Fables de La Fontaine, Tome Second
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Accompagnée d'une notice historique et de notes par le bon Walckenaer
This book is extremely close to the second volume in a set I found twenty-one years earlier at Minster Gate Bookshop in York. Though Herr Canicio thinks it is a first printing and dates it to 1837-1838, I believe it is a third printing. I will include comments based on those I made on the Minster Gate copy. Its features include the wonderful David illustrations, including a head-piece (about 3" by 2") for each fable and a smaller tail-piece for many ; the twelve frontispieces (signed by Schaal and Laisné), one at the beginning of each book, each of which incorporates motifs from several fables in that book into a beautiful emblem; and six plates outside the text in each volume designed by such as Johannot, Grenier, and Lange and often engraved by Thompson. There is also the second frontispiece added to each volume, complete with gold and coloring, and well described by Bassy, but they are in Bassy's order here, not exchanged as in the Minster Gate copy. Here we have FG and the countryman with the serpent featured in the columns with many animals in various places around the illustration. This frontispiece is unlike its companion in the first volume: it does not have the date "1839." This copy is, like its companion first volume, generally remarkably clean. Among my favorite illustrations are: both the head-piece and the tail-piece for "Le Curé et le Mort" (37); the frontispiece to Book VIII; "The Rat and the Elephant" (100); the frontispiece to Book XI; and "The Fox, the Wolf, and the Horse" (323).
Armand Aubrée, Éditeur