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    [Frye of Halifax, binder]. Aesop. The Fables of Aesop. With life of the author and embellished with one hundred and twelve plates. London: John Stockdale, 1793. Seemingly contemporary fore-edge painting to each volume; Volume I depicting Aesop being thrown from a precipice by the Delphinians, Volume II depicting a landscape view of "Civita Castellana," artist unknown. Two volumes. [2, title], lxv (contents, Life of Aesop), [1, blank], 189; [2, title], xi (contents), [1, blank], 248 pages. Profusely illustrated with engravings by T. Stothard and others, including engraved titles pages to each volume. Frye of Halifax binding; contemporary full straight grain red morocco, profusely decorated in gilt, with paintings under transparent oval vellum to upper and lower boards of both volumes each depicting a god or goddess - Volume I: Zeus (Jupiter) & Hera (Juno); Volume II: Hermes (Mercury) and Demeter (Ceres) - spine elaborately decorated in gilt, partial decorative gilt roll to edges. Seemingly recased with repairs to joints, approximate 0.5-inch repair to vellum on the upper board of Volume I, moderate edgewear, spine darkened and somewhat worn, boards somewhat rubbed and worn. Turn-ins elaborately decorated in gilt, brown moiré silked endpapers stamped in gilt; silk slightly bubbled with minor edgewear, pencil notations to rear free endpaper recto. Internally generally clean and tight, all edges gilt; pencil notations to front blank rectos including very faint fore-edge painting titles, Volume I with ink stamp "E. F. Bonaventure / New York" to front free endpaper recto, title pages trimmed close at bottom edge just touching imprint, penciled ownership "Mrs. Wm. Hartman" to each title page, somewhat foxed and thumbsoiled, minor wear to gilt on edges. Very good with bright, finely-detailed, though lightly worn, fore-edge paintings.

    A classic example of fore-edge painting artistry paired with a beautiful and skillful binding. Bartholomew Frye of Halifax made use of tools and motifs such as Greek meanders, delicate paintings under transparent vellum, and repeating pentaglyph and metope designs, reminiscent of the work of Edwards of Halifax. This set is a beautiful example of these designs and skills all in one place and was obviously a firm favorite, as there are at least three other documented copies of this two-volume set in similar Frye bindings with similar fore-edge paintings.

    Mrs. Wm. Hartman (no date) - E. F. Bonaventure (no date) - James Cummins (no date) - Randall J. Moskovitz (2002).
    Weber, Annotated Dictionary, Frye 9. From the Estate of Randall J. Moskovitz, MD, Memphis, Tennessee

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2021
    9th-10th Wednesday-Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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