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Lot n° 37

Oceania The Propeller Island by...

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[Oceania] The Propeller Island by Jules Verne. Illustrations by L. Benett. Paris, Bibliothèque d'Éducation et de Récréation, J. Hetzel et Cie, sd (ca 1899). Large double in-8°. Publisher's full polychrome percaline boards "au globe doré" of the 3rd type with a 2nd plate Lenègre "e" ! Engel Relieur (apparem- ment...). Gilt edges. Blue endpapers. Twelve hors-texte plates in colour + one map in chromolithography and two in black. Printed by Gauthier-Villars. Catalogue "D" for 1895-1896. A very nice copy of this "gilt globe" phenomenon! We knew four types of "gilt globe", all bound by Engel, and here comes a fifth one! It is a "hybrid" whose edition could be dated around 1898, perhaps between the type 2 "à l'empiècement" (1897) and the current type 3 (1898) with the definitive plate. The presence of a second Lenègre "e" plate for a volume bound by Engel is, indeed, very strange... We have, however, managed to establish a scenario that may explain this mystery. Engel's trial and error since 1896, in the realization of the cartonnage "au globe doré", would have pushed Hetzel in 1898 to propose to Lenègre to work on the printing of the final plate. Lenègre would then have carried out tests on at least two titles: L'Île à hélice and Michel Strogoff. However, for this work, if he had the plate and the back supplied by Engel, the second plate would have been missing, hence the use of his own second plate of type "e". But, the dominant red in the golds of the lower half of the plate, which makes it very characteristic but almost unfinished, would indicate that Lenègre would not have succeeded... This "3rd type bis" would thus correspond to a brief trial period, before Engel finalizes himself - and this time in a perfect way - the printing of the plate today cherished by the collectors. That said, it could also be only a "troubleshooting", Lenègre coming to Engel's rescue, overwhelmed by the realization of the novelty to be published on November 24, 1898, The Superb Orinoco, and of a great number of old titles...

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