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ANTIQUARIAN BOOK

Les Baisers.

[DORAT (Claude Joseph)].

[DORAT (Claude Joseph)].

Les Baisers, Précédés Du Mois De Mai, Poëme.

Additional engraved title-page by Ponce, one plate by de Longueil, title-page vignette by Aliamet, 44 head and tailpieces by Aliamet, Baquoy, Binet, De Launay, Lingée, de Longueil, Masquelier, Massard, Née, and Ponce, after Eissen and Marillier. The title-page in black and red and with headings in red.

First Edition, First Issue. 8vo. [207 x 132 x 16 mm]. 119pp. Bound c.1900 by Lortic (signed in gilt at the foot of the spine) in red goatskin, the covers with a gilt triple fillet border. Smooth spine divided into six panels with gilt compartments, lettered in the second and third, the others with a flower and sprigs, the edges of the boards tooled with a gilt double fillet, the turn-ins with gilt rolls, marbled endleaves, edges gilt over marbled.
A La Haye: et se trouve à Paris, chez Lambert, et Delalain, 1770.

A few trivial spots but a very good copy of the first issue of the first edition on Holland paper with the title-page and headings in red and errors in pagination. All of the illustrations are after Eissen, except for two after Marillier.

Acclaimed by both Portalis and Cohen as "the masterpiece of the eighteenth century" and by Salomons as "one of the most gracefully and beautifully illustrated books ever produced".

"At first glance Les baisers seems to be one more "trifle light as air". Complaining of the price of a louis with Dorat demanded for "this magnificent pamphlet", Grimm maintained that there was no "girl at the opera who sells her kisses so dearly". But closer examination provides a different perspective. The twenty-two headpieces and twenty tailpieces with which Eissen adorned Dorat's hundred odd pages of text turn the book into a veritable paean to voluptuousness. And far from being a handicap, the small scale of the illustrations intensifies their appeal. It made Eissen, the Goncourts remarked, "the man of the infinitely small feminine nude, of the duodecimo nude". This triumph of miniature art is the apotheosis of the vignette"..... "Les baisers needs to be seen in its first issue on Holland paper with ample margins and early impressions of the vignettes. Such copies may be readily identified by their title-pages in black and red and several errors of pagination in "Les mois de mai" - Ray, The Art of the French Illustrated Book 1700 to 1914, 31.

Stock no. ebc3044

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Price: £1500

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