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Paris de Nuit [with] Voluptes de Paris;

[and] VAN MOERKERKEN, Emiel. Portrait of Brassaï; [and] BRASSAÏ. Paris de Nuit.

Stock Code 111551

Paris, [1932; 1934]; 1936 [but printed 1991]; [1932].

Original price £9,750.00 - Original price £9,750.00
Original price £0.00
£9,750.00 - £9,750.00
Current price £9,750.00
Brassaï's first two books inscribed to Emiel van Moerkerken. Van Moerkerken or perhaps even Brassaï has removed and discarded the text pages with Paul Morand's introduction to Paris de Nuit, and has placed black tape over Morand's name on the cover. Brassaï was furious that Morand's name was printed on the cover in a typeface almost twice the size as the rest of the text, suggesting that Morand was the book's author. Contemporary reviews of Paris de Nuit pointed out that Brassaï's photographs were far superior to Morand's text, with Le Temps stating, 'When the name of Paul Morand will be long forgotten, Brassaï's photographs will still be living and precious documents.'

Presentation copy of Brassaï's second book, inscribed to Dutch photographer and filmmaker Emiel van Moerkerken: 'à mon cher Van Moerkerken / ces malheureux "plasirs" qui ont mérités / un meilleur sort / Brassaï / Paris [1]938.' ['to my dear Van Moerkerken / these unfortunate "pleasures" who deserved / a better fate / Brassaï / Paris [1]938.']

Voluptés de Paris is Brassaï's scarcest title. Disappointed after the publication of Paris de Nuit (1932) failed to bring either the extra income or new commissions that he had hoped for, Brassaï began publishing some of his more risqué photographs in magazines such as Scandale, Secrets de Paris, and Paris Magazine. The publisher of Paris Magazine was Léon Vidal, who also owned Librairie de la Lune and the Diana Slip lingerie company; for a time, he was Brassaï's best customer. In August 1932, Vidal and Brassai signed a contract to publish a book called 'Paris Intime', intended to be similar in format to Paris de Nuit with a text by Pierre Mac Orlan. The project drifted as the relationship between Brassai and Vidal deteriorated, and two years later, Vidal published Voluptes de Paris without any involvement on Brassaï's part. Brassaï disowned the book, as inferred in the inscription, and when many of these photographs were later included in The Secret Paris of the Thirties (1976), he claimed that this would be the first time they were published.

Copies of Voluptés de Paris exist in versions comprising either 48 or 40 pages. Although the exact reason and time this censorship or change occurred is unclear, being ring-bound, removing four leaves without disturbing the others would have been easy. This copy has the full complement of 48 pages.

'Paris de Nuit. Paris, Édition Arts et Métiers Graphiques, [1932]': First edition, presentation copy inscribed by Brassaï on the first page with a gelatin silver photograph by Emiel van Moerkerken mounted on the front cover, verso (107 x 77 mm, 4¼ x 3 in); 4to (248 x 192 mm, 9¾ x 7½ in); black-and-white photographs printed in gravure by Draeger, light offsetting to first page, four leaves with Morand's text removed; photo-illustrated spiral-bound card covers, titles printed in red, wear to edges, handling creases, top and bottom tabs lost, Morand's name and the editor and series information on the upper side covered in black tape; Emiel Van Moerkenen's ownership signature and bookplate on the first page; [76]pp.
'Voluptés de Paris. Paris, Paris-Publications, [1934]': First edition, the complete version with 46 photographs, presentation copy inscribed on rear cover, recto; 4to (271 x 209 mm, 10¾ x 8¼ in); black-and-white photographs printed in relief halftone by G. Desgrandchamps, tabs torn; printed card covers, red, title in white and black, light fading to edges, chip to top corner at head, originally bound with five plastic rings, now missing and partially tied with thread, Emiel Van Moerkenen's bookplate to verso of front cover, his ownership signature dated Paris Sep '38 to first page; [48]pp.
Portrait of Brassaï: Gelatin silver photograph (244 x 347 mm, 9½ x 13¾ in), signed and titled in pencil on verso.
'Paris de Nuit': First edition; 4to (248 x 192 mm, 9¾ x 7½ in); black-and-white photographs printed in gravure by Draeger, light offsetting to first page; photo-illustrated spiral-bound card covers, titles printed in red, light wear, handling creases, tear to first tab, a very good copy; [76]pp.

[Paris de Nuit] Regards à travers Le Livre 57; Brassai: Letters to My Parents pp207-8; Fotografia Pública 100-3; The Book of 101 Books pp76-7; The Photobook: A History I, p134; The Open Book pp110-1; Auer collection p198; Paris: Les Livres de photographies pp116-21; [Volupté de Paris] Regards à travers Le Livre 61; Auer collection p214; Paris: Les Livres de photographies pp136-7.

Provenance: Emiel van Moerkerken (inscribed by Brassai).


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Paris de Nuit [with] Voluptes de Paris;

BRASSAÏ (pseud. HALASZ, Gyula).

Stock code: 111551



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