Fables Moralisées en Quatrains. by DELACOUR DAMONVILLE


Fables Moralisées en Quatrains. Par M. Delacour Damonville. Paris, la veuve Quillau, 1753.

First Edition. 12mo (166 x 100 mm), pp. 110, [2], fables printed in double rule border throughout with plentiful typographical decoration throughout, in contemporary calf, joints restored (or possibly rebacked preserving the original spine?), spine attractively gilt in compartments, dark morocco label lettered in gilt, marbled endpapers, early manuscript ownership label, dated 1754?, largely chipped away and illegible, speckled edges.

A delightfully printed selection of fables glorying in a profusion of typographical decoration from the Quillau press, at this point run by Quillau’s widow. This scarce first appearance of Delacour Damonville’s work consists entirely of poems in the form of quatrains. It contains 150 fables, followed by 50 Maxims, a final Epilogue, Envoi and Réponse and a concluding quatrain ‘Au Critique’. The work is preface by a dedication, to a ‘M***’, also in the form of a quatrain, and quatrains addressed to the Reader, to Critics and to Children. Two final introductory poems (quatrains, of course) provide a portrait of Aesop and the ‘Dessein de la Fable’. The charm and wonder of this work is two fold: in the simplicity of form, adhered to throughout, and in the luxuriance of typographical ornament abounding on every page.
This appears to have been Delacour Damonville’s only work: it is the only entry in Cioranescu and we have been unable to discover anything else about the author. A new edition by Joseph Barbou was published in 1756 with the subtitle ‘à l’usage des enfans’, which would tie in with the dedicatory verse ‘Aux Enfants’ included among the preliminary quatrains. A further edition appeared in 1761 and was accompanied by plates, though it would be hard to beat the simple charm of the presentation of this first edition.

Cioranescu 22412; Conlon, Siècle des lumières, 53:595.

OCLC lists BN, Texas, Princeton and Toronto.

Keywords: Continental Books
Print this page View basket Price: £850.00