Paris: Les Livres de Louis Jou, 1927. One of 225 copies on papier verge from a total issue of 258 copies. Page size: 10 7/8 x 7 5/8 "; 26.5 x 19.3 mm. Bound after design by LOUIS JOU, executed by Mercier fils: hand-painted vellum binding the title in red broken by an elaborate intertwining vine in heavy gold gilt, a single vine border repeated at top and bottom of front cover, author and title in red on spine separated with gilt leaves, gilt vine rondel on back panel. Top edge gilt, original wrappers bound in, fine.
Louis Jou (1882-1968), although born in Spain, spent most of his life in Paris creating beautiful books. Calling himself "artisan" not "maitre" Jou was nonetheless a master craftsman and designer of books. His type designs, woodcuts, and printing put him in the front ranks of great printers of the twentieth century. He designed few bindings to accompany his books, but those that do exist attest to his art there as well as on the interior of the book. SONNETS POUR HELENE is printed in red and black throughout and each page has numerous type ornaments and four woodcut initials on each page. The book is a lovely combination of binding and woodcuts and typography from one of the masters. Item #2640