Paris: Grégoire Dupuis, 1719. 8vo (261 x 195mm). Engraved frontispiece, engraved vignette on title, and 101 engravings in the text by Cochin, Gillot, Edelinck, Picart, Simoneau and Tardieu after Coypel, Gillot, Edelinck, Picart and Ranc. 18th-century gilt-panelled sprinkled calf. Rebacked; P4 with small tear with loss in corner not affecting text, S4 with short marginal tear with early repair, a few leaves lightly spotted. Provenance: William Cavendish, VII Duke of Devonshire (armorial bookplate on verso of flyleaf); purchased from Christie's London, 30 September 1981, lot 236. From the Collection of Arthur & Charlotte Vershbow. Item #401741
FIRST EDITION, FIRST STATE of the vignette for L'Horoscope du Lion on p. 33, before letters. "The eighteenth century in France has often been called the age of the vignette... It was of Houdart de la Motte's Fables Nouvelles (1719) that Bouchot said 'the whole French school of the eighteenth century may have had its origin in this...book'" (Bland, The History of Book Illustration, p. 200). Modelling his fables after Jean de La Fontaine, Houdart de la Motte’s introduction on the genre is of note, setting out rules to be followed based on classical ideals of true likeness, unity, and proper arrangement. The work introduces rococo miniatures and vignettes to book illustration, and the 62 by interior and costume designer Claude Gillon are among a small number of his works used as book illustrations. Brunet III 801; Cohen-de Ricci 594 (“Trés belle édition, rare et recherche. Les vignettes sont spirituelles, surtout celles gravées par Gillot"); Cioranescu 36530; Sander 1095.