Bound by Henri Creuzevault

Virgil (70–39 BCE).
Les Bucoliques de Virgile.

Translated by Paul Valéry.
Paris: Scripta & Picta, 1953. (10621)

The Frenchman Henri Creuzevault (1905–1971) became one of the leading design binders in Paris before World War II. The son of a famous trade binder, he was fully trained in sewing and decorative tooling, although until 1937 the sewing of his bindings was done by his brother Louis-Claude, who died that year. Henri continued to design bookbindings after that, but he no longer did his own tooling.

In this stunning binding for Virgil’s classical verses, the main design element is the poet’s timeless attribute, the laurel wreath. Characteristic of Creuzevault’s late work, the design depends less on the gold fillets so beloved by his contemporaries and concentrates more on the bold geometry and subtle color combinations of the calfskin inlays. The two covers, which are reflections of each other, echo the book’s Cubist lithographs by Jacques Villon. The inlaying and tooling were executed by André Jeanne after Creuzevault’s colored chalk drawings

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The Twentieth Century
Henri Creuzevault