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Andre Breton (1896 - 1966)



June 16, 2005
New York, NY, US

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Arcane 17. (New York:) Brentano's, 1944

In 8s (9 x 6 1/8 in.; 229 x 156 mm). Etched and aquatint frontispiece in color by Matta, on chine, signed by the artist, 4 ohotolithographed plates of tarot card designs after Matta, printed on card and tipped to citron mounting-sheets. Black calf (P.-L. Martin, 1969), covers with identical mirrored design of strapwork and irregular sunken sectors, or pies, resembling a reversed S, sector walls lined with white calf, spine gilt lettered, brown suede doublures and linings, edges gilt, original wrappers bound in. Chemise and slipcase; slipcase scuffed.


Alexander Malitsky (presentation copy, inscribed by Breton and Tenger) ? Lucien Vendel (morocco label; Ader, 4 June 1982, lot 67)

Castleman, Century 190; Sabatier 8

First edition; a striking presentation copy, hors commerce. One of approximately 325 copies (25 copies on Umbria paper, with the frontispiece, lettered A-Y; 300 copies on Oxbow paper, numbered 1-300 and signed by the author), this copy out-of-series.

Arcane 17 was Breton's only book written and published in America, and one of the earliest Surrealist collaboration of Matta. This copy is inscribed to Alexander Malitsky on the half-title by Breton, New York, 4 April 1945, and on the justification by Robert Tenger, who directed the project through the press in March, 1945. The frontispiece, signed but not numbered by Matta, is additionally annotated in pencil, "one of the first sample proof"; the half-title is also signed by Matta, 11 November 1966.

Bound in is a sliver-print photograph portrait of Breton, with stamp of Pablo Volta on verso.

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