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2019-11-08 15:38:31
La Fontaine, Jean de.
Fables Choisies, mises en vers par... Nouvelle edition / gravée en taille-douce, les figures par le Sr. Fessard, le texte par le Sr. Montulay.
1765. Paris : Chez Des Lauriers, 1765-1775. 6 vols, 8vo, entirely engraved: LXXI, [1], 100; VI, 102; IV, 95, [1]; [6], 134; [4], 103 [i.e. 104]; [4], 115, [1] pp. Old calf quite worn, one label chipped away, internally a very nice large-paper set with huge margins, lovely impressions of the text and plates. § First edition, second issue. Cummins notes of his copy: "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). Ray, Art of the French Book, 61: "There is a plate and a headpiece for each of the 243 fables, and a tailpiece for all but seventeen." Second issue, with Des Lauriers on the title-page but otherwise identical to the first. Cohen-De Ricci,; 551; Rochambeau. Bibliographie des oeuvres de La Fontaine (1911), 101; Tchemerzine; III:876.
Bookseller: John Windle Antiquarian Bookseller [U.S.A.]

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