A very precious and rare (complete) edition, it is enhanced by 276 engravings (of Simon and Coiny, including the frontispiece).
Jean de La Fontaine (1621-1695) was the most famous French fabulist. As a French poet, he was one of the most widely read of the 17th century. He is best known for his Fables. He took inspiration from many predecessors, Aesop, Horace, Boccaccio, Tasso and Ariosto. This quote best describes his fables' appeal to different ages, "the child rejoices in the freshness and vividness of the story, the eager student of literature in the consummate art with which it is told, the experienced man of the world in the subtle reflections on character and life which it conveys".
The text and engravings have been published with wide margins. The engravings measure 3" by 2" and placed in the center of the page. They still retain their clarity and deep color. The indented frame of the copper plate (used to hand stamp the engraving) is visible on each engraved plate.
The four beautiful bindings are bound in full polished marbled calf leather. The cover boards have a double "roulette" of two decorative gilt tooled frames. The board edges are gilt tooled. The spines are lavishly gilt tooled into six compartments. Two compartments have gilt tooled medallions, two hold the tile (red Morocco leather) plate and the number (green Morocco leather) plate and two are entirely filled by hand tooled cascading waves, flowers and dots. The pages edges are gilt. The endpapers are marbled. Each volume (in-8) measures: 8 3/8" x 5 3/8".
They are in very good and sound condition. There is very slight wear to the spine sides and binding heads, but otherwise they are exceptional for their age.
Item ID: LC62
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Rare and Antiquarian French Bindings: 17th, 18th & 19th Centuries, Bibles, Romantic, Medicine, History: LAYAWAYS WELCOME.