Wien, Gerlach & Schenk, 1896. Large folio (55.8 x 43.1 cm). Marvellous chromolithographed title page; one page of text [author’s preface]; 14 stunning chromolithographed plates showing animals in a fabulous Art Nouveau style. Contemporary pebbled half linen over brown boards. Front board with gilt title in Jugendstil lettering; spine with gilt title. Patterned endpapers.
A rare work with the finest and most stunning plates of Art Nouveau book design. The plates in this portfolio depict dragons, reptiles - including snakes, shells, crustaceans and other sea life. The dragons are of course fantasy - yet convincingly ‘real’ regarding their herpetological characteristics; the other animals and the shells mostly really exist. It is hard to underestimate the beauty and importance of this work by the famous Art Nouveau painter and art professor Anton Johann Nepomuk Seder (1850-1916). Each plate is a true highlight of artistic design and absolutely breathtaking. Seder’s work had many followers in the Art Nouveau and Art Deco movements and afterwards; genuine individual plates are still highly in demand. Consequently, intact copies in good condition, such as this one, are rare. The quality of these chromolithographs is absolutely first class, the frequent use of gold and many different colours gives these plates a great depth which is not possible even with the most advanced printing techniques of today. Slight wear to board edges, one round stain to cloth front panel, weak fold in the text leaf margin; plate 3 a bit toned, as always, overall in an excellent state, which is rare. Schneider-Henn, 200. Apart from the dragons, most animals are accurate representations of real animals, however, the work is not in Nissen ZBI.