Contes et nouvelles en vers. Paris, chez Chevalier,

LA FONTAINE Jean de (1792.)


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Engraved portraits of La Fontaine and Eisen by Fiquet, 83 engraved plates after Eisen and numerous culs-de-lampes and fleurons after Choffard. 2 vols. 8vo (194 x 114 mm). 19th century half green chagrin.

A reprint of the famous Fermiers Généraux edition of 1762, of which this is a variant issue with the name of Chevalier on the imprint. This edition employs the same illustrations and is printed on good paper. It is augmented with three plates and the cul-de-lampe of the tomb of La Fontaine which had been refused for the earlier edition. Printed by Plassan in order to use up the remaining sets of plates that were left over from the 1762 edition; 2000 sets had originally been printed, but only 800 of these had been sold, so that the reprint was to consist of 1200 copies. However, since plates to make up sets for the 1762 edition had been chosen at random, it is common to find many of the plates in the reprint in an early state and Cohen-De Ricci remarks that the illustrations "peuvent être aussi bonnes que dans les exemplaires de 1762". Plassan published a prospectus to promote his reprint and this is quoted in full by Cohen-De Ricci (cols. 569-70). He puts forward his reasons for bringing out a reprint as the fact that the 1762 edition had been unobtainable since 1767 and that several collectors had been deceived into buying a counterfeit edition of 1764, while if the true edition did appear it fetched exorbitant prices. One plate browned, but generally good condition. Rochambeau 101. Cohen-De Ricci 573.

Stock Code: 39963

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