LA BORDE, Jean-Benjamin de (1734-1794) and Baron Béat Fidèl Antoine Dominique de ZURLAUBEN (1720-1795). Tableaux topographiques, pittoresques, physiques, historiques, moraux, politiques, littéraires de la Suisse. Paris: Clousier [volume I] and Lamy [volumes II-V], 1780-1786.
5 volumes [including Quétant's Table analytique et raisonnée ...] bound in 4, 2° (509 x 334mm). Letterpress titles with woodcut vignettes to volumes I-II and V [volume II with 2 titles], engraved titles by Née after the Chevalier de Lorimier to volumes III-IV, letterpress half-titles to volumes I, III and V, engraved half-titles to volumes III-IV. 2 errata leaves bound in at the end of volume I. Engraved frontispiece by Née after J.M. Moreau le jeune in volume III, 416 engraved plates, portraits and plans on 234 sheets by De Longeuil, Masquelier, Née and others after Le Barbier, Bertaux, Châtelet, Pérignon and others, 8 engraved double-page maps and plans. Engraved double-portrait headpiece by Née after Marillier, engraved head-piece by Masquelier, woodcut and type-ornament headpieces, woodcut tailpieces, woodcut illustration. (Scattered light spotting.) Early 19th-century straight-grained red morocco gilt by René Simier, the covers with borders of foliate rolls within double gilt rules, later Botfield arms, gilt roll-tooled board edges, gilt turn-ins, spines gilt in compartments, lettered in two, the others decorated with floral, foliate and other tools around a central star, gilt edges, blue silk markers. (extremities lightly rubbed, corners slightly bumped, light paint-marking on lower board edges). Provenance: William Hodgson (late 18th-/early 19th-century bookplates); loosely-inserted bifolia in volumes III and IV listing plates, drafted in pencil and overwritten in ink in an early 19th-century hand.
A MAGNIFICENT COPY OF THE FIRST EDITION OF LA BORDE'S CLASSIC WORK ON SWITZERLAND, FINELY BOUND BY SIMIER. The plates that illustrate Tableaux topographiques ... (described by Lonchamp as 'très finement gravées'), depict not only the scenery of Switzerland, but also well-known historical figures, medals, and other subjects. Its publication was complicated, and the work is known in a number of issues: the present issue was published by Clousier and Lamy between 1780 and 1786, and is described by Reynaud as the 'premier tirage'. It was followed by an issue dated 1780-1788 published by Clousier and another issue of the same date published by Lamy. The fine binding by Simier is signed on the spine of volume I 'REL. P. SIMIER', and can be dated to the years between the establishment of his business in 1800 and his appointment as royal binder in 1818 (after which point he signed his bindings 'SIMIER R. DU ROI'; for example, cf. lot 165). Brunet V, col.1546 (1780-1788 edition); Cohen-De Ricci cols 1075-6 (Clousier: 1780-1788 edition); Lonchamp 3362 (1780-1788 edition); Reynaud Notes supplémentaires sur les livres à gravures du XVIIIe siècle cols 573-4. (4)