La main enchantée

Year: 1945

Author: Gérard de Nerval (1808 - 1855)

Artist: Pierre Rousseau (1903 - 1991)

Publisher: Éditions I.P.C.

La main enchantée, title

Gérard de Nerval, an opium addict, suffered through many crises of identity after 1841. He identified with eastern lords and fairy tale princes, and they say he took lobsters out for walks. His stories turned out as fantastical as his life, and one of those stories, Le main enchantée, was reprinted by I.P.C. nearly a century after Nerval's death in a small-size edition. For this 1945 reprint, the fable was illustrated by Pierre Rousseau, a draughtsman who had been known since the 1930s for the popular style of his children's books.

The copy in the Koopman Collection bears a nicely finished cover from bookbinder G. Koechlin: the book is bound in red goatskin leather, and has been signed by Koechlin on the front turn-in. Identical illustrations of curved lines stamped in gold have been applied to the front and back covers, conjoining in a half circle on the binding’s spine. The decoration in its entirety creates the illusion of a setting sun, fireworks, or- with some imagination- the waving motion of a magic wand.

  • Voor- en achterplat van boekband door G. Koechlin

Bibliographical description

Description: La main enchantée / Gérard de Nerval ; ill. de Pierre Rousseau. - Paris : Éditions I.P.C., [1945]. - iv, 96 p., [16] pl. : ill. ; 14 cm

1st edition: In: Contes et facéties, 1853

Printer: Imprimerie des Beaux-arts (Paris)

Edition: 1000 copies

This copy: Number 737 of 800 on C.D.R.

Bookbinder: G. Koechlin

Shelfnumber: Koopm D 156


  • Gérard de Nerval, Het treurige beroep van een schrijver. Amsterdam, De Arbeiderspers, 2004
  • Gérard de Nerval, Oeuvres complètes. Paris, Gallimard, 1984-1993