Title: Les Contes du Gay-Sçavoir. Ballades, ...
Publisher: Firmin Didot pour Lami Denozan , Paris
Publication Date: 1828
Book Condition: Very Good+
Edition: First Edition.
8vo (210 x 132mm). [viii], cxlvi, 48pp. (notes and glossary). Illustrated with hand-colored engraved title with marginal vignettes of female personifications and muses by Richard Parkes Bonington. Illustrated throughout with 10 half-page lithographs printed on chine-collé carefully hand-colored, heightened in gilt and mounted; six are by Richard Parkes Bonington and four are by Henry Monnier, and 15 decorative initials highlighted with colors inspired by ornaments found on the Books of Hours printed in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. 19th-century full red morocco decoratively tooled in gilt, five raised bands, gilt doublures, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt; (lightly foxed throughout, miniatures remain bright and fresh; spine slightly scuffed). Armorial bookplate of J. Austin Stevens Junior to front pastedown. First Edition of this rare and unusual book, OCLC locates only four copies, all in German libraries. Férdinand Langlé, littérateur, dramatist, and occasional necromancer, focused his literary interests on the nostalgic and the romantic. In 1828, he edited Les Contes du Gay-Sçavoir, a witty collection of medieval ballads and fables. The text is printed in Gothic characters and illustrated to imitate the style of medieval manuscript illumination; it is followed by endnotes and a glossary (printed in Roman type). The major illustrator of the work, Richard Parkes Bonington, was an English Romantic landscape painter who also worked in lithography. He was a close and admired friend of painters Eugene Delacroix and Antoine-Jean Gros. Gordon Ray, speaking of Bonington, says "his importance in the development of lithography can hardly be overstated.His designs for Vues pittoresques de l’Ecosse and Contes des Gay-Sçavoir are by no means negligible. Bonington’s career as a lithographer was short but splendid." - Art of the French illus. book, pp. 173 & 176. Fine, fresh and bright rare colored copy of this nostalgic work on the medieval period. Brunet III, 819; Carteret III, p. 172 "livre tres rare"; Curtis 54-60; Ray 114. Bookseller Inventory # D2439
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