• Venice: Appresso Charle Pecora, 1744
  • Six volumes, large in-4º, paper, binding in blue morocco
  • Inv. LA54

‘Raccolta di varie Favole’

Illustration by Giorgio Fossati (1706–1778)
Binding by Derome le Jeune

The Italian engraver and architect Giorgio Fossati collected and published 216 fables by Phaedrus and La Fontaine that are evenly distributed throughout the six volumes of this bilingual edition. His illustrations consist of two frontispieces and thirty-six intaglio prints in different colours (red, blue, green, bistre, and black, among others) in each volume along with countless vignettes and tail-pieces.

All of the volumes present dark blue morocco bindings featuring dentelle decoration, a style that is emblematic of the 18th century.

The subtlety and freshness of these bindings reveal the quality of the work executed by Derome le Jeune, who was a member of a renowned family of bookbinders-gilders. By using small gilding irons to represent volutes, points, scrolls, shells, and stylised floral and vegetable motifs that were applied along the ends of the covers of the binding and subtly broadened at the corners and in the middle of each side, the artist created ornamentation that was harmoniously conceived in accordance with his imagination. The à l’oiseau motif, representing a small bird with open wings that is seen in the four corners and centre of this composition, was a common feature of Derome’s work, although it was also used by several other Parisian workshops.

Holford Collection. Acquired by Calouste Gulbenkian through Bernard Quaritch, London, 6 December 1927 (lot 312).

H. 30.6 cm; W. 22.5 cm

Gruel 1887–1905

Léon Gruel, Manuel Historique et Bibliographique de l’Amateur de Reliures. Paris: 1887–1905, vol. I, pp. 77–80.

Cohen and Ricci 1912

Henri Cohen and Seymour de Ricci, Guide de l’Amateur de Livres à Gravures du XVIIIe siècle. Paris: 1912, p. 410.

Devauchelle 1959–61

Roger Devauchelle,  La Reliure en France de ses origines à nos jours, Paris, 1959–61, vol. II, pp.53–8.

Devauchelle 1995

Roger Devauchelle, La Reliure. Paris: 1995, pp.136–9. 

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