Don Quichotte (1774), by Miguel Cervantes, Published chez Bleuet 2 Volumes, 1st edition

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FULL TITLE:  LES PRINCIPALES AVENTURES DE L'ADMIRABLE DON QUICHOTTE, REPRESENTEES EN FIGURES PAR COYPEL, PICART LE ROMAIN, & AUTRES HABILES MAITRES; AVEC LES EXPLICATIONS DES TRENTE-UNE PLANCHES DE CETTE MAGNIFIQUE COLLECTION; TIREES DE L'ORIGINAL ESPAGNOL DE MIGUEL DE CERVANTES

Published chez Bleuet à La Haye, 1774

Language: French

DESCRIPTION:

Very rare 1st edition thus, with commented selection of engravingsfrom the French translation of Miguel Cervantes Spanish epic, complete in 2 volumes, strongly bound in original brown calf leather hardboards. Following the original publication in 1746, with engravings of Coypel, Picart, Le Romain, et al. The collection of engravings consists of a selection of adventures from the original, followed by a commentary about the engraving.

Binding and Contents: Decorated with several beautiful headers & tail-pieces; half-title & title-page in both volumes; avis & avertissement at front of 1st volume; morocco leather spine title & volume number, with faded gilt decorated compartments; marbled endpapers; all 31 engravings are present

These engravings first reached publication in a new edition of Don Quichotte in 1746, and the edition offered here, reissued by Bleuet almost thirty years later, opts for a smaller format with the aim of reaching a more general public. J. M. Lucía Mejías comments that this edition maintains the iconographic program of 1746, which will also be repeated in the 1776 edition.

CONDITION:

Good condition. Two leather bound volumes, with worn gold-gilt lettering and decorations on spine. Both volumes are solid, and very readable, no missing pages, with volume I in worse shape than volume II.  Text shows spotting and foxing throughout both volumes, and has occasional pencil markings as well as evident folds and incongruity in paper size, though minimal.  30 engravings total across both volumes. All illustrations present and in excellent condition, except for plate VI, which has a child’s pencil scribble across. 

Volume 1The top and bottom spine edges of volume I are frayed, with the top spine edge missing some leather and paper seam visible underneath.  Spine leather is cracked, crackled, and rubbed at different places, with spine gold-gilt fragmented by rubbed/peeled sections of leather. Small slash visible half-way down spine. Bottom spine leather of volume I is loose, with tear in leather, and bottom paper seam visible. Volume I front board cover intact. Upper right corner edge of front cover is rubbed with board showing through.  Right edge of front cover also rubbed,  in some places leather is peeling. Large chip/crack in leather in the middle of the front cover along the right edge, boards are visible, and somewhat dented. Marbled front and back endpapers, are different colours and design. Binding is secure, but inner seam is cracked at title page, with hinge of leather spine holding securely without any splitting. From marbled endpapers to approximately page 42, damage to paper at middle fore-edge, either chewing or moisture wear/weakening.  Rippling apparent along entire fore edge, with some paper folding at bottom right fore-edge.  Rear board also starting to split from text block but still secure.  Rear board has worse leather peeling on fore-edge, particularly along the upper for-edge, and bottom corner. Large dark-stain in leather and gouge showing through to the boards on the back of the rear board near the bottom of the spine. Rear blank page, attached but becoming loose, and folded. Some pages throughout have folds/former folds, light bookseller pencil markings.   

Volume 2Text block solid. Leather in better condition than volume I, though some stains, rubs, and wear. Spine and gold-gilt in better condition, though some wear. Upper spine edge worn with binding seam visible, and somewhat split. Edges in good condition, except for top right corner of front board, and bottom and top corner rubbed, board showing through. Marbled end papers different designs. Some penciled math equations and diagram, along with 1890 book-owner inscription in ink, on front blank paper reverse of marbled endpaper. 

BOOK MEASUREMENTS: 13 cm x 18.8 cm x 3.5 cm

 TOTAL LENGTH: (Vol.1) ffep, viii, 254, 2 page index of engravings, rfep; (Vol.2) ffep, half-title, title, 322 pages, rfep