Lot n° 267
5000 - 6000
Result with fees
: 6 250EUR
Ukraïnska Abetka. [Ukrainian... - Lot 267 - Ader
Ukraïnska Abetka. [Ukrainian Alphabet].
[Cover title in Russian]: Chitinnadsat risunkov Ukraïnskoï Azbuki. [Fourteen drawings for the Ukrainian alphabet]. [Title page in Ukrainian]: Maliunki Guergia Narbuta. Drukarni Tva Golike i Vilborg. St. Petersburg. 1921. Large in-4 (33,8 x 25,5 cm). 1 blank f., 1 f. of false-title, 14 plates illustrated in black: covers of strong blue cloth paper, the first printed in a double frame.
First edition. Boards and calligraphy entirely designed by the Ukrainian artist Georgii Narbout (1886-1920).
Even before the end of his studies of history and philology at the University of St. Petersburg, he was studying art with Bilibin. In 1907, his teacher was Dobouzhinsky at Elisaveta Zvantseva's studio, and in Munich he chose the Simon Hollosy school. After the Revolution, he returned to Ukraine, became a professor at the Kiev Academy and rector of the Ukrainian Academy of Arts. It was during this time that he designed stamps and banknotes. His early death from typhus in 1920 left his alphabet unfinished.
Started between 1917 and 1919, the fourteen plates are in Ukrainian, only the cover and the false title are in Russian. Fourteen settings, testimony of a great lover of Ukrainian antiques, folklore and popular toys. Printed in recto on a strong rag paper, the alphabet begins with a swarming title page regrouping the actors of the future illustrations and stacked cubes bearing the letters. This is followed by thirteen plates, in a frame, with an ever-changing illustration, combining the seriousness of the collector, fantasy and sometimes surrealism. The paintings are underlined by two capital letters whose calligraphy was itself invented by the graphic artist. On the left, an ornate letter is transformed into vegetal arabesques: a reference to the ancient lettering of Ukrainian manuscripts, on the right, a letter cut out in black silhouette moves away from the typographic rules of the time.
The know-how of the printer Golike et Vilborg, renowned for its luxury editions, completes the marvelous. A second version on ordinary paper, without covers, printed on both sides will also be published.
First edition on large paper, the edition of each edition did not exceed thirty copies. Extremely rare copy of the first edition, perfectly preserved.
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