Famous and particularly rare Bulgarian Art Nouveau Abecedar, 1921
Aleksandr BOZHINOV: AZBUKA ZA MALKITE. [ABC For The Little Ones]. Illustrated cover title and 15 plates with 30 full-paged chromolithographs. S.l. [Sofia]: 1921.
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Aleksandr BOZHINOV: AZBUKA ZA MALKITE. [ABC For The Little Ones]. Illustrated cover title and 15 plates with 30 full-paged chromolithographs after drawings by Aleksandr Bozhinov. S.l. [Sofia]: Publishing House of the Bulgarian Ministry of Education 1921.
30:24 cm. 15 chromolithographic plates made of glossy cardboard with printing on both sides, loosely in original publisher's clamshell box with illustrated chromolithographic title printing, cloth spine, three flaps and ribbon hasp.
FIRST EDITION of this Bozhinov's famous and particularly rare Bulgarian Abecedar in Art Nouveau style, incorporating traditional ornaments of Bulgarian folklore.
Author, Content, Illustration: Aleksandr Bozhinov (1878-1968), who remains nowadays known mainly as one of the most outstanding Bulgarian painters and (political) caricaturists of his time, with this fibula created a true icon. Inspired by the Art Nouveau spirit so popular among Bulgarian modernists in those years, Bozhinov arranged the 29 letters of the Bulgarian alphabet of that time in a most genuine way by accompanying them with catchy large format pictorial examples of rich folkloristic ornamentation depicting mostly animals as well objects and scenes of everyday life. Thus finally he composed a useful yet harmonious whole of outstanding clarity and bright colours.
Condition: Front board of clamshell box with some water stains at margins, flaps and end papers harmoniously renewed, some plates with some very small rusty spots, altogether a very good copy with fresh colours. –
Rarity: No other copy available in trade, no auction results according to JAP/APO and ABPC since 1973. OCLC and KVK quote only seven copies in library holdings worldwide (BnF, Braunschweig (TU), Harvard, LAPL, NYPL, Prague (Czech National Library), Richmond and Vienna (ÖNB).
Reference: »Between Tradition and Modernism. Images of The Native in Bulgarian Art from The 1920's«, p. 22, p. 51 and 194 (illustrations, for Bozhinov's »Golden Book for Children«, a similar project from 1921).