Paris: Charpentier, 1884. James Jacques Joseph Tissot (1836-1902). Limited Edition. Fine. 8vo 10 1/2 x 6 7/8 in. (266 x 175 mm). No. 5 of 20 deluxe illustrated copies printed on imperial japon paper from a total edition of 550. This copy includes 10 original etchings, signed in pencil by James J. Tissot (1836 – 1902) and a second state of each etching, with page number and red ink stamp printed on holland paper. 380 pp. including half title, limitation page, title, dedication, preface and colophon; paper uncut and in exceptionally attractive condition with no spotting or foxing. Binding by Charles Allô, half blue morocco with gilt fillets, gold speckled paper on boards, marbled endpapers, 5 raised bands, gilt titleing, compartments with elaborate gilt tooling and red roses; original wrappers bound in; t.e.g.; spine lightly sunned and some chipping to the edges of the boards; binding tight and square.
From the library of GUY BIGORIE: Small ticket with GB initials tipped in to the inside front cover.
[Wentworth, Tissot Catalogue Raisonné 62-71]
Enhanced with a set of three original signed autograph letters:
* a signed autographed letter, on a folded sheet of fine laid paper, by Edmond de Goncourt to princess Mathilde, dated 14 march  sending her wishes for her name-day. «En prenant l'almanach pour dater cette lettre où je voulais vous dire que je vais bien, que les pieds en l'air du docteur, l'eau de mélisse de madame de Galbois, l'éventail aux abeilles d'or de la maîtresse de maison m'ont remis sur mes pattes, je tombe sur la sainte Mathilde... tout honteux de mon ignorance des saints et des saintes du calendrier, je m'empresse, princesse de vous souhaiter du profond du cœur la meilleure des fêtes. Je baise les doigts de votre altesse». ["Picking up my almanac to date this letter in which I wanted to tell you that I am well —that the doctors have been sent away, that Madame de Galbois' lemon balm water, that fan with gold bees I received from the mistress of the house, have all put me back on my feet— I see that it's Saint Mathilde... quite ashamed of my ignorance of the saints and saints of the calendar, I hasten, dear princess to wish you from the bottom of my heart the best of celebrations. I kiss your highness' fingers.]
** a signed autographed letter, on a small folded sheet, by James Tissot. «Voici quelqu'un à qui vous pourrez remettre les 400 francs dont vous m'avez fait mention. Recevez avec mes remerciements toutes les félicitations pour le succès que vous avez obtenu...». [ Here is someone to whom you can give the 400 francs you mentioned to me. With thanks and congratulations for all the success you have achieved...»]
*** a calling card from d'Edmond de Goncourt stating « Monsieur, voulez vous passer un matin, je vous solderai votre note et vous donnerez (sic) des livres ». [Sir, would you come by one morning, I will pay your bill and give you some books].
Illustrations by James Tissot, a treasure from the library of Guy Bigorie.
James Jacques Joseph Tissot (1836 – 1902) was a French painter and illustrator who became famous for his genre paintings and portraits of high society and scenes of everyday life and was celebrated both in England, where he was active for many years, and in France. Tissot's "reputation as a painter is reflected in the enhanced standing of his etchings. He is remembered as an illustrator chiefly by his designs for this novel of French society which the Goncourts had written in 1864. His interest derived from the parallel which he discerned between the slow decline of its heroine and that of Kathleen Newton, the woman with whom he lived ." [Ray, The Art of the French Illustrated Book, p. 275]
The GONCOURT BROTHERS, Edmond (1822–1896) and Jules (1830–1870) formed a formidable and unique team as writers, intellectuals and publishers, know for their naturalist style and their reactionary politics. They founded the Académie Goncourt, which has has awarded the Prix Goncourt since 1903, probably the most important literary prize in French literature.
Their novel "Renée Mauperin" first appeared in installments in 1864 and was published in one volume the same year by Charpentier. It is the story of an "emancipated" young woman whose brother has unstoppable social and financial ambitions. He uses blackmail and deceit to attain his goals with absolute lack of moral restraint. Renée is indignant and reveals his deceits, causing him to be challenged to a duel, in which he is killed. Tortured by remorse, Renée lets herself die in order to expiate her guilt.
Item number: 422