Fables choisies, mises en vers. Jean de La Fontaine.
Fables choisies, mises en vers
Fables choisies, mises en vers
Fables choisies, mises en vers
Fables choisies, mises en vers
Fables choisies, mises en vers
Fables choisies, mises en vers
Fables choisies, mises en vers

Fine, fully engraved edition of La Fontaine

Fables choisies, mises en vers.

Paris: chez l'auteur, 1765-1775.

Fessard, Étienne. First Fessard edition, first issue. 6 engraved title pages, frontispiece volume 1, 243 engraved plates, 243 vignette headpieces and 226 tailpieces engraved by Étienne Fessard after Monnet, Loutherbourg, Bardin, Bidault, Caresme, Desrais, Kobell, Meyer and others. LXXI, [1], 100; VI, 102; IV, 95; [vi], 134; [iv], 103; [iv], 115 pp. (Engraved titles vols 2-6 included in pagination.) Text engraved by Montulay. 6 vols. 8vo. Fine, fully engraved edition of La Fontaine. Near-contemporary European polished calf, gilt double-rule and floriated border to sides, spines with five raised bands, elaborately gilt in compartments with pinwheel device, red and green morocco labels lettered in gilt, pink silk endpapers, a.e.g. A few stray marks to boards, some soiling and a few repairs to endpapers, faint old dampstaining to lower corner of last few leaves of volume 6, but a very clean, fresh copy in a fine binding Cohen-de Ricci 551-552; Ray 61 (2nd issue). Provenance: Tho[mas] Coulthard (inkstamp with date 1796 at head of each title page); Viscount Mersey, Bignor Park (bookplates); John Charles Bigham (armorial bookplates); Peter A. Wick (bookplates). Item #305972

First edition, first issue of one of the most elaborate 18th century editions of the celebrated fables of Jean de La Fontaine (1621-1695). The engraver and publisher Fessard hoped to rival the edition of Oudry of the previous decade, and he in fact surpassed it in the sheer number of engraved illustrations; numbering over 700 in all, these comprise full page plates as well as vignettes at the beginning and end of each fable. The illustrations after the work of Charles Monnet, which dominate the first three volumes, are especially strong, as are those after Loutherbourg. The engraved text by Montulay together with the illustrations create an "ensemble ... as harmonious as it is elegant" (Ray). A clean copy, with wide margins and in a handsome binding.

Price: $7,500.00 Free International Delivery