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Le cabinet des fées, ou collection choisie des contes des fées, et autres contes merveilleux, orné de figures. Tome ...
A Geneve, chez Barde, Manget & Compagnie, imprimeurs-libraires. & se trouve à Paris, chez Cuchet, libraire,, 1785--1789.
41 vols : 120 pl. ; 16.6 cm. (12º)

The Cabinet des fées, edited by Charles-Joseph de Mayer, was the greatest and most important compilation of fairy tale literature of its time. Collecting together works by Charles Perrault, Madame Murat, Madame D'Aulnoy, Count Hamilton, tales from the Arabian Nights translated by Antoine Galland, Madame de Lintot, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and others, many previously published as chapbooks, it was published just as the literary form of the fairy tale, associated with the aristocratic salons, fell out of favour in the social and political changes of revolutionary France. It was originally complete in 37 volumes published 'A Amsterdam, Et se trouve à Paris, Rue Et Hôtel Serpente', 1785--86 and reprinted in Geneva; four further volumes were published at Geneva, 1788--89 with title: Continuation des mille et une nuits, contes arabes; traduits littéralement en françois par Dom Denis Chavis, ... & rédigés par M. Cazotte, ... but designated on the verso of the half-titles as forming volumes XXXVIII--XLI of the 'Cabinet des Fées'. The Cabinet des fées is also notable for the 120 illustrations (three in each volume) signed by the artist C.P. Marillier, one of the most prolific and accomplished book illustrators of his day, and engraved by Berthet, Biosse, Borgnet, Choffard, Delvaux, Fessadr, de Longueill, Duponchel, Gauchet, De Ghendt, Texier, and others. Volume XXXVII (the last of the original collection) appeared without any plates and contains bibliographical surveys of the authors and of the corpus of fairy tale literature. See G.N. Ray, The art of the French illustrated book (New York: Pierpont Morgan Library, 1982), p. 81; J. Barchilon, Le conte merveilleux français de 1690 au 1790 (Paris: H. Champion, 1975); Brunet I, 1440 ('Amsterdam' edition); Cohen-De Ricci p. 198.

Copy Notes Bought from John Cumming for 8 guineas, 19 May 1802. (Spiers Box. Miscellaneous Booksellers; SNB; Jnl 4, p. 407). Volume I inscribed in pencil on front free-endpaper £10.10- and on the half-title 41 vol £8.8. A few pencilled marginalia (verbal translations) in Soane's hand.

Binding C18th 'catspaw' mottled sheep, blind-ruled borders, neo-classical gilt-tooled spines with lyre and column ornaments, red and blue morocco spine-labels, marbled endpapers.

Reference Number 651

Additional Names John Cumming; Marillier, Clément Pierre (1740--1808); Mayer, Charles Joseph (1751--1825?)

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