Marc Chagall (1887-1985) Le Cirque The complete portfolio, comprising the set of 38 lithographs (23 in colours and 15 in black), 1957, on Arches wove paper, in- and hors-texte, with title page, text in French and justification, signed in pencil on the justification, copy number 189 of 250, published by Tériade Editeur, Paris, 1967, the full sheets, loose (as issued), the colours very fresh and vibrant, in very good condition, within the original paper wrapper and the beige cloth-covered boards with title stamped in gilt on spine and matching slipcaseOverall 450 x 345mm. (17 3/4 x 13 5/8in.)

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Lot 17* AR
Marc Chagall
(1887-1985)
Le Cirque

Sold for £ 250,250 (US$ 344,957) inc. premium
Marc Chagall (1887-1985)
Le Cirque (Mourlot 490-527; Cramer Books 68)
The complete portfolio, comprising the set of 38 lithographs (23 in colours and 15 in black), 1957, on Arches wove paper, in- and hors-texte, with title page, text in French and justification, signed in pencil on the justification, copy number 189 of 250, published by Tériade Editeur, Paris, 1967, the full sheets, loose (as issued), the colours very fresh and vibrant, in very good condition, within the original paper wrapper and the beige cloth-covered boards with title stamped in gilt on spine and matching slipcase

Overall 450 x 345mm. (17 3/4 x 13 5/8in.)

Footnotes

  • For me the circus is a magic show which passes by like affairs of the world and melts. A circus is disturbing. It is profound.
    Marc Chagall

    Chagall's fascination with the circus dates from his childhood in pre-revolutionary Vitebsk where travelling acrobats and equestrians often came to entertain the crowds at the village fair.
    Chagall always remembered the sad scene of a travelling troupe, a father and his young children, performing a handful of clumsy, acrobatic stunts. The public walked by unimpressed, and Chagall saw them walked away, unappreciated and empty-handed. Chagall feared that this could well be the fate of anyone who wanted to pursue the life of an artist.

    The idea of Cirque came from Chagall's dealer and publisher, Ambroise Vollard, for whom he had already illustrated two other series of prints: Fables and Dead Souls. Vollard was a circus lover and had his own box at the Cirque d'hiver in Paris to which he often invited Chagall and his wife Bella.
    Due to the dealer's sudden death in a car accident, Chagall who had already started working in a suite of gouaches on this theme, abandoned the project until decades later when the Greek born publisher Tèriade convinced him to complete the work.

    In 1962, Chagall began working on a series of lithographs that came to be known as Le Cirque. The artist was fascinated with colour lithography as it allowed unlimited painterly freedom. He drew directly on the lithography stone, and the resultant prints reflected the spontaneity of his brushstrokes and draw lines. The accompanying texts were also written by Chagall and complimented the pictures confirming an artist's book which was finally published in 1967.

    Chagall's lithographs of Cirque can be regarded as his best achievement as a printmaker, with its vibrant colours and fantasies on the circus theme where characters are mixed with the Chagallian standard symbols of goat, cock, pair of lovers ascending in the sky, donkeys and horses forming the dreamlike compositions for which he is famous.

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Marc Chagall (1887-1985) Le Cirque The complete portfolio, comprising the set of 38 lithographs (23 in colours and 15 in black), 1957, on Arches wove paper, in- and hors-texte, with title page, text in French and justification, signed in pencil on the justification, copy number 189 of 250, published by Tériade Editeur, Paris, 1967, the full sheets, loose (as issued), the colours very fresh and vibrant, in very good condition, within the original paper wrapper and the beige cloth-covered boards with title stamped in gilt on spine and matching slipcaseOverall 450 x 345mm. (17 3/4 x 13 5/8in.)
Marc Chagall (1887-1985) Le Cirque The complete portfolio, comprising the set of 38 lithographs (23 in colours and 15 in black), 1957, on Arches wove paper, in- and hors-texte, with title page, text in French and justification, signed in pencil on the justification, copy number 189 of 250, published by Tériade Editeur, Paris, 1967, the full sheets, loose (as issued), the colours very fresh and vibrant, in very good condition, within the original paper wrapper and the beige cloth-covered boards with title stamped in gilt on spine and matching slipcaseOverall 450 x 345mm. (17 3/4 x 13 5/8in.)
