A very handsome printing of Fontaine's wonderful fables, translated to English (Marsh); wide margins, hand-made wove paper, copper plate engravings, Monotype Garamond text (laid out in an excellent manner), and vellum bindings make this a beautiful edition. Also, limited (525, this being #491) and signed by both the translator (Edward Marsh) and illustrator (Stephen Gooden).
About the Work -
Jean de La Fontaine (1621 – 1695) was a French fabulist and one of the most widely read French poets of the 17th century. He is known above all for his Fables, which provided a model for subsequent fabulists across Europe and numerous alternative versions in France, and in French regional languages. After a long period of royal suspicion, he was admitted to the French Academy and his reputation in France has never faded since. Evidence of this is found in the many pictures and statues of the writer, as well as later depictions on medals, coins and postage stamps.
Physical Attributes -
Each vol. measures approx. 26 x 16 x 5 cm. Vellum bindings. Hand-made wove paper. Rough cut edges (opened after uncut). Copper engravings. Signed by translator and illustrator. Pages volume one - lxxi, 235, plate, (1) colophon. Pages volume two - xxii, 336, colophon.
See pictures. Vellum binding has some darkening. Front joint of volume one has 2 cm. tear at bottom. A little toning to pages, some of the cut exposed edges have darkened slightly. Flyleaf (blank 1st page extending from pastedown/front board) has pencil bookseller notes. Top of 1/2 title page (next from flyleaf) has erased price at top corner. Title page illustration and some others have lightly ghosted through the tissue to the facing page. Back of both title pages has "Printed in Gt. Britain" stamped in little letters at the bottom edge (verso). A couple of fox spots on rear blank endpaper (v. 1). Pencil notes on rear flyleaf of volume one, and on rear pastedown ticket of "Philip C. Duschnes Rare Books". 2 cm fore edge tear on 229 of v.2, from opening. May be other very small fore edge tears from opening (came unopened). All of my notes are very small, mostly this is a very handsome set, once sold by a wonderful rare book dealer (Duschnes).
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