Paris, France: No publisher, 1978. First Edition. Unbound. Quarto (4to). Near fine condition. Item #017126
A hand letterpress book, with original text and a facsimile-style printing of the text of the 5th Sonnet of an early French edition of Petrarch. The third line of this sonnet reads "Le laurier digne..." which has been printed to read "Le LAUrier digne... and has been combined in the same fashion with line 7 "Votre noble REgard..." to offer an apparent omage to LAURE. Most pages of text face a color etchings by an artist identified as Signore Fiorini; there are a total of 12 etchings. Each sheet measures 11.5" x 15.5" (29cm x 39cm) and is folded in half forming 4 pages. There are nine such sheets (36 pages), enclosed in a decorated paper portfolio, and protected in a linen-covered clamshell box with "L" printed on the spine. Each etching is protected by glassine. Hand-numbered 12 of 50 copies signed by Simone' Piccone and Fiorini. The colophon reads "Cette edition des vers de PETRARQUE dedies a Laure Bissiere est la seule connue a ce jour. Elle comprend 50 exemplaires imprimes sur Auvergne a la main de Richard de Bas par l'artiste lue-meme; soit un exemplaire numerote 1 a Laure quatre exemplaires numerotes HC II a HC V; quarante cinq exemplaires numerotes 6 a 50." The condition is excellent, with a few sheets with tiny spots of foxing, probably inherent in the manufacture by Richard de Bas. The title page contains the phrase "Sic Itur Ad Astra Hic Et Nunc Plus Ultra." Another sheet reads "Acheve d'imprimer a Paris le 15 Mai 1978." Very little about this unusual publication can be found by research, except that Laure Bissiere may be also knows as Madame Laure Loutre Bissiere. The artwork of Roger Bissiere (1886-1964) and B. Louttre (1926-2012) sold at Post War and Contemporary Art auctions has been accompanied by a certificate from Madame Laure Loutre Bissiere. An interesting and beautifully made book.