Marc Chagall (1887-1985) Le Cirque The complete portfolio, comprising the set of 38 lithographs (23 in colours and 15 in black), 1957, on Arches wove paper, in- and hors-texte, with title page, text in French and justification, signed in pencil on the justification, copy number 189 of 250, published by Tériade Editeur, Paris, 1967, the full sheets, loose (as issued), the colours very fresh and vibrant, in very good condition, within the original paper wrapper and the beige cloth-covered boards with title stamped in gilt on spine and matching slipcaseOverall 450 x 345mm. (17 3/4 x 13 5/8in.)
Marc Chagall (1887-1985) Le Cirque The complete portfolio, comprising the set of 38 lithographs (23 in colours and 15 in black), 1957, on Arches wove paper, in- and hors-texte, with title page, text in French and justification, signed in pencil on the justification, copy number 189 of 250, published by Tériade Editeur, Paris, 1967, the full sheets, loose (as issued), the colours very fresh and vibrant, in very good condition, within the original paper wrapper and the beige cloth-covered boards with title stamped in gilt on spine and matching slipcaseOverall 450 x 345mm. (17 3/4 x 13 5/8in.)
Marc Chagall (1887-1985) Le Cirque The complete portfolio, comprising the set of 38 lithographs (23 in colours and 15 in black), 1957, on Arches wove paper, in- and hors-texte, with title page, text in French and justification, signed in pencil on the justification, copy number 189 of 250, published by Tériade Editeur, Paris, 1967, the full sheets, loose (as issued), the colours very fresh and vibrant, in very good condition, within the original paper wrapper and the beige cloth-covered boards with title stamped in gilt on spine and matching slipcaseOverall 450 x 345mm. (17 3/4 x 13 5/8in.)
Marc Chagall (1887-1985) Le Cirque The complete portfolio, comprising the set of 38 lithographs (23 in colours and 15 in black), 1957, on Arches wove paper, in- and hors-texte, with title page, text in French and justification, signed in pencil on the justification, copy number 189 of 250, published by Tériade Editeur, Paris, 1967, the full sheets, loose (as issued), the colours very fresh and vibrant, in very good condition, within the original paper wrapper and the beige cloth-covered boards with title stamped in gilt on spine and matching slipcaseOverall 450 x 345mm. (17 3/4 x 13 5/8in.)
Marc Chagall (1887-1985) Le Cirque The complete portfolio, comprising the set of 38 lithographs (23 in colours and 15 in black), 1957, on Arches wove paper, in- and hors-texte, with title page, text in French and justification, signed in pencil on the justification, copy number 189 of 250, published by Tériade Editeur, Paris, 1967, the full sheets, loose (as issued), the colours very fresh and vibrant, in very good condition, within the original paper wrapper and the beige cloth-covered boards with title stamped in gilt on spine and matching slipcaseOverall 450 x 345mm. (17 3/4 x 13 5/8in.)
Marc Chagall (1887-1985) Le Cirque The complete portfolio, comprising the set of 38 lithographs (23 in colours and 15 in black), 1957, on Arches wove paper, in- and hors-texte, with title page, text in French and justification, signed in pencil on the justification, copy number 189 of 250, published by Tériade Editeur, Paris, 1967, the full sheets, loose (as issued), the colours very fresh and vibrant, in very good condition, within the original paper wrapper and the beige cloth-covered boards with title stamped in gilt on spine and matching slipcaseOverall 450 x 345mm. (17 3/4 x 13 5/8in.)
Marc Chagall (1887-1985) Le Cirque The complete portfolio, comprising the set of 38 lithographs (23 in colours and 15 in black), 1957, on Arches wove paper, in- and hors-texte, with title page, text in French and justification, signed in pencil on the justification, copy number 189 of 250, published by Tériade Editeur, Paris, 1967, the full sheets, loose (as issued), the colours very fresh and vibrant, in very good condition, within the original paper wrapper and the beige cloth-covered boards with title stamped in gilt on spine and matching slipcaseOverall 450 x 345mm. (17 3/4 x 13 5/8in.)
