A very stately set, which bears the gilt tooled crest of the "Academie Seine" of Paris, it is complete in 16 volumes. It was published by L.G. Michaud in Paris.
During the nineteenth century, it was a practice of schools, both lower and university, to present deserving students with sets (or individual) books for outstanding work in a particular course of study. This set was presented as the prize in General studies, or "Prix Concours General".
The books are bound in the very finest navy polished calf Morocco leather. This type of leather has a smooth, velvet finish and was a more expensive material than regular calf. The color also is luscious, a deep midnight blue which highlights the gilt tooled crest and outerframe. The school crest features an eagle, wings outspread, which is holding a laurel wreath in it's beak. The spines have four slightly raised bands which are gilt tooled with tiny dots. The bands form compartments which each have a wide gilt tooled frame. The title and number plates are individually gilt tooled as well.The pages have gilt edging, which has retained all the original brilliance. Each binding measures 9" tall and 5 3/4" wide.
The very classic and much-loved French text is enhanced by 16 full page engravings. (5 1/4" x 3 3/4). The first volume engraving is a portrait of Jacques Delille. The remaining 15 portraits vividly portray scenes from the text, which is a collection of works which includes, "Paradise Lost", "Eneide", "Georgiques" and diverse stories and poetry.
The bindings are in solid and good condition, the gilt page edges remain as fresh as when the books were published. There is very slight fading to the spines, one volume has faded slightly more than the rest, but otherwise the deep navy color remains true. There is foxing to the text as is normal with the age of the books. There is light wear to the edges as is normal.
It is a beautiful set to use facing outward, with crests showing, on the library shelf.
Item ID: LC78
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