A delightful title by author Alphonse Daudet, it is a first edition printing of 1887. Daudet was born in Nîmes, France.His family, on both sides, belonged to the bourgeoisie. This title is published in French which is easily read by an intermediate student.
Daudet was a schoolteacher who found the profession "intolerable", so much that, years later he would wake from nightmares of unruly pupils. He produced many works including: (1868; English: Little Good-For-Nothing, 1885; or Little What's-His-Name, 1898). Lettres de Mon Moulin (1869; English: Letters from my Mill, 1880, short stories). Tartarin de Tarascon (1872; English: Tartarin of Tarascon, 1896). L'Arlésienne (1872; novella originally part of Lettres de Mon Moulin made into a play)
A brief synopsis of the story tells of a Provençal town of Tarascon, which is so enthusiastic about hunting, that no game lives anywhere near it, and its inhabitants resort to telling hunting stories and throwing their own caps in the air to shoot at them. Tartarin, a plump middle-aged man, is the chief "cap-hunter", but following his enthusiastic reaction to seeing an Atlas lion in a travelling menagerie, the over-imaginative town understands him to be planning a hunting expedition to Algeria.
So as not to lose face, Tartarin is forced to go, after gathering an absurd mass of equipment and weapons. On the boat from Marseille to Algiers, he hooks up with a conman posing as a Montenegrin prince who takes advantage of him in multiple ways. Tartarin's gullibility causes him a number of misadventures until he returns home penniless.
The binding bears a wonderful engraved plaque design by Paul Souze (one of the 19th century innovators of the gilded engraved plaque). With the use of multiple color layers, heat and gilding a rich and luminous design is created. Characters from the stories float to the right and left of the main character on this lively front cover. The binding is covered is red toile (fabric) which is typical of the period. The spine has a beautiful engraved plaque design and the back has a blind stamped central medallion. The text is illustrated with both vignette and full page designs.
The binding measures: 9 1/4" x 6 1/4" x 1" thick. It is in good antique condition: light foxing throughout the text, the interior back spine inside joint has worn through the endpaper but is still intact on the outside toile (see photo) The cover design has darkened and worn slightly but is still visible and bright.
It is an exquisite decorative binding for a small library shelf and an interesting title for intermediate students of French.
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French Antiques: 19th Century French Smalls: Sewing, Religious, Bronze Figures-French Books and Bindings