Marc Chagall (1887-1985) Le Cirque The complete portfolio, comprising the set of 38 lithographs (23 in colours and 15 in black), 1957, on Arches wove paper, in- and hors-texte, with title page, text in French and justification, signed in pencil on the justification, copy number 189 of 250, published by Tériade Editeur, Paris, 1967, the full sheets, loose (as issued), the colours very fresh and vibrant, in very good condition, within the original paper wrapper and the beige cloth-covered boards with title stamped in gilt on spine and matching slipcaseOverall 450 x 345mm. (17 3/4 x 13 5/8in.)
Marc Chagall (1887-1985) Le Cirque The complete portfolio, comprising the set of 38 lithographs (23 in colours and 15 in black), 1957, on Arches wove paper, in- and hors-texte, with title page, text in French and justification, signed in pencil on the justification, copy number 189 of 250, published by Tériade Editeur, Paris, 1967, the full sheets, loose (as issued), the colours very fresh and vibrant, in very good condition, within the original paper wrapper and the beige cloth-covered boards with title stamped in gilt on spine and matching slipcaseOverall 450 x 345mm. (17 3/4 x 13 5/8in.)
Marc Chagall (1887-1985) Le Cirque The complete portfolio, comprising the set of 38 lithographs (23 in colours and 15 in black), 1957, on Arches wove paper, in- and hors-texte, with title page, text in French and justification, signed in pencil on the justification, copy number 189 of 250, published by Tériade Editeur, Paris, 1967, the full sheets, loose (as issued), the colours very fresh and vibrant, in very good condition, within the original paper wrapper and the beige cloth-covered boards with title stamped in gilt on spine and matching slipcaseOverall 450 x 345mm. (17 3/4 x 13 5/8in.)
Marc Chagall (1887-1985) Le Cirque The complete portfolio, comprising the set of 38 lithographs (23 in colours and 15 in black), 1957, on Arches wove paper, in- and hors-texte, with title page, text in French and justification, signed in pencil on the justification, copy number 189 of 250, published by Tériade Editeur, Paris, 1967, the full sheets, loose (as issued), the colours very fresh and vibrant, in very good condition, within the original paper wrapper and the beige cloth-covered boards with title stamped in gilt on spine and matching slipcaseOverall 450 x 345mm. (17 3/4 x 13 5/8in.)
Marc Chagall (1887-1985) Le Cirque The complete portfolio, comprising the set of 38 lithographs (23 in colours and 15 in black), 1957, on Arches wove paper, in- and hors-texte, with title page, text in French and justification, signed in pencil on the justification, copy number 189 of 250, published by Tériade Editeur, Paris, 1967, the full sheets, loose (as issued), the colours very fresh and vibrant, in very good condition, within the original paper wrapper and the beige cloth-covered boards with title stamped in gilt on spine and matching slipcaseOverall 450 x 345mm. (17 3/4 x 13 5/8in.)
Marc Chagall (1887-1985) Le Cirque The complete portfolio, comprising the set of 38 lithographs (23 in colours and 15 in black), 1957, on Arches wove paper, in- and hors-texte, with title page, text in French and justification, signed in pencil on the justification, copy number 189 of 250, published by Tériade Editeur, Paris, 1967, the full sheets, loose (as issued), the colours very fresh and vibrant, in very good condition, within the original paper wrapper and the beige cloth-covered boards with title stamped in gilt on spine and matching slipcaseOverall 450 x 345mm. (17 3/4 x 13 5/8in.)
Marc Chagall (1887-1985) Le Cirque The complete portfolio, comprising the set of 38 lithographs (23 in colours and 15 in black), 1957, on Arches wove paper, in- and hors-texte, with title page, text in French and justification, signed in pencil on the justification, copy number 189 of 250, published by Tériade Editeur, Paris, 1967, the full sheets, loose (as issued), the colours very fresh and vibrant, in very good condition, within the original paper wrapper and the beige cloth-covered boards with title stamped in gilt on spine and matching slipcaseOverall 450 x 345mm. (17 3/4 x 13 5/8in.)
Marc Chagall (1887-1985) Le Cirque The complete portfolio, comprising the set of 38 lithographs (23 in colours and 15 in black), 1957, on Arches wove paper, in- and hors-texte, with title page, text in French and justification, signed in pencil on the justification, copy number 189 of 250, published by Tériade Editeur, Paris, 1967, the full sheets, loose (as issued), the colours very fresh and vibrant, in very good condition, within the original paper wrapper and the beige cloth-covered boards with title stamped in gilt on spine and matching slipcaseOverall 450 x 345mm. (17 3/4 x 13 5/8in.)
