Choix de Fables de La Fontaine: Edition Taille-Douce

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Authors
Jean de La Fontaine
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1850
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Here is a lovely find. It answers some questions and raises some others. It is a curious publication in that it seems to do little more than gather some 78 copperplate prints. At the beginning there is a title-page copperplate proclaiming La Fontaine and the publisher and no more. (There is a small notation including “58” in the midst of the title. What might that be about?) Immediately following this copperplate, there is the copperplate of La Fontaine, blank on the verso like all other pages. The further plates follow, with nothing after them. Bodemann describes it as “vertrieben in Einzelblättern.” This edition, Bodemann #279.2 from about 1850, repeats the copperplates from the two volumes of #279.1 of 1833-34, which we have in the collection. This version with its larger pages adds the light blue material around the edges, including the cameo portraits at the top of each page of La Fontaine flanked by Aesop and Phaedrus. The bottom portion of the light blue includes a cameo of WL. One good question is “Why does Bodemann not mention Gouget in her #279.2 when virtually every page has “Gouget Direx”? Some of the questions that get answered are raised by my previous finding of three different forms using the same copperplate images, all listed under “Gouget 1834 Prints.” The second forms correspond to pages in #279.1; this book collects prints of the third sort. This book contains only blue print around the edges, not, as some of those do, brown print. Bodemann describes them as “Gestochene Fabelblätter, wohl auch als Wanddekoration gedacht.“ Bodemann notes that I.12, I.13, and I.22 are newly engraved with slight changes from the 1833-34 version.
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Imprimerie Berthiault
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