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Artists books

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Ronald Searle (1920 – 2011)

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La Famille Cassé

La Famille Cassé, (undated but considered to be mid-1970s)

17 folded cards: 16 each with an original lithograph depicting different animals broken in some way. This is a pun on the name of the French printer Michel Cassé who worked with Searle on this and a number of other books.

The seventeenth card lists the depicted family members (in French) as follows: Le chat, Le serpent, Le chien, Le cheval, Le lapin, l’oiseau, Le cochon, Le rat, Le rhinoceros, L’éléphant, L’autruche, La giraffe, La chauve-souris, Le crocodile, La vache et Le vélo.

Papersize 171 x 126mms, contained within a folded cardboard box with wood ends. The box is signed and numbered on a label inside the box by Ronald Searle, and printed on the front with Michel Cassé, Lithographe, 10 rue Malher – Paris 4e, Tél 278.43.14. R.C. Paris 70 A 6580.

It is decorated with Par Avion, Expres, Urgent, and other post office labels and a completed Douane (Customs) label which is completed as follows in ink: Lithographies originales de Ronald SEARLE tirées à 50 Ex sur papier d’Arches.

It is undated but believed to be mid-1970s.

A number of wrapped and unopened copies have recently been found by members of Searles’ family in his house in the South of France. It is believed that the edition was never marketed, the reason for this is unknown. The lithographs are vibrant. It is a rare and very charming book-object with typical Searle humour.

£650 (plus P&P and insurance)