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    Sale 7590

    Valuable Manuscripts and Printed Books

    4 June 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 318

    [VOLTAIRE, François-Marie Arouet de (1694-1778)]. La Henriade, nouvelle édition. Paris: [Barbou pour] la Veuve Duchesne, Saillant, Desaint, Panckoucke et Nyon, [1769]-1770.

    Price Realised  

    [VOLTAIRE, François-Marie Arouet de (1694-1778)]. La Henriade, nouvelle édition. Paris: [Barbou pour] la Veuve Duchesne, Saillant, Desaint, Panckoucke et Nyon, [1769]-1770.

    2 volumes, 8° (180 x 110mm). Engraved frontispiece, engraved title to volume I with medallion portrait of Voltaire, 10 plates before letters and 10 vignettes after Eisen by de Longueil. (Occasional light browning of text.) Contemporary red morocco gilt in the style of Derôme, sides with rich dentelle 'aux petits fers' composed of flowers, foliage and sunbursts, flat spines with green morocco lettering-pieces and repeated fleurons, gilt inner dentelles, blue silk liners and page markers, gilt edges, in morocco-backed chemises with gilt-tooled floral spines (the chemises relined in soft leather).

    FINE COPY. Printed at Rouen, Voltaire's epic poem first appeared with a 1723 Geneva imprint and went into some 60 editions in the author's lifetime. Yet, despite its contemporary popularity, Voltaire wrote to Eisen (14 August 1767) to say that his Henriade would reach posterity thanks to the artist's plates (his complimentary letter is printed in vol. I). The poem and its illustrations occupy volume I, a plate and vignette adorning each canto opening; the second volume, containing variations, notes, the 'Essai sur la poesie épique' and a variety of poetical pieces, is not illustrated. Other editions with Eisen's engravings, 'figures moins bonnes', appeared in 1775 and 1780. Brunet V, 1360; Cohen/de Ricci 1026; Ray, French, 30. (2)


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