BARLOW, Francis (d. 1704, illustrator). Aesop's Fables with his Life: in English, French and Latin. Illustrated with one hundred and twelve sculptures. To this edition are likewise added thirty one new folio plates representing his life. London: R. Newcomb for Francis Barlow, 1703.
2° (304 x 182mm). Etched additional title, 31 full-page etched plates only (of 32) by Barlow after Thomas Dudley, and 109 (of 110) half-page etchings by and after Barlow. (Lacks B1 of the life and Y2 of Fables, additional title and title cut down and mounted, plates lightly browned, Ee1 torn with significant loss to illustration, Fables with margins soiled and torn, frequent repairs.) Contemporary calf (rebacked and recornered, upper joints cracked, corners bumped). Provenance: William Cavendish, first Duke of Devonshire (1641-1707, the dedicatee, bookplate on title verso) -- Francis Ferrand Foljambe (bookstamp).
Third edition, dedicatee's copy. SCARCE. ESTC records only 4 copies of this edition in the British Isles. The first edition of 1666, largely destroyed in the London fire, was followed by another in 1687 containing the new plates to Aesop's life. The Fables themselves are in English verse (by Mrs Behn) and French and Latin prose, each followed by a moral. Hodnett describes Barlow's anatomically-skilled drawings as 'the special glory of the Aesop illustrations' and affirms 'No artist has responded with more sensitivity and less sentimentaility to the gentle grace of deer ... The least of creatures, the frog, the hare, the snake, and the swallow, and the least favoured of them, the ass, the boar and the wolf -- he draws them all with an intimacy, charm, and invioable integrity never surpassed in an English book, never by Thomas Bewick, for instance' (Edward Hodnett, Francis Barlow: First Master of English Book Illustration, London, 1978, pp.182, 185).