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How To Electroplate Baby Shoes for Pleasure and Profit
 How To Electroplate Baby Shoes for Pleasure and Profit
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Click Here to View other titles by  graphic design | typography graphic design | typography

Publications on the history of modern typography, trademarks & logotypes, packaging, posters, advertising, signage, commercial art, book design, letterheads, etc., including notable designers and their works in these fields.

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Helle, Andre, Histoire d'une Boite a JouJoux, Paris, A. Tolmer et Cie, 1926, first edition, 9.5" x 13", folio, hardcover. Illustrated endpapers in green, paper boards with pochoir-printed illustration and titles. Interior pages are lithographic illustrated in two-color (green/black) or three-color (green/rose/black); handwritten French text in author's hand, GOOD condition/ no jacket as issued.

Unpaginated. Edgewear to covers all around; ¼” spine loss at head/heel; pochoir printing has light water staining front/back. Title page has a ½" tear, with archival repair. Original paper pages though a bit brittle and browned at the edges, are clean, unmarked and remain tightly sewn with occasional minor loss at lower gatherings.

André Hellé (1871-1945 ), a French children's writer/artist, painter, decorative artist, illustrator and toymaker well-known in 20th century France, is relatively unknown in America today in spite of his energetically diverse accomplishments. Early in his prolific career, he was recognized by writers Apollinaire and Francis Carco as having presaged the Russian modernist constructivism movement and "one of the forerunners of cubism."

In 1913 composer Claude Debussy (1862-1918) created his final composition, La boîte à joujoux (The Toy-Box), a ballet for children inspired by his affection for daughter Chouchou and her box of toys. The score was originally published with delightful pochoir illustrations by André Hellé, who proposed that toy-boxes are "really just like towns in which toys live like people - or maybe towns are really just toy-boxes in which people live like toys.". Debussy died in 1918, leaving only the piano score and a few pages of orchestration. These were completed by his devoted student, André Caplet and the ballet finally debuted in 1919 at the Théâtre Lyrique du Vaudeville, Paris with sets and costumes designed by Hellé. In 1921 another production was undertaken by the Ballets Suédois, with new choreography by Jean Börlin, again staged and costumed by Hellé and this time accurately reflecting his joyful, brightly colored cubistic drawings in the sets and echoed in the angular movements of the dancers. Later, in 1926, master Parisian printer/publisher A. Tolmer et Cie (already Hellé’s publisher since 1911) republished the enhanced story as “Histoire d'une Boîte à Joujoux”. This exceptional production featured vibrantly composed illustrated pochoir covers and the litho-printed story of an embattled love triangle between the Doll, the Soldier and Polichinelle (Punch) - and the boisterous goings-on that happen inside a box full of toys when all the children are asleep. Though an age-old (human) tale, the forms in Hellé’s illustrations, accompanied by his hand-lettered text, are refreshing and boldly modern in their brightly kinetic design arrangements.

A rarely seen copy of this fragile example of the avant-garde in children's illustrated literature. (Our image is quite large. Click once to open and then again to allow for best view and scrolling. Appearance of warping is from camera distortion.)    [Book ID # 2133]


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