Marc Chagall (1887-1985) Le Cirque The complete portfolio, comprising the set of 38 lithographs (23 in colours and 15 in black), 1957, on Arches wove paper, in- and hors-texte, with title page, text in French and justification, signed in pencil on the justification, copy number 189 of 250, published by Tériade Editeur, Paris, 1967, the full sheets, loose (as issued), the colours very fresh and vibrant, in very good condition, within the original paper wrapper and the beige cloth-covered boards with title stamped in gilt on spine and matching slipcaseOverall 450 x 345mm. (17 3/4 x 13 5/8in.)
Marc Chagall (1887-1985) Le Cirque The complete portfolio, comprising the set of 38 lithographs (23 in colours and 15 in black), 1957, on Arches wove paper, in- and hors-texte, with title page, text in French and justification, signed in pencil on the justification, copy number 189 of 250, published by Tériade Editeur, Paris, 1967, the full sheets, loose (as issued), the colours very fresh and vibrant, in very good condition, within the original paper wrapper and the beige cloth-covered boards with title stamped in gilt on spine and matching slipcaseOverall 450 x 345mm. (17 3/4 x 13 5/8in.)
Marc Chagall (1887-1985) Le Cirque The complete portfolio, comprising the set of 38 lithographs (23 in colours and 15 in black), 1957, on Arches wove paper, in- and hors-texte, with title page, text in French and justification, signed in pencil on the justification, copy number 189 of 250, published by Tériade Editeur, Paris, 1967, the full sheets, loose (as issued), the colours very fresh and vibrant, in very good condition, within the original paper wrapper and the beige cloth-covered boards with title stamped in gilt on spine and matching slipcaseOverall 450 x 345mm. (17 3/4 x 13 5/8in.)
Marc Chagall (1887-1985) Le Cirque The complete portfolio, comprising the set of 38 lithographs (23 in colours and 15 in black), 1957, on Arches wove paper, in- and hors-texte, with title page, text in French and justification, signed in pencil on the justification, copy number 189 of 250, published by Tériade Editeur, Paris, 1967, the full sheets, loose (as issued), the colours very fresh and vibrant, in very good condition, within the original paper wrapper and the beige cloth-covered boards with title stamped in gilt on spine and matching slipcaseOverall 450 x 345mm. (17 3/4 x 13 5/8in.)
Marc Chagall (1887-1985) Le Cirque The complete portfolio, comprising the set of 38 lithographs (23 in colours and 15 in black), 1957, on Arches wove paper, in- and hors-texte, with title page, text in French and justification, signed in pencil on the justification, copy number 189 of 250, published by Tériade Editeur, Paris, 1967, the full sheets, loose (as issued), the colours very fresh and vibrant, in very good condition, within the original paper wrapper and the beige cloth-covered boards with title stamped in gilt on spine and matching slipcaseOverall 450 x 345mm. (17 3/4 x 13 5/8in.)
Marc Chagall (1887-1985) Le Cirque The complete portfolio, comprising the set of 38 lithographs (23 in colours and 15 in black), 1957, on Arches wove paper, in- and hors-texte, with title page, text in French and justification, signed in pencil on the justification, copy number 189 of 250, published by Tériade Editeur, Paris, 1967, the full sheets, loose (as issued), the colours very fresh and vibrant, in very good condition, within the original paper wrapper and the beige cloth-covered boards with title stamped in gilt on spine and matching slipcaseOverall 450 x 345mm. (17 3/4 x 13 5/8in.)
Marc Chagall (1887-1985) Le Cirque The complete portfolio, comprising the set of 38 lithographs (23 in colours and 15 in black), 1957, on Arches wove paper, in- and hors-texte, with title page, text in French and justification, signed in pencil on the justification, copy number 189 of 250, published by Tériade Editeur, Paris, 1967, the full sheets, loose (as issued), the colours very fresh and vibrant, in very good condition, within the original paper wrapper and the beige cloth-covered boards with title stamped in gilt on spine and matching slipcaseOverall 450 x 345mm. (17 3/4 x 13 5/8in.)
