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AUCTION 22

 

Colas’ classic study of Basque tomb art in Fine Binding



 

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138.     COLAS, Louis. [Text] La Tombe Basque Recueil d’Inscriptions funéraires et domestiques du Pays Basque Français Études, Notes et Références Diverses…. Bayonne: Fondation de la Société des Sciences, Lettres, Arts et Études Régionales de Bayonne (Bayonne: Foltzer, Éditeur; Paris: Honoré Champion, Éditeur), 1923. [i-vi] vii-xxxi [1], 93 [1], [2, colophon] pp., printed in double column, text illustrations. 4to (33.5 x 25.7 cm), original pale grey printed pictorial wrappers. [Atlas] La Tombe Basque Recueil d’Inscriptions funéraires et domestiques du Pays Basque Français Atlas d’Illustrations (Dessins et Photographies)…. Bayonne: Fondation de la Société des Sciences, Lettres, Arts et Études Régionales de Bayonne (Grande Imprimerie Moderne, Biarritz), 1923. [2, illustrated half title], [1-6] 7-402, [2, colophon] pp., 1,300 text illustrations (many signed in print as the work of Colas; some photographic and/or full page). Folio (83.2 x 28 cm), original stiff maize wrappers printed in red and black and decorated with Basque symbols bound in. The two volumes are uniformly bound in fine matching custom French bindings of contemporary full maroon, tan, and dark brown levant morocco, text and outlining in sepia stamping, upper covers decorated with illustrations of Basque symbols, spines lettered in gilt and with raised bands, edges of covers gilt-lined, inner gilt dentelles, rose silk moiré endpapers, marbled flyleaves (matching the accompanying marbled slipcases), t.e.g., both vols. gilt-stamped by binders (Randeynes et fils). Very light shelf wear to the board slipcases, upper joint of text volume lightly chafed and just beginning to crack (but strong), otherwise very fine, inside and out.

            First edition, limited edition (#40 of 50 examples with text on Rives BFK paper and atlas on Lafuma paper, this copy printed and bound for Madame Sam Park, with Colas’ signed inscription to her.) Arnold van Gennep, et al., Manuel de folklore français contemporain (Maisonneuve et la Rose, 1992), p. 36. 

            This dense, rich study of French Basque design and aesthetic focuses on tombstone carving, along with some domestic and sacred architecture and interior decoration. The regional focus is Labourd, Lower Navarre, and Soule. Included are transcriptions of inscriptions, copious documentation, scholarly notes, and a plethora of illustrations. Documented are lives, history, ceremonies, folklore, and religious and fanciful iconography of many centuries. Inroads into the complexities of Basque dialects are presented through transcription of texts.

            Archaeologist Louis Colas (1869-1929), was born in Normandy and studied, taught, and lectured in Rouen, Paris, Chartres, and Bayonne. He traveled extensively and meticulously documented tombstones of the Basque country to create this classic work. But his research was interrupted by World War I, in which he served as a guard of communications and later as a topographer. A supplement to the present work was planned but his untimely death in 1929 prevented such.

($1,000-2,000)

Sold. Hammer: $1,000.00; Price Realized: $1,200.00

Auction 22 Abstracts

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