(London: William Pickering, 1846). 195 x 120 mm. (7 3/4 x 4 1/4"). Three volumes.
VERY ATTRACTIVE 19TH CENTURY RED MOROCCO BY CHAMBOLLE-DURU (stamp-signed on front turn-in), covers with French fillet border, raised bands, compartments with gilt rose tool and floral borders, gilt lettering, heavily gilt dentelles, all edges gilt. With printer's device on title page, and engraved head- and tailpieces. Front pastedown with the bookplate of "Nané," possibly pasted over another bookplate. Keynes, p. 46. A VERY FINE SET with nothing but a few negligible blemishes internally.
This is a handsomely bound set of Chaucer's minor poems, including the "Romaunt of the Rose," "Troilus and Creseide," accompanied by a "Life of the Poet," written by Sir Harris Nicolas. While Chaucer (ca. 1340-1400) is celebrated as the author of the "Canterbury Tales," that masterpiece was actually written quite late in his career; his earliest datable work is "The Book of the Duchess," written ca. 1368-72, and over the following 30 years he penned a great many short and long format poems, all of which are collected here. Pickering began in 1828 to use the familiar anchor and dolphin device employed by the Aldus family of Venetian printers in the 16th century, and he had the same purpose behind his work as did his Aldine predecessors--to provide the public with well printed texts that were nevertheless obtainable even by persons of modest means. A rough contemporary of, and certainly the equal in technique to, binders like Trautz, Marius Michel père, Lortic, and Cuzin, the elder Chambolle served his apprenticeship under Hippolyte Duru, and later formed a partnership with him. Chambolle's son continued the business when his father retired in 1898, and although the firm "showed a cautious recognition of the . . . preoccupation with Art Nouveau," classical work was always the mainstay of the Chambolle bindery. (Duncan & De Bartha). (ST14517b)
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PJP Catalog: 73.136