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Lot #210
Lucien Jonas (8) Original WWI Drawings in Limited Edition Book Set

Rare original front-line drawings by a prolific French artist of the Great War, bound into a rare limited edition book set

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Estimate: $5000+
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Description

Rare original front-line drawings by a prolific French artist of the Great War, bound into a rare limited edition book set

Rare partial limited edition 'war sketchbook' set featuring drawings made by French artist Lucien Jonas, published by Librairie Dorbon-aîné between 1915 and 1919. The group consists of two examples of the first volume, L'Armée anglaise (limited to 200), featuring black-and-white plates reproducing Jones's sketches of British Army figures. The remainder are from the 'grande luxe' edition of 50 (75 for Vol. XII), each featuring an original drawing by Jones bound in the front, plus the standard black-and-white plates bound in with hand-colored examples of the same. These include Vols. III (Verdun), VI (Vosages et Lorraine), VII (Les Armées britanniques), VIII (Armement et Munitions), IX (Vaux), X (B.E.F.), XI (Douaumont), and XII (L'Armée américaine). Each book measures 10 x 12.5, and contains 50 to 60 plates (doubled in the 'grande luxe' editions, all of which are numbered "7" in the series). In very good condition, with general overall wear.

The publisher's advertising materials described the set: 'Each of these Notebooks, the series of which forms the most complete panorama and the most moving memory of the Great War, is reproduced in absolute facsimile by a special process. They contain 50 to 60 charcoal plates: portraits of the main chiefs and their staffs, types of soldiers, views and panoramas of battlefields, monuments destroyed, scenes from the life of the front, etc. It will be for the future, not just a memory for all those who experienced these terrible hours, but also a documentary museum for historians and artists.'

Lucien Jonas (1880-1947) was mobilized as 'Peintre militaire attaché au Musée de l'Armée' in 1915, and spent much of World War I on the front lines, becoming one of the most prolific and moving of Great War artists. His drawings were reproduced in large numbers in L'Illustration, Les Annales Politiques et Littéraires, Lectures pour tous, and in allied newspapers, before being immortalized in this limited edition sketchbook set by Librairie Dorbon-aîné. The present group consists of volumes 1 (2 copies), 3 and 6-12 from the series of 13, and features eight of Jonas's original drawings—complete sets are virtually unheard of.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autograph and Artifacts
  • Dates: #680 - Ended December 06, 2023