Record number 06/1274
Author La Fontaine, Jean de, 1621 - 1695
TitleFables Choisies, Mises En Vers Par J. De La Fontaine. Tome Premier. (- Quatrieme.)
ImprintA Paris: Chez Desaint & Saillant, rue Saint Jean de Beauvais. Durand, rue du Foin, en entrant par la rue S. Jacques., M.DCC.LV. (- M.DCC.LIX.), De l'Imprimerie de Charles-Antoine Jombert.
Physical Description4 vols.; 421 mm. (Folio.)
Physical Description NoteVol. I: [4], xxx, xviii, 124 p., frontis., [69] pl. One plate accompanies each of 60 fables, but there are two plates for fables 4, 12, 18, 55 and 60 and five for fable 43. Each plate carries the number of the fable which it illustrates, from I to LX, but the text groups them into three books containing 22, 20 and 18 fables respectively. - Vol. II: [4], ii, 135, [1] p., [67] pl. One plate accompanies each of 63 fables, but there are two plates for fables 61, 78 and 114. Each plate carries the number of the fable which it illustrates, from LXI to CXXIV, but the text groups them into three groups containing 22, 21 and 21 fables respectively. - Vol. III: [4], iv, 146 p., [67] pl. One pl. accompanies each of 64 fables but there are three pl. for fable 180 and two for fable 182. Each plate carries the number of the fable which it illustrates, from CXXV to CLXXXVIII, but the text groups them into three groups containing 18, 27 and 19 fables respectively. - Vol. IV: [4], ii, 188 p., [65] pl. One plate accompanies each of 57 fables but there are two plates for fables 222, 225 and 243, three for fable 228 and four for fable 244. Each plate carries the number of the fable which it illustrates, from CLXXXIX to CCXLV, but the text groups them into three groups containing 16, 9 and 32 fables respectively.
Content Format NoteVol. I: [Half-t., frontis., t.p., dedic.] - Avertissement De L'Editeur - Vie De La Fontaine - A Monseigneur Le Dauphin (by De La Fontaine) - Preface - La Vie D'Ésope Le Phrygien - Table Des Fables Contenues Dans Le Premier Volume - [Text, bks. 1-3 with pl.]. - Vol. II: [Half-t., t.p.] - Table Des Fables Contenues Dans Le Second Volume - [Text, bks. 4-6, with pl.]. - Vol. III: [Half-t., t.p.] - Avertissement Imprimé pour la premiere fois en 1678 - Table Des Fables Contenues Dans Le Troisieme Volume - A Madame De Montespan - [Text, bks. 7-9 with pl.]. - Vol. IV: [Half-t., t.p.] - Table Des Fables Contenues Dans Le Quatrieme Et Dernier Volume - [Text, bks. 10-12 with pl.] - Explication Du Frontispice, Et de quelques Vignettes & Culs-de-lampe contenus dans cet Ouvrage - Approbation (1759); Privilege Du Roi (1759).
Summary NoteThe publication-dates carried on the four title-pages are 1755, 1755, 1756 and 1759.

Oudry's drawings for this work were unfinished sketches; and on his death a committee was formed to decide how best to publish them. An amusing account of this committee has been left by Cochin the younger; who in the end was entrusted with bringing them to a more finished state, etching them and having them completed by the engravers.
Responsibility NoteThe frontispiece and all plates are signed as drawn by J.B. Oudry, and engraved by D. Sornique, P.F. Tardieu, Ch. Baquoy, P.E. Moitte, St. Fessard, J. Ouvrier, C.O. Gallimart (or Gallimard), J.J. Flipart, Lud. le Grand, M. Aubert, Chenu, R. Gaillard, C.N. Cochin p., P.Q. Chedel, P. Aveline(s), J. Ph. LeBas, P.F. Martenasie, Laur. Cars, J. Pelletier, P. Surugue, J. Pasquier, A. Chevilet, J.H. Rode, M. Marvie, J. Beauvarlet, G. Riland, J. Riland, Aliamet, Noel Le Mire, L. L'Empereur, Pitre, J. Menil, A. Radigues, J.A. de Fehrt (or Ferth or Ferht), B.L. Prevost, J.C. Teucher, Elisabeth Cousinet, J. Duret, P.P. Choffard, Poletnich, P. Floding. Those which are both etched and engraved are signed by pairs N. Dupuis and C.N. Cochin fils, C. Cochin and R. Gaillart(/d), C. Cochin and P. Chenu, C. Cochin and Ml. Aubert, C.N. Cochin and N. Beauvais, C.N. Cochin p. and N. Dupuis, C.N. Cochin p. and J.B. Teucher, Pitre and Martenasi, Marvie and Beauvais, Marvie and M. Aubert, J.Ph. Le Bas and C. Baquoy, Ryland and Beauvais, Salvador and N. Dupuis.

The title-page vignette of all four volumes is signed as drawn by Bechellier and engraved by Le Sueur. Other decorations are unsigned, but the 'Explication Du Frontispice, Et de quelques Vignettes ...' in Volume IV states, 'Toutes les Estampes de cette édition ... sont imprimées sous les yeux de l'Editeur P. Thevenard ... & par J.B. Dutertre...'.
SubjectAnimals in art
Fables - France - 18th century
Pictorial works - Illustrated books - France - 18th century
Name as Subject La Fontaine, Jean de, 1621 - 1695
Æsop, fl. 6th century B.C?
Oudry, Jean-Baptiste, 1686 - 1755
Cochin, Charles-Nicolas, le jeune, 1715 - 1790
ReferencesH. Cohen, Guide de l'amateur de livres à gravures du XVIIIe siècle (6th. ed., rev. S. de Ricci, 1912), col.548; G.N. Ray, The art of the French illustrated book 1780 to 1914 (1982; in paperback 1986), no.5.

H. Opperman, J.B. Oudry 1686-1755 [exhibition catalogue] (1983).
Binding Note18th-century marbled calf, upper and lower covers with gilt-stamped borders; gilt-decorated spines, red and brown morocco spine-labels lettered 'Fables De La Fontain' and 'Tom I (IV)'.
Contributors Desaint, Jean, 1692? - 1776, publisher
Saillant, Charles, 1716 - 1786, publisher
Durand, Laurent, 1712? - 1763, publisher
Jombert, Charles-Antoine, 1712 - 1784, printer
Oudry, Jean-Baptiste, 1686 - 1755, source artist, draughtsman
Cochin, Charles-Nicolas, le jeune, 1715 - 1790, engraver
MARC Record view