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Sechs Radierungen zu Hans Bethge’s Satuila.
Berlin: Morawe & Scheffelt, 1921.
NUMBER ONE OF ONLY TEN SETS OF THIS OUTSTANDING PORTFOLIO OF EXPRESSIONIST ETCHINGS, WITH MANY OF THE ETCHINGS PRINTED ON OLD JAPANESE PAPER.
In 1918 German novelist Hans Bethge wrote “Satuila oder vom Zauber der Suedsee” (“Satuila or the Enchantment of the South Sea”), the story of a young woman in Samoa. It is a sensual, escapist tale: the situation in Germany was quite terrible after the defeat in WWI, and there was great demand for escapism. This novel was a hit, and a deluxe edition, with 6 original etchings by German Expressionist artist Georg Alexander Mathey, was published in Berlin in 1921.
The etchings are extremely beautiful, perfectly capturing the lush sensuality of the landscape and the unabashed sexuality of the characters (similar to the depictions of Gypsies by Otto Mueller, from about the same time).
This edition of the novel was limited to 250 copies. Aside from the book edition, 10 sets of the etchings were printed, with large margins. In these 10 sets, each of the etchings is signed and numbered by the artist.
I OFFER ONE OF THESE 10 SETS: SET NUMBER 1, with each of the etchings numbered 1/10 and signed in pencil by the artist. FOUR OF THE SIX ETCHINGS IN THIS SET ARE PRINTED ON OLD JAPANESE PAPER, AND ARE PERHAPS UNIQUE AS SUCH.
Additionally, there is a signed working proof of an early version of one of the etchings, also printed on old Japanese paper. This proof is probably unique, as the etching was never published.
The set is as it was issued. Each etching (sheet size 8 1/2 x 7 inches–22 x 18 cm) is individually matted, and the original parchment-backed cloth portfolio case (16 1/2 x 13 inches–42 x 33 cm). There is a little light wear to the portfolio, but the etchings are fine and bright.
An important and extremely rare item (and perhaps the only German Expressionist depictions of the South Pacific!)