Marc Chagall (1887-1985) Le Cirque The complete portfolio, comprising the set of 38 lithographs (23 in colours and 15 in black), 1957, on Arches wove paper, in- and hors-texte, with title page, text in French and justification, signed in pencil on the justification, copy number 189 of 250, published by Tériade Editeur, Paris, 1967, the full sheets, loose (as issued), the colours very fresh and vibrant, in very good condition, within the original paper wrapper and the beige cloth-covered boards with title stamped in gilt on spine and matching slipcaseOverall 450 x 345mm. (17 3/4 x 13 5/8in.)
Marc Chagall (1887-1985) Le Cirque The complete portfolio, comprising the set of 38 lithographs (23 in colours and 15 in black), 1957, on Arches wove paper, in- and hors-texte, with title page, text in French and justification, signed in pencil on the justification, copy number 189 of 250, published by Tériade Editeur, Paris, 1967, the full sheets, loose (as issued), the colours very fresh and vibrant, in very good condition, within the original paper wrapper and the beige cloth-covered boards with title stamped in gilt on spine and matching slipcaseOverall 450 x 345mm. (17 3/4 x 13 5/8in.)
Marc Chagall (1887-1985) Le Cirque The complete portfolio, comprising the set of 38 lithographs (23 in colours and 15 in black), 1957, on Arches wove paper, in- and hors-texte, with title page, text in French and justification, signed in pencil on the justification, copy number 189 of 250, published by Tériade Editeur, Paris, 1967, the full sheets, loose (as issued), the colours very fresh and vibrant, in very good condition, within the original paper wrapper and the beige cloth-covered boards with title stamped in gilt on spine and matching slipcaseOverall 450 x 345mm. (17 3/4 x 13 5/8in.)
Marc Chagall (1887-1985) Le Cirque The complete portfolio, comprising the set of 38 lithographs (23 in colours and 15 in black), 1957, on Arches wove paper, in- and hors-texte, with title page, text in French and justification, signed in pencil on the justification, copy number 189 of 250, published by Tériade Editeur, Paris, 1967, the full sheets, loose (as issued), the colours very fresh and vibrant, in very good condition, within the original paper wrapper and the beige cloth-covered boards with title stamped in gilt on spine and matching slipcaseOverall 450 x 345mm. (17 3/4 x 13 5/8in.)
Marc Chagall (1887-1985) Le Cirque The complete portfolio, comprising the set of 38 lithographs (23 in colours and 15 in black), 1957, on Arches wove paper, in- and hors-texte, with title page, text in French and justification, signed in pencil on the justification, copy number 189 of 250, published by Tériade Editeur, Paris, 1967, the full sheets, loose (as issued), the colours very fresh and vibrant, in very good condition, within the original paper wrapper and the beige cloth-covered boards with title stamped in gilt on spine and matching slipcaseOverall 450 x 345mm. (17 3/4 x 13 5/8in.)
Marc Chagall (1887-1985) Le Cirque The complete portfolio, comprising the set of 38 lithographs (23 in colours and 15 in black), 1957, on Arches wove paper, in- and hors-texte, with title page, text in French and justification, signed in pencil on the justification, copy number 189 of 250, published by Tériade Editeur, Paris, 1967, the full sheets, loose (as issued), the colours very fresh and vibrant, in very good condition, within the original paper wrapper and the beige cloth-covered boards with title stamped in gilt on spine and matching slipcaseOverall 450 x 345mm. (17 3/4 x 13 5/8in.)
Marc Chagall (1887-1985) Le Cirque The complete portfolio, comprising the set of 38 lithographs (23 in colours and 15 in black), 1957, on Arches wove paper, in- and hors-texte, with title page, text in French and justification, signed in pencil on the justification, copy number 189 of 250, published by Tériade Editeur, Paris, 1967, the full sheets, loose (as issued), the colours very fresh and vibrant, in very good condition, within the original paper wrapper and the beige cloth-covered boards with title stamped in gilt on spine and matching slipcaseOverall 450 x 345mm. (17 3/4 x 13 5/8in.)
Marc Chagall (1887-1985) Le Cirque The complete portfolio, comprising the set of 38 lithographs (23 in colours and 15 in black), 1957, on Arches wove paper, in- and hors-texte, with title page, text in French and justification, signed in pencil on the justification, copy number 189 of 250, published by Tériade Editeur, Paris, 1967, the full sheets, loose (as issued), the colours very fresh and vibrant, in very good condition, within the original paper wrapper and the beige cloth-covered boards with title stamped in gilt on spine and matching slipcaseOverall 450 x 345mm. (17 3/4 x 13 5/8in.)
