PREVOST Abbé, Histoire de Manon Lescaut et du Chevalier des Grieux. Paris, P. Didot, An V, 1797.
Two 12mo volumes [133 x 77 mm] of: I/ 2 ll., 225 pp., 4 engravings in two states; II/ 2 ll., 213 pp., 4 engravings in two states. Bound in full straight-grained cherry-red morocco, double blind-stamped fillet on the covers, flat spines with gilt fillets, inner gilt border, watered green doublures and endleaves, gilt edges. Contemporary binding signed P. Bozérian.
One of the finest editions of Manon Lescaut illustrated with “8 charming figures by Lefèvre engraved by Coiny”. Cohen, Guide de l’amateur, 823; Tchemerzine, V, 235; Brunet, IV, 867.
“This work is the most pleasant in the “Bleuet” collection.” (Cohen).
“Quite beautiful edition, mentions Brunet, which has been divided into copies on vellum and copies on large vellum paper.”
The edition is illustrated with 8 engravings by Louis-Joseph Lefèvre. “The drawer of the small vignettes, so well composed, so well appropriate to the format of the books for which they have been made, and so sought-after now when they are before the letter and in the state of etched engravings, Louis-Joseph Lefèvre was a painter of portraits, probably miniature ones.”
He drew for the nice editions printed by the firm Didot, which he seems to have only worked for, and called “bleuet” (cornflower in English), because of the flower crown made of these illustrating the title. “These small figures, always qualified in the catalogues as charming (it is the accepted way of saying it), are indeed clever and composed with ease”. Baron Roger Portalis, Les dessinateurs du XVIIIe siècle.
Superb wide margined copy, one of the 100 on large vellum, in the 12mo format with the figures in two states, etched and before the letter.
It is preserved in a fine binding in cherry-red morocco signed by Bozérian.
Provenance: Irwin Laughlin and Jeanne & Robert Percheron with exlibris.