the Descamps-Scrive sale, Paris, 1925.

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