Paris, P. Didot, eldest son of F.A. Didot the elder, 1790.
Large 4to of 1 portrait, 1 pl. out of the text, xl pp., (1) l., 12 plates out of text.
Full red straight-grained morocco, covers richly decorated with gilt fillets, mosaic spine with inlaid green morocco bands, green morocco lettering-pieces, gilt figure of Prince Albert of Saxe-Teschen repeated five times in panels of the spine, gilt edges. Contemporary armorial and mosaic binding.
308 x 228 mm.
The first work published by Didot Fils and one of the rarest and most beautiful illustrated books of the eighteenth century. Bengesco, n˚404; Brunet, V, 1361.
“This edition, very correct, was printed in only 250 copies, on the finest vellum paper of Angoulême, with new characters engraved expressly and quite recently, by Firmin Didot. It is the first work to which Didot the elder son gave his care“.
The Henriade, a poem by Voltaire, appeared in 1723. The main character is the wise king Henri IV who puts an end by his abjuration to the serious religious quarrels of the time which oppose Catholics and Calvinists.
A magnificent, exceptional copy, printed on large vellum paper enriched with ten figures by Moreau, engraved by Dambrun, de Launay, Duclos, Guttenberg, Helman, Lingée, Patas, Romanet, Simonet and Trière, a portrait of Henri IV, by Porbus, engraved by Tardieu, an added portrait of Voltaire, engraved by Langlois, after La Tour, and the portrait of Frederick William of Prussia by Moreau the younger.
This edition of Voltaire’s works was never found in contemporary armorial morocco since it was printed in the middle of the French Revolution.
Unique copy, printed on large paper, bound in red morocco decorated with inlaid green morocco mosaics for Prince Albert of Saxony-Teschen, for whom it bears the repeated figure on the spine and the library label, and his wife, the sister of the queen of France, Marie-Antoinette.
“Albert, duke of Saxe-Teschen, married, in 1766, the archduchess Christine, daughter of the emperor François I and sister of Marie-Antoinette, queen of France, and he was appointed, jointly with Christine, to the government of the Austrian Netherlands.
He was very skilled with the pencil and the chisel. The superb castle of Laeken, near Brussels, was built according to his drawings and under his direction.
He founded the Albertina in Vienna”.
The bibliographers do not mention any other copy bound in mosaic and contemporary mosaic and armorial morocco.