Paris, Duchesne, Rue Saint Jacques au Temple du Goût. 1754, 1st, Edition originale. Avec Approbation & Privilège du Roi. (document appended April 4, 1752); thick boards covered in stiff dark brown calf, spine with stamped title and gilt design and no bands, reddish brown stained edges, trace of blue ribbon, lovely faded marbleized end papers on laid paper in large swirls of brick red, slate blue, and yellow ochre; 9cm x 14.5cmHalf title, title with print by Charles Eisen of children reacting to the monkey sculptured on Minerva's shield. "One of them with a curiosity natural to that age,.. discovers the head of Medusa and draws back in horror." (Explication), Discours preliminaire iii-lxviii; the three books of fables are numbered separately; vignettes introduce the different sections of the book and are described in the Explication; Notes from the editor, a Table of Contents, and the Approbations. French language small hardback.
A book for all lovers of fables with a particular emphasis on introducing German and English fables to France. Clearly written and well organized; the author admires the language of la Fontaine.The book begins with an article on German modern and historical Poetry and Fable (the Preliminaire). Translations into French of the fables of Christian Fürchtegott Gellert, 1715-1769, and of some of John Gay 1685-1732 follow. A few other sources of individual fables are annotated and the sources of the English and German fables are noted in the Avis de L'Editeur.Additional pages 107 to 110 from Livre Troisieme, probably from another issue, are bound in reverse order near the end of the Preliminaire, apparently to include XII Le Cheval et l'Ane as an alternate to XII Le Singe et le Renard (which alone appears in the Table). Though this is clearly an old binding, it is too tight for us to take a good interior image. We would be glad to send snapshots of any pages.
CONDITION: Good Plus, no names or marks, tight and straight, spine gilt worn, half inch chip to leather on back margin, a bit splayed; pages slightly stiff, stain running through the last 20 pp or so (the "Appendix"), paper darkening. all in all rather lumpy feeling, probably an 18th or early 19th c binding. Very pleasant in hand to read. Item #19764