Au Pied de Sinai, book by Georges Clemenceau
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901)
The first edition, 1898, the complete volume in the original couverture, set into a portfolio and slip case, with 21 original lithographs, edition of 355. In addition, the second (unused) version of the couverture and the three planches refusées, editions of 28 and 25, together giving all Lautrec’s images for the book. The volume is signed in ink by Clemenceau and dedicated to his sister. The couverture of the book is a color lithograph. Two sets of 10 lithographs each are included, one set printed in black on white paper, the second in various tones of ink on a different paper. The couverture refusée and the three planches refusées are on japan. The source of these latter four prints is obviously someone’s idiotic breaking up of a deluxe edition of 25 of the set, for the prints were not issued separately. The portfolio and slip case show some wear and the pages of the book are no longer attached to the couverture at the spine. A few pages of the book show some foxing, but there is no noticeable foxing on any of the contained lithographs. The couverture refusée has a small tear, neatly repaired at the bottom. Otherwise, the condition of the ensemble is excellent. Clemenceau, who was a politician (later, twice Prime Minister of France) as well as a doctor and the owner of a newspaper, was a strong defender of Dreyfus at the famous trial and it was his newspaper that published Zola’s famous “J’accuse.” Au Pied de Sinai, a book of sketches of Jewish life and character, is the result of Clemenceau’s travel to Poland and visits to Jewish communities there. Once believed to be anti-semitic, it is quite the opposite. Lautrec, for his part in the project, spent much time in the Jewish sections of Paris, sketching poor Polish and Russian Jewish émigrés. Their joint effort produced one of the greatest illustrated books of the century. One volume plus 4 separate prints.