Les Fables de La Fontaine pour Bébé

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Authors
La Fontaine, Jean de
Guérin, Émile
Issue Date
1886
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This book is almost identical with a copy I first bought from Abbey Antiquarian in 2000. Now, I have found two other copies, and they have small but fascinating differences. This volume, like the Abbey copy, has the name of the publisher on the cover outside the frame of the picture, and both say the same: "Paris, Théodore Lefèvre et Émile Guérin." Inside the book, on the title-page, they give the publisher differently: there "Théodore Lefèvre et Cie., Émile Guérin, Éditeur" and here "Librairie de Théodore Lefèvre et Émile Guérin." Did Guérin get promoted somewhere along the line? This edition further specifies the address by adding "2" to "Rue des Poitevins." Its last page gives the number "6142-86." Might it have been printed in 1886? And might that mean that the Abbey copy with its last-page number "4718-96" was, despite my dating of it to 1886, printed in 1896? This copy has lost its spine and is in poor condition. I will repeat remarks I made on the Abbey copy. Here is a beautiful oversized (12½" x 10") book containing twenty-two color plates after Oudry. They really are striking. As the description from Abbey points out, the subtle coloring is very close in appearance to hand coloring. Do not miss the clothes on the shepherd capturing the crow who thinks that he is an eagle. Another excellent specimen is "L'Huitre et les Plaideurs" towards the end of the book. The color brings Oudry's work alive! Each left-hand page except the last is a full-page illustration, while each right-hand page contains text. Cloth spine and pictorial boards. On the cover children stand with animals around a pastoral bust of La Fontaine.
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Théodore Lefèvre et Cie.
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