Fables Choisies Mises en Vers par Monsieur de La Fontaine avec un Nouveau Commentaire, Vol. II
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Jean de La Fontaine; (Pierre) Coste
This is a strong, very early La Fontaine. Coste's first edition in Bodemann is in 1743. This edition is thus only three years later. But that 1743 edition did not use the copper engravings of Chauveau as this does. My sense is that these are engravings done after Chauveau, rather than by him -- and mirror copies at that. They are well done. Many of these illustrations are signed "F.C. Jr." The engravings by the way seem to have been printed separately from the texts. One can see the indentation around many of the images. I was delighted when I found the match to Bodemann #124.1 but struggled to find a clear statement of Prault pere as the publisher. That is indicated on none of the title-pages in either volume, but it does appear at the bottom of the last page of this volume. Together the two volumes contain 240 engravings and vignettes. Leather binding. Marbled endpapers. 4" x 7". This is another star in the collection! The volume includes Coste's fable, "La Cigale trouvee parmi une foule de Sauterelles," after La Fontaine's own epitaph for himself and an "Avis du Libraire" and before the closing T of C on 393-399. A not-very-successful lion engraving is on 239. One of my choices for an outstanding engraving in this volume is "The Companions of Ulysses" on 265.