With Three Suites of Plates, and in Fine Red Morocco Bindings by Capé


(Paris: de l'Imprimerie de Crapelet, an VII [1799]). 228 x 150 mm. (9 x 6"). Two volumes.

Very attractive 19th century red morocco by Capé (stamp-signed in gilt on front turn-in), French fillet border, raised bands, compartments with central quatrefoil surrounded by lacy gilt tooling, gilt lettering, gilt dentelles, all edges gilt. Housed in a later marbled slipcase. WITH engraved frontispiece by Gaucher and 21 ENGRAVED PLATES after Marillier, Monsiau, and Ponce (as called for), AND EXTRA-ILLUSTRATED WITH 46 PLATES (comprised of a suite of 20 small plates, a suite of 21 large plates, and five portraits). Verso of front free endpaper with the bookplate of Jacques Bastenet. Cohen-de Ricci 1035; Graesse VI, 393. See also: Cohen-de Ricci 1047-48 for the plates by Moreau. ◆Two three-inch abrasions on one cover and a hint of wear to joints (both very well disguised by refurbishment), leather faintly soiled, but the decorative bindings still lustrous and quite pleasing, without any significant condition issues. Occasional, mostly light, foxing (never serious, and most of the plates clean, but noticeable enough to be regrettable), some of the smaller extra-illustrations slightly browned due to paper stock, but still a book with considerable appeal, inside and out, with the engravings richly impressed.

This printing of Voltaire's mock-heroic "Pucelle," a licentious burlesque based on the Joan of Arc story, features the same beautiful engravings found in the Didot edition of 1795 (but without the frames), plus two additional suites of plates taken from other editions. The set of 20 small plates seem to be close copies of Gravelot's illustrations from the 1762 Geneva edition of "La Pucelle"; the set of 21 larger images are by Moreau, all but two being before letters. The latter set probably comes from the suite of images for Voltaire's "Oeuvres" published by Renouard in 1802, of which there were just 40 copies before letters, according to Cohen-de-Ricci. Capé was one of the most distinguished binders in France in the middle years of the 19th century, being especially well known for the delicacy of his work (as evidenced by our spines). He was the binder to the Empress Eugénie, and Béraldi calls him "the Bozérian of the second Empire."

Price: $1,250.00