Cythère (Paris, Cazin), 1782.
2 volumes 18mo.
Volume I: 2 ll. not numbered, 277 pp., plus 1 frontispiece and 6 illustrations.
Volume II: 2 ll. not numbered, 210 pp., plus 6 illustrations.
Red morocco, triple gilt fillet around the covers, flat spines finely decorated, decorated coupes, inner border, gilt edges. Contemporary binding.
126 X 73 mm.
Superb copy of one of the most famous illustrated erotic books of the 18th century, here in the extremely rare and precious first state well-described by Cohen.
“Three edition of this French adaptation of the previous work exist, published the same date, by Cazin. The one to prefer is a little bit taller than the two others and printed on bluish paper: besides the fact that the prints are much finer, the edition is better. Two copies will be enough. In the best edition, one can read on top of page 44: ’Sixième entretien’ (which is true), and at the page 191 of the same volume, line 9: ‘Ah ! ma chère soeur”’ instead of in the two others ‘Ah ! ma cher soeur’ and in one of them ‘Septième entretien’ at the page 44. Besides, the justification and the number of pages are identical in the three editions.
In old red morocco, 501 fr., Salvert Bellenave sale (n°229)” (Cohen. Guide de l’amateur de livres à gravures du XVIIIe siècle).
510 for mentioned by Cohen was at the origin, in 1912, a very high price and this copy owns all the features of the first edition, extremely rare.
It is illustrated with 1 frontispiece and 12 erotic illustrations unsigned, but by Borel, engraved by Elluin.
The catalogue Roger Peyrefitte (Paris, 31 janvier 1977, n°55), that gathered the last fine collection of erotics in the market, insisted on the rarity of copies of the Mersius français bound in contemporary morocco but didn’t specify the edition, sign of a second or third state.
Extremely rare copy in the first state bound in superb red contemporary morocco binding.