1774, Principales Aventures de Don Quichotte (Quixote), Miguel Cervantes. Illustrated - 31 engravings.

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1774 Paris edition of the classic and important work, Don Quichotte, with thirty-one wonderful plates after art by Charles-Antoine Coypel and Bernard Picart (among others). Still bound in their contemporary attractive French bindings!

Full title: Les principales aventures de l'admirable don Quichotte : représentées en figures par Coypel, Picart le Romain & autres habiles maîtres : avec les explications des trente-une planches de cette magnifique collection; Tirees de l'Original Espagnol de Miguel de Cervantes.

I've verified that all thirty-one plates are present.

About the Work -

Published in two parts, in 1605 and 1615, Don Quixote is the most influential work of literature from the Spanish Golden Age and the entire Spanish literary canon. As a founding work of modern Western literature, it regularly appears high on lists of the greatest works of fiction ever published, such as the Bokklubben World Library collection that cites Don Quixote as the authors' choice for the "best literary work ever written".

The story follows the adventures of a noble (hidalgo) named Alonso Quixano who reads so many chivalric romances that he loses his sanity and decides to become a knight-errant (caballero andante), reviving chivalry and serving his country, under the name Don Quixote de la Mancha. He recruits a simple farmer, Sancho Panza, as his squire, who often employs a unique, earthy wit in dealing with Don Quixote's rhetorical orations on antiquated knighthood. Don Quixote, in the first part of the book, does not see the world for what it is and prefers to imagine that he is living out a knightly story.

Physical Attributes -

Each volume measures approx. 18 x 12 x 3 cm, octavo. Calf bindings with some decorative effects to the boards (similar to Cat's Paw). Spines with five raised bands and six compartments; four compartments framed in gilt double fillet with central floral motif and stars/dots surrounding, two compartments with "Don Quichot" and "Tome" in gilt on dark red Morocco. Blue and white endbands. Marbled endpapers. All edges red.

Pages -

V1: flyleaf, (1), viii, 254 (signed Q8), (1), flyleaf. Eighteen tipped-in plates.

V2: flyleaf, ii, 322 (signed V8 and X1), flyleaf.

Condition -

See pictures. Bindings with vintage patina; wear at edges, a little chipping at spine ends (endbands still in place), a few worm holes in spine, and rubs to back board of volume two.

Some water intrusion occasionally throughout both volumes, mostly at fore-edge but the mark does occasionally get into the text. Also occasional thumbing, page edge chip/tear, rust spots, toning, dog-eared page, etc. throughout both.

Volume one: Numerous bookseller notes on verso flyeaf, and a little worming at hinge/fold. Ex libris stamp on title page and last page. Marks on "avertisement" pages margins. Ghosted ink marks on plate III. Spot on 187 top margin. 1" tear bottom of 209. Bookseller stamp on rear pastedown (both volumes).

Volume two: 1st three leaves have chipped edges and inserted a little high. Coffee mark bottom of 41/42. Moisture mark (spill?) page 245 and facing. (Food?) spot on 285.

Despite notes, books hold their age well, and are still enjoyable to see and review; well-bound.

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