ARTIST'S PRESENTATION MANUSCRIPT COPY.
DULAC, Edmund (illustrator). [Leonard ROSENTHAL]. Illustrations to 'The Book of the Pearl'. Dec. 1923.
Small slim 4to. Original white vellum-backed hand-printed paper-covered boards blocked with a repeating floral pattern in violet, brown, and green, fine highly decorative endpapers, plain edges, preserved in cloth-covered slipcase; ff. ; prelim pages with "Special Copy No. 3" in ink in Dulac's hand opposing the artist's title "Illustrations to the 'Book of the Pearl'" also in ink by Dulac, followed by the full suite of 10 coloured plates produced for the book, each mounted-at-large on Japanese vellum with hand-ruled coloured panels and each with a manuscript caption below, in ink, in Dulac's hand, tissue-guards throughout; a fine copy with only minimal rubbing and tiny wear to forecorner tips.
Special copy 3 of a highly limited, but unspecified, number produced as presentation gifts for the artist's friends. The front free endpaper carries an inscription in ink, by Dulac: "to Mr. Y.Y. McPeake, with every good wish, Edmund Dulac, Dec. 1923".
The French book "Au Royaume de la Perle" was first published in 1919 with illustrations by Claudius Denis and published by Payot of Paris. Rosenthal, however, was very keen to secure Dulac for the commission, so when the artist produced 10 miniatures he bought the watercolours and the copyright. In October of the following year the publisher H. Piazza of Paris issued 1500 copies with Dulac's 10 coloured plates. In December of the same year the book appeared in English as "The Kingdom of the Pearl" in two editions: one of only 100 copies signed; and another unsigned in a run of 675. A very favourable review was posted by The Times, which deemed it "his best" and "fantastically Persian". His bibliographer Hughey also waxes lyrical on the quality of the plates which are considered "truly genius", imparting "a fanciful touch to the otherwise stark exposition of a treatise on pearls".