Timeless Tales Rare Books

Timeless Tales Rare Books


Fables Choisies, mises en vers par J. de la Fontaine (First issue)


About this Book

First edition 1755-1759, very rare first print of the first issue; 4 folio volumes, 412×262 mm, of this extraordinary work, considered to be one of the finest illustrated books ever produced in France.

Coeval binding, red morocco plates framed by golden roulette, smooth caramel-coloured spine with gold friezes and two inserts with title and volume number in gold, gold edges, marbled paper endpapers, cases lined with marbled paper.

Vol. I: Frontispiece, Full-page portrait, pages XXX, XVIII, 124, 70 Plates;

Vol. II: pp. [4], II, 135, 1 blank, 68 Plates;

Vol. III: pp. [4], IV, 146, 68 Plates;

Vol. IV: pp. [4], II, 188, 69 Plates.

All volumes with half-title and title pages unnumbered. Vignette in the title, engraved headpieces and finials, 209 woodcuts in the text. Splendid allegorical frontispiece with the bust of La Fontaine of Oudry, finished by Dupuis and engraved by Cochin, a portrait of Oudry engraved by Tardieu based on a design by Largillière (rarely found only in some copies) and 275 plates engraved in copper, numbered. I-CCXLV.

Sporadic light foxing, beautiful specimen with wide margins.

Very rare first print run of the first edition, with plate 172 ‘Le Singe et le léopard’ without the legend in the banner (first issue point).

Each of the four volumes is housed in beautiful custom box.

Extra postage is required because this is a heavy set.

Bibliographic Details

Title: Fables Choisies, mises en vers par J. de la Fontaine

Publisher: Chez Desaint & Saillant [et] Durand, De l’Imprimerie de Charles-Antoine Jombert

Publication Date: 1755-59

Binding: Hardcover

Condition: Very Good

Edition: First print, First issue


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Fables Choisies, mises en vers par J. de la Fontaine (First issue)