Amsterdam, Jean Frederic Bernard, 1741.
3 parts in three 4to volumes [243 x 184 mm] of: I/ (4) ll., 1engraved frontispiece title, xxxvi pp., 1 portrait of the author, 526 pp., 4 folding plates and 10 plates out of pagination; II/ (2) ll., 1 frontispiece, xxxiv pp., 383 pp. and 3 plates; III/ (7) ll., 1 frontispiece title, 218 pp., 150 pp., (35). Bound in full red morocco, triple gilt fillet on the borders, spine ribbed and finely decorated, citron morocco lettering pieces, large inner gilt border, gilt over marbled edges. Contemporary binding.
The most beautiful and famous antique illustrated edition of Rabelais, called « le Rabelais de Le Duchat ». Cohen, 839-842.
Le Duchat gave the first critical and commented edition of Rabelais, with the collaboration of La Monnoye, in Amsterdam, in 1711.
The outstanding illustration includes “a superb frontispiece drawn and engraved by Folkema, 2 engraved titles by B. Picart, 1 fleuron on the title of the three volumes, 3 topographic engravings, the figure for Bouteille, 1 portrait of Rabelais engraved by Tanjé, 12 vignettes and 12 tail-pieces by Picart, and 12 figures drawn by Du Bourg, engraved by Bernaerts, Folkema and Tanjé”. (Cohen)
“Bernard Picart was a pupil of Sébastien Leclerc, he was born in Paris in 1673 and it wasn’t long before he got a brilliant reputation as a drawer and as an engraver, thanks to a great ease of invention and remarkable hand dexterity… The fine Rabelais, with Le Duchat’s notes, whose great figures are by his pupil Du Bourg, was published after his death in 1733.” Baron Roger Portalis. Les dessinateurs d’illustrations au XVIIIe siècle.
Beautiful copy finely bound in contemporary red morocco, a sought after condition.
Provenance: ex libris engraved by Stern with the unidentified intertwined initials on the first paste-down.