One of the "Grand Cartonnage" format books of the late nineteenth century, the amusing cover design intrigues the reader as to the text inside. It was published in Paris, by Amable Rigaud in 1865.
Twelve full-page sepia engravings magnificently illustrate the exciting French text. They are extremely detailed and have a pencil sketch appearance.They depict Uncle Vincent (as a boy) and his friend Mathurin, who make their way through precarious travel across the world.
The French text follows their adventures to many places, just a few of which we list here:
To Naples, Italy, where they fall into the hands of the "lazaronni" (homeless idlers) who beat them; to Spain, where they assist in a bullfight; to Lisbon where they arrive by the way of a stolen donkey; to America, where they are placed into a cage and sold for slaves; to Siberia where they are condemned to work in the mines. After all these adventures, and many more, they return to the school of Pere Frigoleau in Paris.
The cover boards are of paper board, and both the front and back boards have a chromolithograph design. The front cover depicts Uncle Vincent, in his night cap, with a broken foot in a cast, recounting all the outlandish stories to his young nephew. A wide ornamental frame of pilasters, arabesques and flowers is placed on the cherry red background. The back cover board has the same wide ornamental frame, with the center medallion in a diamond pattern with a central diamond motif featuring a sailing ship.
The book measures: 11" x 7 1/2" x 7/8" thick. The binding is in sound condition, with light wear to the edges and corners. The inside pages are intact, but are slightly loosened where they are sewn together at the spine (not falling apart, just separating in the joint slightly). There is light foxing to the text. The engravings remain sharp and clear.
The front endpaper bears a French manuscript ex-libris which reads: "Given to Paul by his Papa, January 1867". This ex-libris gives the books a place in time and history and is charming.
This is a rarely found title in today's market, still worthy of reading or displaying in a collection.
Item ID: LC53
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