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Hérodias, by Gustave Flaubert, illustrated by Georges Rochegrosse. 1892. One of 200 copies. Hérodias is the retelling of the beheading of John the Baptist. The stunning and intricate binding is by Leon Gruel. It incorporates Egyptian motifs: the scarabs, symbols of rebirth and regeneration: the lotus, a sacred flower used in religious ceremonies and funerals; the painted columns. When one knows that every piece of white, light green, dark green, gray, blue, red, sable, brown had to be placed individually, one cannot but be astonished by the craftsmanship (and the fortitude) of the artisan.

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