Ales (France): [Privately Printed for P.A. Benoit], 1961. First Edition. Tall 8vo.  pp. including wrappers, text, and illustration. Bound in 1963 by Pierre-Lucien Martin for himself: smooth olive-beige calf, spine lettered in gold, top edges gilt, others gilt on the rough, original wrappers bound in, three binder's blanks at the front and back. Chemise of pale paper boards with smooth beige calf spine and calf fore-edges; slipcase of the same pale paper boards, also with calf fore-edges (slipcase slightly thumbed with a minute nick one side). Minutely stamp-signed and dated by the binder on the lower turn-ins. Item #3780
Presentation copy from Braque to the great French binder Pierre-Lucien Martin who bound the catalogue for himself. This volume reflects the highest level of 1960s French bibliophily: it is a bibliographical catalogue which describes just eight books with original illustrations by Braque published by P.A. Benoit, to which is added six "others." The present catalogue contains one original illustration ("cardboard etching" according to Miguel Orozco) by Braque printed in blue (it is signed by the artist) which is repeated on the front wrapper. There is a 4-page evocative essay about Braque's illustrated books written by Benoit himself. Our copy is inscribed by Braque "avec mes compliments" to Martin, and dated 5 juin 1962.
Edition limited to just 40 copies (all on Arches); ours is copy no. 2.
Pierre-Lucien Martin (1913-1985) remains one of the most remarkable French designer binders of the 20th century. He attended the Ecole Estienne as a young man, from 1927 to 1931. He learning the principles of bookbinding from Charles Chanat, and the elements of design from Robert Bonfils. Martin won the Prix de la Reliure Originale and established his own workshop. In the last years of his life Martin no longer worked at the bench, and instead employed Guy Raphael, Robert Paris, Charles Collet, and Andre Jeanne as forwarders, and Constant Dreneau, Rene Desmules, and others as finishers. In 1987 the Bibliotheca Wittockiana devoted an entire exhibition to Martin's work.
Orozco, Braque Catalogue Raisonne, no. E.504. Dora Vallier, Braque: The Complete Graphics, no. 170.1. Livres de Braque, no. 8.