Dancing stars in more than 30 pochoir plates and attractively bound

BARBIER, George, and Arabella YORKE (artists), Jean-Louis VAUDOYER, Francis de MIOMANDRE and Cyril BEAUMONT

Album dédié à Tamar Karsavina [BOUND WITH] The Art of Lydia Lopokova [BOUND WITH] Designs on the Dances of Vaslav Nijinsky

Publication: I. Paris, Collections Pierre Corrard; II & III. London, C. W. Beaumont, 1914, 1920 and 1913.

BARBIER, George, and Arabella YORKE (artists), Jean-Louis VAUDOYER, Francis de MIOMANDRE and Cyril BEAUMONT, Album dédié à Tamar Karsavina [BOUND WITH] The Art of Lydia Lopokova [BOUND WITH] Designs on the Dances of Vaslav Nijinsky

Scarce gathering of Yorke’s beautiful and rare publication and both Barbier’s ‘albums’, all bound at the time in a fine blue calf signed binding – a fine volume indeed.

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Our Notes & References

Fine volume celebrating some of the greatest stars of the Ballets Russes in beautiful art-deco interpretations, including both of Barbier’s classic albums, and Yorke’s rarer and striking colour plates, put together in a full-leather, signed binding.

Barbier first made his name in 1912 when he became one of the principal illustrators for two new journals, the Journal des Dames et des Modes and the Gazette du Bon Ton. In addition to illustrating the new styles of the great fashion houses Barbier regularly contributed his own designs, developing a distinctive style which showed the influence of both Aubrey Beardsley and Léon Bakst.

The ‘Dessins sur les dances de Vaslav Nijinsky’ was his first solo publication, inspired by the passion and poetry of Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, and he followed this the following year with his ‘Album dédié à Tamar Karsavina’ – both present here: the first in its first edition, limited to 512 copies (this one num. 428); the second in its first English edition, limited to 400 copies (this one num. 24).

Nijinsky is depicted in some of his most famous roles, including as the slave in ‘Sheherazade’, as Harlequin in ‘Carnaval’, as the spectre in ‘Spectre de la Rose’, and in the title role of ‘Petrushka’. With relatively sparse use of colour, Barbier nonetheless captures the lavish costumes and sets and his designs are evocative of the expression and movement of the dance.

Karsavina, one of the greatest ballerinas, is shown in a number of the same productions (Carnaval, Sheherazade, Spectre de la Rose) but also in her most famous role as the Firebird. Each role of Karsavina depicted by Barbier is also the subject of a poem by Vaudoyer.

Barbier’s famous albums are here completed with bright, colourful and unusually striking pochoirs by Arabella Yorke, an American artist who moved to London in 1917 after having lived in Paris. Originally from Philadelphia, Yorke was, at the time of this publication, involved in a passionate love affair with the poet Richard Aldington, which was to last about 10 years. Her style here bends art-deco structures with fauvist colours and gold and silver highlights, applied in such a way to achieve the most striking visual result. The strong use of plain colours and the almost painterly way with which they are applied makes this publication stand out in Yorke’s corpus.

Sung by Yorke and the Ballets russes enthusiast Cyril Beaumont, Lopokova was then at the height of her career. Known to Diaghilev, she had however developed a career on her own in the USA, before living most of her life in Britain, famously becoming the wife of John Maynard Keynes, the celebrated economist. She met Keynes during ‘The Sleeping Beauty’, a lavish ballet in London, just a year after this publication celebrating her talent. Lopokova became also friend with Picasso, who drew her many times: a portrait by him dated 1919 is included in Beaumont’s book.


Napier George Henry Sturt, third Baron Alington (armorial bookplate to upper pastedown).

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Physical Description

Three works in one volume 4to. I. Large 4to, pp. [22], [2 (colophon)], with 12 pochoir plates by Barbier (most dated 1914); 3 black and white illustrations printed in-text (title, and start and end of the text); II. Half-title, sanguine halftone frontispiece portrait after a pastel drawing by Glyn Philpot, title, halftone plate after a pencil portrait drawing by Picasso (signed and dated ‘Londres 1919’ in the plate), dedication leaf, t.o.c, 6 pp. with hand-coloured head- and tail-pieces, a sheet with hand-coloured decoration, 9 full-page pochoir plates mounted on grey card, all by Arabella Yorke; III. pp. [10], [2 (colophon)], with one black and white plate and 12 pochoir plates by Barbier (most dated 1913); black and white head- and tail-piece illustrations.


All three original illustrated publisher’s wrappers kept in contemporary full blue polished calf gilt by C.J. Sawyer (rear turn-in signed in gilt), boards panelled with gilt points, borders ruled in gilt, spine gilt in compartments and lettered directly in gilt, board-edges and turn-ins ruled in gilt, all edges gilt, blue endpapers


Binding a bit rubbed or scratched, spine slightly faded, some wrappers spotted, the last one browned too; occasional light foxing or offsetting from plates, sometimes stronger, but overall a pleasant example with plates in fine condition.

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