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.
|Description:||La main enchantée / Gérard de Nerval ; ill. de Pierre Rousseau. - Paris : I.P.C., . - iv, 96 p.,  pl. : ill. ; 14 cm|
|1st edition:||In: Contes et facéties, 1853|
|Printer:||Imprimerie des Beaux-arts (Paris)|
|This copy:||Number 737 of 800 on C.D.R.|
|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