Marc Chagall (1887-1985) Le Cirque The complete portfolio, comprising the set of 38 lithographs (23 in colours and 15 in black), 1957, on Arches wove paper, in- and hors-texte, with title page, text in French and justification, signed in pencil on the justification, copy number 189 of 250, published by Tériade Editeur, Paris, 1967, the full sheets, loose (as issued), the colours very fresh and vibrant, in very good condition, within the original paper wrapper and the beige cloth-covered boards with title stamped in gilt on spine and matching slipcaseOverall 450 x 345mm. (17 3/4 x 13 5/8in.)
Marc Chagall (1887-1985) Le Cirque The complete portfolio, comprising the set of 38 lithographs (23 in colours and 15 in black), 1957, on Arches wove paper, in- and hors-texte, with title page, text in French and justification, signed in pencil on the justification, copy number 189 of 250, published by Tériade Editeur, Paris, 1967, the full sheets, loose (as issued), the colours very fresh and vibrant, in very good condition, within the original paper wrapper and the beige cloth-covered boards with title stamped in gilt on spine and matching slipcaseOverall 450 x 345mm. (17 3/4 x 13 5/8in.)
Marc Chagall (1887-1985) Le Cirque The complete portfolio, comprising the set of 38 lithographs (23 in colours and 15 in black), 1957, on Arches wove paper, in- and hors-texte, with title page, text in French and justification, signed in pencil on the justification, copy number 189 of 250, published by Tériade Editeur, Paris, 1967, the full sheets, loose (as issued), the colours very fresh and vibrant, in very good condition, within the original paper wrapper and the beige cloth-covered boards with title stamped in gilt on spine and matching slipcaseOverall 450 x 345mm. (17 3/4 x 13 5/8in.)
Marc Chagall (1887-1985) Le Cirque The complete portfolio, comprising the set of 38 lithographs (23 in colours and 15 in black), 1957, on Arches wove paper, in- and hors-texte, with title page, text in French and justification, signed in pencil on the justification, copy number 189 of 250, published by Tériade Editeur, Paris, 1967, the full sheets, loose (as issued), the colours very fresh and vibrant, in very good condition, within the original paper wrapper and the beige cloth-covered boards with title stamped in gilt on spine and matching slipcaseOverall 450 x 345mm. (17 3/4 x 13 5/8in.)
Marc Chagall (1887-1985) Le Cirque The complete portfolio, comprising the set of 38 lithographs (23 in colours and 15 in black), 1957, on Arches wove paper, in- and hors-texte, with title page, text in French and justification, signed in pencil on the justification, copy number 189 of 250, published by Tériade Editeur, Paris, 1967, the full sheets, loose (as issued), the colours very fresh and vibrant, in very good condition, within the original paper wrapper and the beige cloth-covered boards with title stamped in gilt on spine and matching slipcaseOverall 450 x 345mm. (17 3/4 x 13 5/8in.)
Marc Chagall (1887-1985) Le Cirque The complete portfolio, comprising the set of 38 lithographs (23 in colours and 15 in black), 1957, on Arches wove paper, in- and hors-texte, with title page, text in French and justification, signed in pencil on the justification, copy number 189 of 250, published by Tériade Editeur, Paris, 1967, the full sheets, loose (as issued), the colours very fresh and vibrant, in very good condition, within the original paper wrapper and the beige cloth-covered boards with title stamped in gilt on spine and matching slipcaseOverall 450 x 345mm. (17 3/4 x 13 5/8in.)
Marc Chagall (1887-1985) Le Cirque The complete portfolio, comprising the set of 38 lithographs (23 in colours and 15 in black), 1957, on Arches wove paper, in- and hors-texte, with title page, text in French and justification, signed in pencil on the justification, copy number 189 of 250, published by Tériade Editeur, Paris, 1967, the full sheets, loose (as issued), the colours very fresh and vibrant, in very good condition, within the original paper wrapper and the beige cloth-covered boards with title stamped in gilt on spine and matching slipcaseOverall 450 x 345mm. (17 3/4 x 13 5/8in.)
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