1701 Aesop’s Fables, exquisitely illustrated

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Phaedri [Phaedrus / Fedro] [Aesop]. [Aesop’s Fables] Phaedri Aug. Liberti Fabularum Aesopiarum Libri V. Notis illustravit in usum serenissimi principis Nassauii David Hoogstratanus. Accedunt ejusdem opera duo indices, […], quae observatu digna in notis occurrunt.                                                                                  Amsterdam: Typographia Francisci Halmae (F. Halma), 1701.

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Original vellum, title lettered in black on spine, hand-laid paper. 4to. Engraved half-title, letterpress red & black title page with allegorical engraved vignette. 18 full-page copper-engraved plates by Jan van Vianen (1660-1703), each featuring six circular images; plus 38 in-text reproductions, engraved decorative initials, and many head- and tailpieces. This copy includes the oft-missing fold-out engraved portrait of Joannes Gulielmus, Prince of Nassau. Front board slightly bowed; overall in excellent condition.

Phaedrus (15 BC – AD 50, Italy), was a “Roman fabulist, the first writer to Latinize whole books of fables, producing free versions in iambic metre of Greek prose fables then circulating under the name of Aesop.” (- Britannica). Rare and luxurious 1701 edition, specially made for the Prince of Nassau, and profusely illustrated with sharp, charming, exquisite engravings. Dibdin: “I have always considered this as a correct and very sumptuous edition. It is ornamented with a great number of small plates, or medallions, in which the subject of the fable is very ably and spiritedly executed. The type is peculiarly rich and bold, and is hardly equaled by any Dutch edition of a classic.” (pg.  285); OCLC, 2519971.                                                                                                                                              $1,000.00 USD

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