The Kingdom of the Pearl - Léonard Rosenthal. Edmund Dulac (illustrator) Circa 1920 - Nisbet & Co. Ltd, London - Number 648 of a limited 675 numbered copies. A superb large quarto of Dulac's illustrated book masterpiece. One of a limited edition, commissioned by famed Parisian jeweller, Léonard Rosenthal.

‘Each one of these plates is a work of art, and the matter of the book itself is an engrossing history of pearls, their culture, their treatment, their myths and legends, and the narratives of famous stones. The book combines romance and instruction.’ -
The New York Times (4 December, 1921)

Dulac uses techniques borrowed from Persian manuscripts, such as overwashing the watercolours with silver and gold. Those approaches produced stunning results, contributing to the gem-like quality of the ten exquisite tipped-in plates with captioned tissue guards.
  Léonard Rosenthal, published his text as a pamphlet in 1919. He then commissioned Dulac to undertake design work and paint 10 illustrations for the book. A set of 100 signed copies in lavish vellum bindings where published in 1920, followed by a trade edition which had to be limited to 750 for Europe and 675 numbered copies for North America, due to the difficulty in producing the plates with gold and silver.

Edmund Dulac [1882-1923] is remembered as an eminent artist of the ‘Golden Age of Illustration’ that occurred during the early twentieth century. Born in France, Dulac studied law at the University of Toulouse, but later dropped his law studies in order to pursue his career as an artist. After briefly studying art in Paris at the Académie Julian, Dulac moved to London in 1904 where he was commissioned by J.M. Dent to illustrate the collected works of the Bronte sisters. Some of Dulac’s most famously illustrated books include
The Arabian Nights, The Rubáiyat of Omar Khayámm, Sinbad and the Sailor, The Sleeping Beauty and Other Fairy Tales from the Old French, The Bells and Other Poems by Edgar Allan Poe, and Stories from Hans Christian Andersen. As Dulac continued illustrating, the influence of Orientalism became more pronounced in his work, infusing his palette with brighter coloration; this style won him praise for its exquisite use of detail and hue. After the first world war Dulac found work as a set designer, as well as designing postage stamps, bookplates, and theatre graphics.

pp. [12] 151 [1]. Publisher’s white cloth spine over grey boards with decorative silver seascape design and paper label with title to upper cover, top edge gilt, others uncut, with two pieces of original white and grey illustrated dust jacket, lacking spine.
  Condition: Near fine, minor wear to lower edges of boards and corners, front hinge slightly loose, rear hinge starting, faint occasional foxing, in fragmented dust jacket lacking spine, toned and with wear to edges.   Ref: 107298   Price: HK$ 9,500