New partly original edition of Balzac's complete works, 20 volumes published by Houssiaux at various dates: 1855-70-53-70-55-55-53-55-53-66-53-55-55-55-55-55-55-55-55-55.
First edition of the last three volumes that were published here for the first time (1855).
This famous collective edition, begun by Furne in association with Dubochet and Hetzel, was completed by Houssiaux who had bought the fund of the Furne bookstore and published its premiere in 1853 in 17 volumes supplemented by three new volumes (Theatre, Contes drolatiques.) which were published for the first time in the works in 1855.
It is illustrated by the best artists of the time of the author [Daumier, Nanteuil, Gavarni, Monnier, Johannot, etc.].
So many reasons to underline the originality of this edition, one of the most important in French literature. Having had a tumultuous existence, vague, reissued many times in a great number of copies, it is very rare in its first form, and, in this first form, even rarer with matching period bindings than in modern ones with covers.
This copy includes a portrait of Balzac by Bertall in the frontispiece of the first volume and 146 tipped-in plates (7+7+8+8+6+8+8+8+8+7+7+6+6+10+6+6+5+16+4+5).
Well bound set in matching bindings of the time, red shagreen half bindings of good quality. Spines adorned with gilded embossing. Decorative set and beautiful appearance. Minor rubbing to the headcap, tailcap, raised bands and corners. Overall crisp interiors, sheets a bit browned, some browned plates, rare foxing, a sheet is misaligned in volume 10. Overall in lovely condition.
Œuvres complètes (20 volumes)
Octavo (21.5 x 14 cm) ; 400/500 pages per vol.