London, South Kensington
30 November 2001
MONTESQUIEU, Charles Secondat de (1689-1755). Le Temple de Gnide, Paris: Le Mire, 1772.
4° (235 x 150mm.), engraved throughout with title, frontispiece incorporating a portrait of the author, en-tête arms of George III, the dedicatee, and 9 plates by Le Mire after Eisen, with the first leaf 'Avis au relieur' not mentioned by Cohen-de Ricci, light brown half morocco by Brugalla, 1965, gilt spine with a fleuron composed of morocco onlays in compartments, gilt edges.
One of the finest French illustrated books of the 18th century of which Cohen-de Ricci says: "Estampes d'une exécution ravissante, comme composition et comme gravure". Plates 1 and 3 are in the first state and the caption on the last plate is in the second state, as preferred by Cohen. Berlin Kat. 58; Brunet III, 1860; Cohen-de Ricci 726-28; Ray French 32; Tchemerzine 8:445a.
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