As beautiful as it is rare

Séguy, É. [A.]

Les fleurs et leurs applications décoratives. 30 Planches.

Published 1902
Item ID 76568

excl. VAT

Paris, Librairie des Art Decoratifs A. Calavas, [1902]. Folio (49.9 x 47.1 cm). Engraved title page and 27 [of 30] pochoir plates, partly finished by hand.

A rare copy of this enigmatic work on flowering plants by the French Art Nouveau and Art Deco painter and naturalist Émile Allain Séguy (1877-1951), using a pochoir technique, of which he was a true master. "Simply stated, pochoir is the French word for stencil. In the 1920s and 30s Art Deco era, the colour application process of the stencil was rejuvenated by the French, bringing colour illustration processes for books and prints to new glorious heights. This interest in exploring the stencil process came in reaction to the proliferation of machine printing and the poor quality of colour reproductions in publishing. With pochoir printing, the hand application of layers of pigment created dazzling effects that the camera or printing press could never replicate. Earlier stencil works, typically used for decorative surface ornament were quite primitive, with applied colour areas outlined by the supporting cutout framework. New experimental techniques in pochoir refined the process using multiple layers of colour applications for a single print. Pochoir printing was also easily combined with images made by lithography, woodcut, wood engraving, line drawings, or etchings, thus turning a decorative technique into fine art" (RISD library website). Eight plates show flowering plants, true to nature; 19 [of 22] plates show various stylized plants in original Art Nouveau designs. Originally, two suites of 30 plates each were issued. This is the first. Both are rare. This copy lacking plates 13, 22, and 27. Bookshop label mounted on and partly removed from title; a few edges a bit frayed, one with a small chip, one with a marginal repair; a few plates slightly foxed, otherwise in very good condition. Hardy, A. R. (2015) Émile Allain Séguy. Ornemaniste Art Deco. Bulletin S.A.B.F 202, pp. 30-32; Schneider-Henn, Ornament und Dekoration, 273; Vallée, M. (2015) Les portfolios d'ornements d'Emile Allain Séguy (E.A Séguy 1877-1951): de la flore étrange et contournée aux ordonnancements rationnels. Mémoire de Master 1, Université Paris Sorbonne.

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