LA FONTAINE, Jean de (1621-95). Contes et nouvelles en vers. 'Amsterdam' [i.e. Paris: Barbou], 1762.
2 volumes, 8° (177 x 115mm). Engraved frontispiece portraits of La Fontaine and Charles Eisen after Rigault and Vispré. 80 engraved plates after Eisen by Aliamet, Baquoy, Choffard, Delafosse, Flipart, Lemire, Leveau, de Longeuil and Ouvrier. 4 engraved vignettes and 53 culs-de-lampe by Choffard, the last but one with his medallion portrait. Half-titles. (Some browning to text, heavier in quires F, H, M and P of vol. II, occasional marginal soiling and small rust spots.) Contemporary red morocco gilt by Derome le Jeune, covers with dentelle incorporating sprays, dots, shells and a small bird between branches in each corner, the same small bird tool repeated on four compartments of the flat spine, two remaining compartments directly lettered, gilt inner dentelles, marbled endpapers, green silk marker, gilt edges (spines restored, corners a little worn, bookplate removed).
A LUXURIANT BINDING BY DEROME AND FINE IMPRESSIONS OF EISEN'S DESIGNS with the 'Le cas de conscience' and 'Le diable de Papefiguière' plates in the 'découverte' state. What Ray says of Eisen is equally true of Derome whose dentelle 'à l'oiseau' binding is the perfect match for Eisen's 'concentrated compositions': both are 'to be grasped only after prolonged examination'. For Derome's use of the same bird tool on another copy of the Fermiers Généraux edition, see the plate to lot 1241 in the Cortlandt F. Bishop sale, 25 April 1938, where the overall design is intriguingly similar without being identical. An even closer resemblance can be found between this binding and Derome's binding to Orlando Furioso (Birmingham, 1773, 4 vols.) formerly in the Rahir library (see lot 709 of his 1935 sale). Brunet III, 759; Cohen/de Ricci 558: 'chef-d'oeuvre d'Eisen'; Ray, French, 26; Rochambeau 78. (2)