AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED. Erte comments on the illustrations chosen for his costume book in this Autograph Letter Signed, in English, 2 separate folio pp with a 3 separate page folio addendum, all on printed "Erte" stationery, Paris, France, May, 7 1979 with signed transmittal envelope.
Erte critiques the illustrations to be included in “Erte’s Theatrical Costumes in Full Color,” published in 1979 by Dover (reprinted in 2016). He gives detailed notes on the costume selection and placement to Stanley Applebaum, Editor-in-Chief at Dover. “Erte’s Theatrical Costumes in Full Color,” is a collection of 49 of Erte’s exotic and historical costume designs for theater productions (and for well-known theater personalities), ballets, Folies-Bergere, and the like from 1911-1975. Included in the book are designs for a fan bearing slave girl, worshipper of Horus, wife of Russian Boyar, Ceres, a mermaid, and a gypsy dancer. The published book includes changes Erte listed in our letter. For example, the cover shows a costume for Ganna Walska in “Manon,” 1920. In the lett oer, Erte lists this work as being on p. 10, suggesting that after receiving this letter, Applebaum changed the placement of the costume design. The Gift-bearer for the show “Aladdin” at the Folies-Bergere, 1927 is in the book and in the letter is listed as being on p. 19. Erte mentions the design for the Monster from Scheherazade which is also in the book. Erte refers to Salome Estorick who wrote the book’s preface.
Erte writes, "I am sending you the information you asked for. To tell the truth I am not very happy about the selection of the illustrations - I think they could be much more typical of my work. First of all the design which I suppose is intended for p.1 is not a theatrical costume but an evening dress (so it has to be replaced). Then I think that there are too many costumes for Sheherazade [sic]; - I believe that four of them would be sufficient; the ones I like best are: “Monster” (p. 43), “Lady-in-waiting” (p. 44), “Shahriar” (p. 46) and “Jester (side 3). I should be very happy if you could replace the two costumes for a children ballet (p. 24 and p. 25) and the Chinese costume (p. 37) by something more effective. Would you kindly get in touch immediately with M. and Mr. Estorick at the Grovesnor Gallery in London (48 South Molton Street. Tel – 1-6290891) – they could supply you with some other designs. [Salome Estorick wrote the preface for Theatrical Costumes]. I am terribly sorry to give you so much trouble – but I really should love the new book would be as beautiful as the preceding ones you did….” He signs, “Erte.” On the three page addendum, Erte lists page numbers and titles of illustrations or comments on the illustration, starting with “Side 2… Front Cover…p. 46 Side 3.” A detailed letter regarding is theater costume book.