De Luxe copy of the Vienna Art Nouveau magazine for erotic art and literature »Amethyst«, 1905
Franz BLEI, Ed.: DER AMETHYST. Year 1 (Dec. 1905 – Nov. 1906), 9 issues [all]. With 18 plates depicting works by Aubrey Beardsley, Franz von Bayros, Th. Th. Heine, Alfred Kubin, Felicien Rops and others. Wien: 1905/06.
Franz BLEI, Ed.: DER AMETHYST. Blätter für seltsame Kunst und Litteratur [Pages for Queer Art and Literature]. Year 1 (Dec. 1905 – Nov. 1906), 9 issues, nos. 1-5, 6/7, 8, 9/10, 11/12 [all published]. With 18 plates, whereof 2 coloured, protected by tissue-guards, with original contributions or reproductions of works by Aubrey Beardsley, Franz von Bayros, Th. Th. Heine, Alfred Kubin, Felicien Rops and others. Wien: C. W. Stern (Kunstdruckerei Gustav Röttig, Oedenburg [Sopron]), 1905/06.
4to (22:19,5 cm). [4 (subscription leaf)], VIII, 402 pages; [18 not numbered plates, whereof 1 coloured; 9 original wrappers of light grey mould paper and differently coloured typographic title printing bound in; 8 leafs with advertising in between]. Letterpress and cliché. Full vellum binding with gilt title on spine, gilt top edge and marbled end papers.
No. 22 of only 30 luxury copies on Imperial Japan paper of this extraordinary magazine for decadent and art nouveau erotic art and literature, probably unique with the original subscription leaf bound in.
Content: For this highly exclusive publication editor Franz Blei gathered master-pieces and new, sometimes unpublished poems, scenic texts, prose and essays related to erotic content, e.g. by Casanova, A. Jarry, Poe, Verlaine and O. Wilde. He also put a strong emphasis on high quality illustration by asking renown artists like Franz von Bayros, Th. Th. Heine, Alfred Kubin for original contributions. Apart from present luxury of 30 copies, further 770 numbered copies of »Der Amethyst« were printed, all of them exclusive for subscribers.
Condition: Vellum slightly bent up, original wrappers in parts minimally time-stained at margins, otherwise very well preserved set.
Rarity: ABPC (1973ff.), Drouot Digital, LotSearch and JAP (1950ff.) record only 4 copies of the luxury run at auctions (2014, 2004, 1953, 1950).
References: Hayn/Gotendorf I, 69.