Paris: Imprimerie Chaix, 1896. Mucha, Steinlen, Toulouse-Lautrec, Bonnard, Penfield, Nicholson, First. hardcover. First two (of five total) volumes. 96 full-page color lithographs. Folio, red leather-backed boards (well-worn and soiled; internally quite clean). Paris: Imprimerie Chaix, 1896-1897. First editions. Very good copies, clean and complete. Scarce. very good(+).
The Maitres de l'Affiche (Masters of the Poster) were small format reproductions (pages measure 15.75 x 11.5 inches) of what were ostensibly the best and most famous posters from around Europe and America, as selected by the famous critic and poster supporter Roger Marx. They were printed by the Chaix publishing house as a concession to the growing craze of poster collecting at the end of the 19th-century. Every month between 1896-1900, while the Maîtres were being published, subscribers would receive four new plates. Each plate is a full color lithograph printed on high quality paper. The complete series consists of 256 images. The appeal of the Maitres was, and remains, their small, easy-to-collect format. These are the complete first two volumes (of five) featuring plates 1 to 96.