18 November 2014
DESRAIS, Claude Louis (1746-1816) -- Les Heures de Paphos. Contes moraux. Par un Sacrificateur de Vénus. N.p.: n.p., 1787.
Octavo (197 x 123 mm). Engraved throughout. Engraved title and 12 engraved plates, by Desrais, and 24 leaves of text, all on strong paper. (Title lightly browned, light marginal spotting, some plates with faint marginal dampstain.) Contemporary red morocco, flat spine gilt in compartments, label, sides with a gilt roll-tooled border, upper side with a black morocco label titled in gilt, gilt edges (extremities lightly rubbed).
FIRST EDITION, IN CONTEMPORARY RED MOROCCO, of this collection of twelve verse tales each finely illustrated by Desrais. Some of these have a strong anti-clerical message but, more unusually, three of the plates show cross-dressing. Three further editions of Paphos appeared in the 19th-century, two of them falsely dated 1787. This true first edition is rare, particularly in a contemporary binding. Cohen-De Ricci 486; Dutel A-496; Pia Enfer, 611.
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