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Title: Acajou et Zirphile, Conte.
Description: A Minutie [?Paris] [Prault] 1744. FIRST EDITION. 4to, 286 x 210 mms., pp. [viii], 83 [84 blank], engraved frontispiece, and nine other full-page engraved plates after François Boucher by Pierre-Quentin Chedel, two vignettes designed and engraved by Charles-Nicholas Cochin and a cul-de-lampe, contemporary calf, spine richly gilt, red leather label; corners, top and base of spine worn, but a good copy. The plates first appeared in Comte de Tessin's Faunillane, ou l'Infante Jaune, published in 1741. Tesssin, having had only a few copies printed of this book, later gave the plates to the publisher Laurent Prault, who then had the fun of finding a text that might serve be proper for the plates. As Christies noted in the auction of another copy in June, 2013, "He proposed the idea to three writers, Caylus, Voisenon and Duclos, and it was Duclos' text which was finally chosen. This is thus one of the earliest cases of a non-explanatory text being commissioned to accompany a set of plates." The work was mentioned favourably in Southern Review (1831): "Duclos, a writer of great talent and good sense as a moralist and historian, and Count Caylus, equally distinguished as an industrious antiquary and an ingenious painter and engraver, tried their pens with success in fairy tales. The 'Acajou et Zirphile' of the former, and the 'Contes Orienteaux' of the latter, are among the prettiest we have of this class. We are inclined to think this fairy literature was never as much in fashion in other countries as in France, where the elegance of style of a number of talented men gave undue attraction to plots utterly repugnant to good taste." What is the plot here that is so utterly repugant? Acquire the book and find out, while being charmed by the plates.

Keywords: fiction illustration literature

Price: GBP 1650.00 = appr. US$ 2356.18 Seller: John Price Antiquarian Books
- Book number: 9451

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