J. De La Fontaine and Jean-Baptiste Oudry - Fables Choisies - 1776

J. De La Fontaine and Jean-Baptiste Oudry - Fables Choisies - 1776
Art, Bindings, Children's books, Illustrated, Literature, Natural History, Ornithology, Philosophy, Poetry - Quantity: 4 - Limited edition, Signed by illustrator - Book

Fables choisies, mises en vers by J. De LA FONTAINE, 1776. AMAZING 248 illustrations by the famous rococo painter Jean-Baptiste OUDRY. 12 BOOKS IN 4 VOLUMES with his original 18th century binding in fine condition. RARE ILLUSTRATED EDITION AND COMPLETE.

Edition illustrated with engravings by Alard, Bertin, Crescent and Savart copied or imitated from those Jean-Baptiste OUDRY had executed for the edition of the Fables of 1755-1759. The engraving work shows great detail, excellent contrast and sharpness. One of the finest illustrated books of 18th century French literature and fairy tales. Ray, French 61: "the ensemble is as harmonious as it is elegant".

Author: Jean De LA FONTAINE (1621–1695) was the most famous French fabulist and one of the most widely read French poets of the 17th century. He is known above all for his Fables, which provided a model for subsequent fabulists across Europe and numerous alternative versions in France. What gives LA FONTAINE's Fables their rare distinction is the freshness in narration, the deftness of touch, the unconstrained suppleness of metrical structure, the unfailing humor of the pointed the consummate art of their apparent artlessness. “La Fontaine's Fables,” wrote Madame de Sévigné, “are like a basket of strawberries. You begin by selecting the largest and best, but, little by little, you eat first one, then another, till at last the basket is empty".

Illustrators: Alard, Bertin, Crescent, Savart and others...after Jean-Baptiste OUDRY (1686–1755), was a French Rococo painter, engraver, and tapestry designer. He is particularly well known for his naturalistic pictures of animals and his hunt pieces depicting game, considered one of the greatest animal painters of the 18th century. In 1734 OUDRY was made head of the Beauvais Tapestry Manufactory. OUDRY’s tapestries, like his paintings, were highly regarded for their tonal subtlety and lively study of nature.

Title: Fables choisies, mises en vers par J. De LA FONTAINE. Aux dépens de la Société Typographique, A Bouillon. Paris, 1776. Text in French.

Size: Height 20.4 x Width 13.4 cm (8.0 by 5.3 inches).
Description: 8vo size. Complete edition, 12 books in 4 volumes. pp. cvi (2) 118; 129 (1); vi-169 (1); 212. First volume with frontispiece/portrait of La Fontaine plus 248 copper engraving plates, all full-page. Beautiful 18th-century calf leather hardcovers solid and firm, richly decorated and with marble boards, spines decorated in gilt, and red leather spine labels lettered in gilt, with small traces of wear at the corners and the edges. Paper is fresh, white and in very good condition, rare foxing or spotting. Plates are clean, appearing in fine dark impressions. A very good copy, all pages and the 248 full-page illustrations are present. This rare edition has the extra engraved title/portrait of LA FONTAINE which is often missing in other editions. 12 BOOKS IN 4 VOLUMES, COMPLETE & RARE. The photos are very accurate, so please review carefully.

References: Rochambeau p.42, 109 and p.43, 111; Cohen-Ricci 551-552; Lewine 276; Sander 1068-1069.

Shipping: via UPS, DHL, National Postal Services, protected, INSURED and fully tracked package. Estimated time for Europe 3-8 working days.

Lot details
Number of Books
Art, Bindings, Children's books, Illustrated, Literature, Natural History, Ornithology, Philosophy, Poetry
Author/ Illustrator
J. De La Fontaine and Jean-Baptiste Oudry
Book Title
Fables Choisies
Very good
Publication year oldest item
Illustrated Edition
Original language
Aux Depens de la Societé Typographique
Binding/ Material
Limited edition, Signed by illustrator
Number of pages
20.4×13.4 cm
Not registered yet?
By creating your free Catawiki account, you’ll be able to bid on any of our 65,000 special objects up for auction every week.
or Sign in