Oblong folio [366 x 263 mm] of 1 title, (9) text ll., (1) l. with the table of the plates, 60 numbered plates. Bound in contemporary dark blue half-morocco, flat spine. Minor browning, slight staining here and there, tiny creasemarks. Contemporary binding.
First edition of this very rare set of engravings aiming at teaching the youth the change of seasons. Cf. Hauswedell 673, and Granier XXVI, 971 (title slightly different: “The seasons” and only 20 plates).
The 60 magnificent full-page chromolithographs finely engraved and colored with meticulous care represent the twelve months of the year with the various elements characterizing them.
Thus, January shows lumberjacks working in the snow and sleighs sliding on a frozen lake, the picture of February shows people fertilizing the fields, March corresponds to sowing and tree cutting. In April, the plates show sailors caught in a sea storm as well as a scene in a farmyard with a farmer feeding the poultry and a scene of apiculture in the back. In May, we can see many scenes: shepherds watching their sheeps, a farmer who is milking his cows, an eagle hunted down by a shepherd watching his flock of goats, shearing, butter making. The month of June shows a joyful scene of swimming in front of a big oak tree and a walk in a rose garden. The pictures of July and August are dedicated to the cereals harvest, whereas in September the hay is put into sheaf. The month of October is represented by the grape harvest. And in December, the workers thresh grain in the barn, whereas the pretty maids devote themselves to their works of spinning and embroidery in the background. Other plates show fishes, birds, wild animals and plants.
Some plates bear the name of the artist David Englert, who is known for other illustrated works, and they are dated between 1836 and 1838.
Dans sa variété scénique, par les paysages magnifiques visibles en arrière-plan et également par la représentation fidèle et détaillée des activités de la campagne, le présent recueil se rapproche en quelque sorte du livre d’heures du Duc de Berry du 15ème siècle.
In its variety of scenes, the magnificent landscapes in the background and also the truthful and detailed representation of the country life, this suite is somehow close to the book of Hours of the duke of Berry from the 15th century.
Each month is represented with one to 14 pages illustrated with appropriate scenes or subjects.
Extremely fine and rare children’s book with 60 outstanding plates in coloured lithograph.