French and Oriental Love in a Harem, Mario Uchard, illustrations by Paul Avril (Fallstaff Press, New York, nd [c. 1934], #850/1000, [first edition thus])
9 5/8″ X 6 5/8″, 339pp, hardbound no DJ, red ink printed on pale green paper, very good condition, slight scuffs on spine. #850/1000
Originally published in 4 parts in 1876, “Mon Oncle Barbassou” is a story of a man who inherits his uncle’s estate which includes a newly purchased harem of 3 young girls. Scandalous for the age, but mild by today’s standards. The edition page states “for Mature Collectors of Literary Curiosa”. This edition was probably copied from a previous edition (Vizetelly & Co., London, 1888). Engravings by Paul Avril, a well known illustrator of erotica, however the engravings are tame by comparison to his other work.
Édouard-Henri Avril (1849-1928) used the pseudonym “Paul Avril” for his erotic work. He was a French painter and commercial artist. His career saw collaboration with influential people like Octave Uzanne, Henry Spencer Ashbee and Friedrich Karl Forberg. He is one of the most celebrated erotic artists of his age. Avril was a soldier before starting his career in art. He was awarded with the Legion of Honour for his actions in the Franco-Prussian War.