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MOLIÈRE, Jean Baptiste Poquelin de; BOUCHER, François (illustrator).


Stock Code
Paris, 1734

With illustrations by the celebrated Rococo painter François Boucher. 'The book's format is noble, Molière's text is presented with more care than ever before, and Laurent Cars' engravings catch the spontaneity and elegance of Boucher's sketches with easy precision.' While admitting that the accompanying ornamentation is 'both conventional and repetitive,' Ray still finds that Boucher's own contributions of this kind, 'happy fantasies of impudent cupids at play, are of a higher order' (Ray).

'Chef-d'oeuvre de Boucher comme illustration; c'est l'un des plus beaux livres de la première partie du XVIIIe siècle' (Cohen-de Ricci).



First edition illustrated by Boucher, later state with 'Comtesse' on p. 360 of volume VI; 6 vols 4to (29.1 x 22 cm), [6], lxiv, lxvii-lxxii, 330; [6], 447; [6], 442; [6], 420; [6], 618; [6], 554pp., with half-titles, engraved portrait by Lépicié after Coypel, titles with large vignette, 33 engraved plates by L. Cars after F. Boucher, 198 vignettes and culs-de-lampe including repeats, historiated initials, the odd, very random spot, mostly to the last few leaves of volume V, the half-title-page of volume IV and the first blank endpaper at the rear of volume I, which also has a small hole (probably a paper flaw rather than damage); browning (oxidisation) to one area of the half-page of volume III, otherwise very clean and bright, contemporary marbled calf gilt, triple fillet border on boards, spines in 6 compartments lavishly decorated with floral and foliate motifs, morocco labels lettered in gilt to second and third, raised bands, in very good order, commensurate with their age, a little rubbed at extremities with a notable abrasion and small loss to the surface at the base of the upper board of volume I, otherwise, very good.


Brunet III, 1798; Cohen-de Ricci 712-14; Ray, French 6.

Stock ID:93648

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