Paris, Federic Morel, 1574.
8vo [161 x 100 mm] of (12) ll., 559 ll., 1 l. of privilege. Full red morocco, double gilt fillet on the covers, spine ribbed and decorated with double gilt fillets in the panels, mottled edges. Contemporary binding.
First edition with a consecutive numbering of pages followed by Du Bellay’s Works, with a relay title dated 1574; this is also the first one mentioned by Brunet (Manuel du Libraire et de l’amateur de livres, I, 749). In 1569, the same editor had published a compilation with separate pagination of Du Bellay’s plays published separately until then in this size.
Here is what Jules Le Petit says in his Bibliographie des éditions originales françaises. “Another edition of Du Bellay’s works, including all of his plays with a consecutive numbering of pages, was published by the same bookseller, in 1573, 8vo, and republished in 1574, with a new title, but without modifications. This is a large 8vo volume and here is its description: The French Works by Joachim Du Bellay… (exactly same title as the 1569 edition and same printer’s mark). “A Paris, de l’Imprimerie de Federic Morel, Imprimeur du Roy. M.D.LXXIII (1573 or 1574). Avec Privilège dudict Seigneur”. 8vo, composed of: 12 preliminary unnumbered leaves, comprising the title, which verso is blank, the epistle “to the King”, in prose, signed G. Aubert, a “Sonnet de Scevole de Saincte Marthe”, a general table with no pagination and a detailed one; 559 leaves numbered on only one side, for the works, and I unnumbered leaf with a “Extraict du Privilege” on the recto”. The extract relates the letters patent given to Federic Morel, to print and sell Joachim Du Bellay’s Works during ten years, and dated from “the last day of April 1568”. This beautiful edition is printed, as the previous one, in italics, except for the work in prose at the beginning, “La Deffence et illustration de la langue françoise », which is in round letters. It was also published by Guillaume Aubert, who signed the epistle to the King”.
Each of Du Bellay’s master-pieces preceded with a dedicated title is decorated with a large engraved string with Renaissance patterns and with a large historiated initial.
“La Défense et illustration de la langue française” occupies ll. I to 38, “L’Olive”, ll. 39 to 73, “Les Regrets”, ll. 348 to 398, “les Antiquités de Rome”, ll. 399 to 407, “les Jeux Rustiques”, ll. 413 to 487. This edition thus follows the order of the collective one with separate pagination of 1568-1569.
Later reissues of 1575, 1584, 1592 and 1597 will be reprinted after this edition.
A very seducing copy preserved in a superb contemporary red morocco binding, very elegant.
First edition of the works of our great classical authors are very sought-after in good contemporary condition.
The only two copies mentioned by Brunet and Tchemerzine are the Nodier copy in morocco and the Garcia one in morocco by Trautz-Bauzonnet.