1796 Fabliaux, or Tales, Abridged from French Manuscripts of the XII and XIII Centuries, D'Aussy. First English edition. Bewick engravings


Beautiful bindings grace this English first edition of Le Grand's Fabliaux, or Tales, Abridged from French Manuscripts of the XIIth and XIIIth Centuries. The ex-libris plates tell us that this set have been in the library at The Glen, of Sir Charles Tennant, and also the Library of the artist, collector and bibliophile Wynne Rice Hugh Jeudwine.

About the Work -

First printed in French in 1779, researchers find, in comparing D'Aussy's translations with the original manuscripts, that D'Aussy "gave himself much freedom". He translated such classic works as Aucassin and Nicolette, The Order of Knighthood, The Lays of Sir Lanval and Gruelan among others.

This English edition is also notable for the decorative devices and woodcuts that accompany it. The first volume contains cuts principally by John Bewick, with a few by his brother. Those in the second are primarily by Nesbit, to whom Thomas Bewick gave the work after his brother's death.

Bibliographic Details -

Per the English Short Title Catalogue, entry 006295264, this is a re-issue edition, with "Vol. I." added to the title page.

Hugo 4279; Pease Collection 73

This copy was noted on page 186 in the 1896 Catalogue of the Library Collected by Sir Charles Tennant, Chiswick Press.

Physical Attributes -

Each volume measures approx. 24 x 16 x 2 cm. Red straight-grain morocco bindings. Boards framed with an outer Greek key, and inner circle tool, in gilt. Board edge rolled with pointelle tool. Spine with five raised bands; four compartments with a wavy gilt tool applied, "London, 1796" in gilt on black morocco at base, "Fabliaux" in one compartment in gilt on black, and Vol in one compartment in gilt. All edges gilt. Blue endpapers.

Illustrated. Twenty-two head-pieces, one for each ballad, by Thomas and John Bewick, among others. In total, 52 woodcuts, eight of which were executed by the Bewicks.

Pages Volume One - [4], lx, 280

Pages Volume Two - [4], 340

Condition -

See pictures. A few surface cracks at joints. A little edge and corner wear and a rub or two to the boards. But mostly, very pretty. Three ex-libris plates on the pastedown of the first book, one in the second. Verso of flyleaf with lengthy bibliographic info in graphite. Bookseller notes erased to top of 1st blank binder's leaf, but "$1000" slightly visible. Slightest toning to paper. Very occasional rust spot. Slight wave to the paper like it was just taken off the drying rack at the paper maker's; beautiful paper. Bookseller notes on recto of rear flyleaf.

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