BRONTE, Charlotte. Jane Eyre. Paris: Imprimerie Nationale de France, 1923.
Folio, unbound portfolio sheets housed in stiff wraps; original glassine; in cloth-backed marbled boards with contrasting leather label to spine; in the matching marbled slipcase; printed on handmade paper by the press watermarked 'Jane Eyre'; printed in Grammond containing fifteen lithographic plates by Ethel Gabain printed in London by Vincent Brooks Day and Son; pp. [vi], 258, [ii]; with many pages unopened; glassine a little yellowed and some minor splits and fraying to casing; still a lovely fresh example.
Limited edition, numbered 89 of 475 copies. A scarce edition.
Ethel Leontine Gabain was a British painter and printmaker and one of the founding members of the Senefelder Club. Born in Le Havre, France, in 1883, she studied at the Slade School of Art in London, and at the Central School of Arts and Crafts in Paris. In 1913 she married another noted artist, John Copley.
Gabain was best known for her oil portraits, particularly of famous actresses. That of Dame Flora Robson in the character of Lady Audley, for which she was awarded the De Laszlo Silver Medal, is preserved in the Manchester City Art Gallery. Appointed as an official war artist during WWII, she was particularly noted for her depictions of women fulfilling jobs formerly performed by men. She was a member of the Royal Society of British artists and of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters.
In 1922, Monsieur Edmond Paix, a French collector, commissioned a special edition of 495 copies of Jane Eyre from the publisher Monsieur Léon Pichon of Paris. He had seen one of Gabain's lonely female lithographs, The Striped Petticoat, and commissioned her to produce twenty-two lithographs for his edition, including a ghostly apparition of Jane Eyre.