La Fontaine, Jean de. Contes et Nouvelles En Vers. Paris: Plassan & Chevalier, 1792. 8vo. 2 vols. ¹2, a4, A-T8, V4; ¹1, a8, A-R8. [2], viii, 306,[4];[2],xiv.268,[2]pp. 19th c. morocco backed paper covered boards, gilt titles, marbled endpapers, minor foxing. 2 ports., 62 (of 80? Cohen, 83? Lewine) full-page plates by Charles Eisen, 53 head- and tail-pieces by Choffard, 6 fleurons. Using Cohen de Ricci's cesus this copy lacks 2 plates from the first volume and 16 from the second. All the impressions are quite nice and strong (in keeping with the publisher's declaration, see Cohen de R, that the plates were often from the earliest strikes.)

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    "Eisen's eighty designs for La Fontaine are the liveliest and most adroit that he ever drew. Thoroughly at home with the varied action of these lusty stories -- their love passages, their intrigues, their practical jokes -- he is also expert in choosing the moment in each that will best serve his purpose as an illustrator...The world that they depict is that of the  homme moyen sensuel, where beauty exists to satisfy desire and youth has its way over age, where cynicism is the common coin and virtue the calculated means to an end....Choffard's fifty-three tail-pieces and four vignettes form a perfect complement to Eisen's plates..."[Ray, Art of the French Illustrated Book.] "In his prospectus, which is reprinted by Cohen-de-Ricci, Plassan tells how 1200 of the 2,000 sets of illustrations had come into  his possession, how he had satisfied himself that they were equal in quality to those included in the edition of 1762 ("many more from the first thousand than from the second")..."Ray,p56. Cohen-de-Ricci 573. Lewine 281. Ray I,28 (note.)

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