Humanized letters

Marcelle MARQUET - Souza DESNOYERIl était une fois un alphabet.

(Paris, L.I.E.S.A. Imprimeurs, Lithographie de B. Grosser, circa 1951).

Oblong 4to, spiral-bound stiff covers, first side illustrated in colour lithography. 1 unnumbered leaf, 24pp., (20)pp. of cut out games with their explanations. Two folded sheets laid in. Complete.

Splendidly illustrated in vibrant colour lithography throughout, including 6 full-page plates. The book also contains 5 plates on card to be cut out by the children (2 of which in b/w to develop colouring skills). The lower cover was supposed to be cut out as well to create a box.

First Edition.

One of the great French ABC books published in the 20th century.

The games are preceded by the charming story of humanized letters from the Vowel Island that travel to the Consonant Island, all the letters of the alphabet enjoy each other’s company and decide to live together.

With lovely images by the illustrator and miniaturist Souza Desnoyer (= Georgette Anne Hanouche, 1901-1988). Born in Russia from French parents, she received a cosmopolitan education and married the noted French painter François Desnoyer (1894-1972). The author Marcelle Marquet (1892-1984) was the wife of the celebrated French Fauvist and Postimpressionist painter Albert Marquet (1875-1947). Both couples were close friends.

Superb graphic design.

Excellent copy.

Ref. Catalogue of the Cotsen Children’s Library, 6918 / Not in Bilderwelt im Kinderbuch nor in Olivier Piffault, Babar, Harry Potter & Cie (BnF)

Price: 750,00 euros

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