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MARMONTEL, Jean-François (1723--1799)
Contes moraux. Par Mr Marmontel ...
A Paris, chez Merlin, libraire, rue de la Harpe, à S. Joseph,, 1765.
3 vols ; 17.0 cm. (12º)
I: [2], xvi, [2], 345, [1] p., engr. frontis. port., engr. t.-pl., [9] pl.
II: [4], 376 p., engr. t.-pl., [9] pl.
III: [4], 312, [4] p., add. engr. t.-pl., [5] pl.

Title from engraved title-plate, repeated in each volume. Imprint from letterpress title-page of vol. 3; vols 1--2 have half-titles only. Marmontel's "moral tales" originally appeared over a period of years in the Mercure de France and were first published in a collected edition in two volumes in 1761. The present copy is apparently a pirated reprint of the duodecimo issue of the first illustrated edition published by J. Merlin in 1765, which was also printed in octavo from the same setting of type; there were two issues of the duodecimo format, the first with errata on the contents leaves and the second without, as here. The 23 engravings after Hubert Gravelot, praised as being among his most beautiful work (see Cohen-de Ricci 686-87), and the frontispiece portrait after C.N. Cochin are unsigned and in reverse in the Soane copy, as is the engraved title-plate which lacks the imprint reading 'A Paris Chez J. Merlin Libraire, Rue de la Harpe, M.DCC.LXV.'. The letterpress is a line for line re-setting with different ornamental head and tail-pieces and initials, and lacks the printer's colophon of P.A. Le Prieur in vol. 3.

Copy Notes Marginal vocabulary notes in pencil in vol. 1, p. 8.

Binding C18th calf, gilt-ruled borders, gilt-tooled spines, red and dark green spine-labels.

Reference Number 987

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