Very clean, in the publisher's slipcase


The Designs of Léon Bakst for the Sleeping Princess

Publication: London, Benn Brothers, 1923.

[BAKST] – LEVINSON, André, The Designs of Léon Bakst for the Sleeping Princess

One of the great books on Bakst’ talent – the only one devoted to a specific ballet. A copy remarkable for its cleanliness, especially of the fragile original binding.

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Our Notes & References

An exceptionally fresh example of this limited edition, with only the binding very lightly stained, the cloth bright and fresh and immaculate inside.

This famous work, finely produced, is a record of Bakst’s extensive contribution to Diaghilev’s revival of La Belle au Bois Dormant at the Alhambra Theatre in London in 1921. It shows Bakst’s sets and costumes, which present a beautiful mix of his early Russian inspiration and 18th-c. French tradition. The work is prefaced by an 18-page introduction by Levinson regarding Bakst and Tchaikovsky’s ballet.

Diaghilev’s production was so lavish (and not so successful) that it nearly bankrupted him. One of the ballerinas, Lydia Lopokova, was noticed by a member of the audience, who repeatedly came to see her: this was John Maynard Keynes. Lopokova soon became Mrs. Keynes, later Baroness and spent the rest of her long life in England.

This is the first English edition; this one being copy num. 8 out of 500 copies for the USA, from an overall limitation of 1000.

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Physical Description

Folio. With a full-page portrait of Bakst after a drawing by Pablo Picasso, 54 mounted colour plates after designs by Bakst with captioned tissue guards, and 2 other mounted decorations.


Publisher’s vellum spine lettered in gilt over blue cloth boards, kept in its original grey slipcase.


Slipcase restored, binding a tiny bit soiled, but an unusually fresh and fine copy.

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