Skip to main content
Grolier Club Exhibitions

20th Century


Lucie Paul-Margueritte.

Le Miroir Magique: Sur des thèmes chinois vingt-six poèmes. Wang Chao-Ki. Paris: Les Cents Femmes Amies des Livres, 1932.

Each of the twenty-six poems opens with an historiated Chinoiserie initial in colors, reflecting the theme of the text. The work consists of unsewn folded gatherings, in a printed wrapper bearing a large calligraphic Chinese ideogram printed in red. 

Founded in 1927, Les Cents Femmes Amies des Livres provided a home to women book-collectors in an all-male world of French bibliophilic societies. Lucie Paul-Margueritte was a prolific author, of best-selling novels and of limited-edition erotica. This is copy number 35 of 130, printed on Japon Impérial, and intended for Mme Henry Rouen. Purchased on the trust fund of Lathrop Colgate Harper. Cat. No. 8.3.


Henry de Montherlant.

Pasiphaé: chant de Minos (les Crétois). Henri Matisse. Paris: Martin Fabiani, 1944.

Matisse engraved his illustrations on linoleum for this, his major artist’s book of the Occupation years. Completed three months before the liberation of Paris, it remains a controverted publication. Author and publisher were tried on charges of collaboration, with little lasting unpleasantness. Matisse himself urged his fellow-artists to employ purely French sensitivity, avoiding hints of “cosmopolitanism” (i.e., Jews). 

The spectacular, and massive, binding was commissioned by the donor. It is the creation of Santiago Brugalla, who has achieved a raised portrait of Pasiphae in left profile, within Cretan-Minoan designs. Gift of Jill Oriane Tarlau. Cat. No. 8.4.

Raymond Queneau.

Trans. John Crombie. One Hundred Million Million Poems. Paris: Kickshaws, 1983.

Ten sonnets from Queneau’s combinatory verse, Cent mille milliards de poèmes, are here translated by John Crombie, a Londoner long resident in Paris. Kickshaws, the cognate of quelque chose, is a surprisingly authentic if antique English singular noun. The Kickshaws books are all as delightfully imaginative as this one.

Each sonnet is sliced through between the lines, permitting the reader to manipulate the verse in myriad combinations, creating a kind of “found” poetry. The possibilities are nearly endless, since one may work from front to back, back to front, or ad lib within the volume. The binding’s sewing permits this freedom of movement. Purchased on the trust fund of Lathrop Colgate Harper. Cat. No. 8.9.


Jean-Paul Sartre.

Situations de New York. Colored lithographs by Gottfried Salzmann. Paris: Les Bibliophiles de France, 1989.

The three texts were originally published in Paris by Gallimard in 1949. This bibliophile edition was issued unsewn in folded gatherings, in a printed gray wrapper, enclosed in a white-paper chemise and slipcase.

The type is 14-point Univers, composed and printed by Robert Blanchet. Our copy is number 148 of 180 copies, printed on vélin de Rives, and signed by the artist. Gift of Elizabeth A. R. Brown, 2017. Cat. No. 8.11.