[ca. 1880] · Paris
La Fontaine's 17th-century poem-fables in their original French. Derived in subject matter from Aesop's works yet original in style and elegance of expression, these small gems are here illustrated with flair and wit by => Jean-Baptiste Oudry's famed engravings (first printed in 1755), and presented in a lovely binding.
Binding: "Gilded Era" red cloth, front cover and spine exuberantly stamped with a central title medallion and decorative motifs in gilt and black; back cover stamped in black with corner fleurons and central medallion bearing the initials of the volume's editor, Émile Guérin. All edges gilt.
On Oudry's work for the Fables, see: Ray, French Illustrated Books, 16–20. Binding as above; minor losses of cloth over corners, spine slightly dimmed with extremities a little pulled, spine edges rubbed with a small chip to front joint, back cover with light smudging. Hinges (inside) cracked but all holding; pages embrittled and somewhat fragile along sewing lines, with front free endpaper and first three leaves separated. Leaves faintly darkened at edges, with a few small edge chips to first and last few. More impressively attractive and sturdier by far than listing of faults suggests! (Inventory #: 37983)