RABELAIS, FRANÇOIS. Les Oeuvres de M. Francois Rabelais Docteur en Medicine, contenans la vie, faicts & dicts Heroiques de Gargantua, & de son filz Panurge: Avec la Prognostication Pantagrueline. [N.p., n.d.] 1553.
2 vols., 16mo, 110 x 63 mm. (4 3/8 x 2 5/8 in.), crushed levant crimson morocco, covers tooled in gilt to an interlocking strapwork design, spines in six compartments tooled and lettered in gilt, matching morocco doublures with gilt border, by Chambolle-Duru, very slight wear to corners and extremities of spine, lacking blank leaves OO6-8, skilful restoration to fore-margins of title-leaf and first few quires in vol. I and to upper fore-corners throughout, text block affected in vol. I and first and last 20 or 30 leaves in vol. II, all affected letters (ranging from several words in quires a and b to occasional letters at ends and beginnings of lines elsewhere), portions of woodcut capitals and page numbers supplied in adroit ink facsimile, a few page numbers cropped, rusthole to X5 catching a letter, washed and pressed, faint residual overall discoloration; modern red morocco suede-lined folding case with divider. Collation: a-z8 A-Z8 AA-OO8. 477 leaves (of 480, without blank leaves OO6-8). 4 parts in one (the 2 volumes divided between C2 and C3, i.e., before the title-page of the Tiers livre, so that the verse dedication to Marguerite de Navarre on C2v appears to be a postscript to Pantagruel ), continuous pagination, roman type, chapter headings in italic, some Greek type, 6- and 4-line white-line woodcut initials. Alden & Landis 553/44; Brunet IV, 1055 and Supplement II, 365; Plan 92; Rawles & Screech NRB 58; Tchemerzine V, 303.
FIRST COLLECTED EDITION OF RABELAIS'S FIRST FOUR BOOKS AND THE FIRST EDITION PUBLISHED UNDER THE TITLE Oeuvres. The text of this anonymous edition follows an undated Pierre de Tours edition printed in or after 1542 of Gargantua and Pantagruel (NRB 27), another undated de Tours edition of the Tiers livre (NRB 33), and an anonymous 1552 edition of the Quart livre (probably Lyonese, NRB 47). The latter "choice of text was important as it resulted in the mockery of Calvin ['les Demoniacles Calvins imposteurs de Geneve', chapter 32, DD4r] entering into the first four editions of the collective Oeuvres..." (NRB, p. 19). "The curious reading on the title page ('Gargantua, & son filz Panurge' for Pantagruel) is an error which first appears in these Oeuvres. It appears again in the Troyes edition of 1556..." (NRB, p. 305). The compositorial characteristics of this edition -- catchwords on every page, signatures in Arabic numerals -- point to a Lyonese origin rather than a Parisian printing-house as tentatively proposed by Plan. Although it probably appeared shortly before Rabelais's death, the edition was clearly not published under the author's supervision, in spite of statements to this effect on the title-pages of Pantagruel and the Quart livre.
Provenance: Dr. Marcel Poumailleux (sale, Nanterre, Galantaris expert, 21 May 1992, lot 79, illus.) (2)