Les Fables D'Esope Phrygien. Illustrées de Discours Moraux, Philosophiques, & Politiques
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As the seller indicates, the spine is gone and the covers loose but the block is intact, with all 118 full-page fable illustrations, one for each fable. The seller's shorthand description is revealing because it lists three parts: "(22),102,(4),712 - (8),112 pp. Titlepage to part 2 with engraved portrait. With all 118 full-page engraved illustrations (numb. 1-118)." There are really three parts here. The first of the three parts starts with two title-pages and various introductory materials. The first title-page, explicitly dated "1631" (the date of Bodemann #67.1) lists as its publishers Toussainct DuBray, Matthieu Guillemot, Pierre Roccolet, and Antoine de Sommaville. It presents a strong image of Aesop above a collection of animals. The second title-page, without image, lists only Jean Du Bray as the publisher, carries the date 1659, and announces the addition of the fables of Philelphe. The first part then offers a full-page illustration of Aesop featured in Fabula Docet" (#17) followed by the life of Aesop without illustrations. Then comes the long second part, begun with a T of C of fables. This portion includes the 118 numbered full-page images for Aesop's fables, apparently executed by Marie Briot. The engraved portrait, also dated 1659, mentioned by the seller starts the third part, the "fables of Philelphe," presented without illustrations. Francois Philelphe died in Florence in 1481. From what I can gather, his fables are longish developments of Aesop-like stories, with extensive reflections after each prose story. His eighteen "fables" here take up the 112 pages of the third part. There is something of a mystery here as the seller indicates a date of 1649. Bodemann gives that same date for Parts II and III in #67.1. These considerations lead me to wonder if we have #67.1, #67.2, or something in between. A look at the first third of the illustrations confirms Bodemann's notice of the influence Gheeraerts. The motifs seem to be very close to those we will recognize in Barlow and Hollar. I look forward to further comparison of this volume with our (other?) 1659 Du Bray Baudoin.from Antiquariat Canicio in Heidelberg. This copy is so fragile!
Jean du Bray