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Thomson, James; Marie Jeanne de Chatillon Bontemps, trans. Les saisons, poème traduit de l'anglais de Thompson. Paris: Didot Jeune, 1796. 8vo (24 cm, 9.45"). 272 pp.; 4 plts. $300.00
French prose rendition of Thomson's massively popular sequence The Seasons, done by Marie Jeanne de Chatillon Bontemps. The four poems were first published together in 1730, with Bontemps's translation appearing in 1759; this is the first edition (here in its second issue, following the first of the previous year, with a new half-title and title-page) illustrated with => four seasonally themed, copper-engraved plates designed by Jean-Jacques-François Le Barbier (l’aîné) and engraved by Pierre Baquoy, Dupréel, Dambrun, and Patas under his direction. A search of WorldCat finds only two U.S. institutions reporting holdings, both in New York (Columbia University and the Morgan Library).
Binding: Early 19th-century quarter sheep with marbled paper–covered sides, spine neatly, handsomely ornamented with gilt-stamped title and date in roman numerals, blind-tooled raised bands, and elegantly gilt-stamped stylized floral motifs in five compartments.
Provenance: From the residue of the stock of the F. Thomas Heller bookselling firm (est. ca. 1928).
Brunet, V, 836; Cohen-de Ricci 991–992. On Le Barbier, see: Ray, I, 76–77. Bound as above; joints and spine extremities refurbished, sides lightly rubbed and edges more so. Pages faintly age-toned; edges untrimmed. Plates with spots of foxing mostly confined to margins. => A beloved 18th-century work in an interesting French form, with striking plates and very attractive on the shelf. (40598) Please RESHELVE This.
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