An amazing stack of three, rare and collectible, antiquarian French books. Perfect for adding some "French chic" to your shelves.
There is a gorgeous 1917 edition of the "Petit Larousse Illustré", in amazing condition for it's age (it is 104 years old!). It is complete, with no missing or loose pages but the spine has become detached over the years (see last photo.) It is still 'just" attached (by a thread!)
This one-volume work has two main sections: a dictionary featuring common words and an encyclopedia of proper nouns. It has a small center section, diving the two main sections, of Latin and foreign language phrases.
The photographs show a very small selection of the 5800 gravures (engravings), 130 planches et tableaux (diagrams and tables) and 120 cartes (charts/maps). The book itself is mesmerizing in the detail and information packed into its pages. The maps provide a fascinating insight into the world before the second world war and it is wonderful for comparing how much our knowledge of industrial practices, science and medicine have changed over the last near 100 years. Once you pick it up it seems impossible to put it down again!
It has 'aged to perfection' with 'yellowed' pages, delicate and full of 'age spots'. Most importantly it has that 'old book smell' reminiscent of libraries and bookshops from a by-gone era - fabulously comforting. If you love genuine, 'time-worn' books then this is for you.
"Le Petit Larousse Illustré", commonly known simply as "Le Petit Larousse" is a French-language encyclopaedic dictionary. It first appeared in 1905 and was edited by Claude Augé, following Augé's "Dictionnaire Complet illustré" (1889).
Éditions Larousse is a French publishing house specialising in reference works such as dictionaries. It was founded in 1852 by Pierre Larousse and its best-known work is the Petit Larousse, which is still published annually.
The motto of Pierre Larousse, the namesake of Les Editions Larousse, and perpetuated in Larousse's publications is "Je sème à tout vent" ("I sow to all winds"). This motto inspires the cover art of Le Petit Larousse which typically features a female figure blowing dandelion seeds. You can see the words "Je sème à tout vent" ("I sow to all winds") on the spine of this book, below the dandelion image. The iconic Art Nouveau cover image is instantly recognisable.
There is also "Volume 34" from the 1825 collection "Oeuvres Completes de Voltaire". Almost 200 years old this book is the 'Histoire du Parlement de Paris". It has a leather spine and marbleized cardboard cover.
Voltaire (21 November 1694 – 30 May 1778) was a French Enlightenment writer, historian, and philosopher famous for his wit. He was a critic of Christianity, especially the Roman Catholic Church. He advocated freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and separation of church and state. A versatile and prolific writer, producing works in almost every literary form. This includes plays, poems, novels, essays and historical and scientific works. He wrote more than 20,000 letters and more than 2,000 books and pamphlets. He was an outspoken advocate of civil liberties, despite the risk this placed him in under the strict censorship laws of the time. As a satirical polemicist, he frequently made use of his works to criticize intolerance, religious dogma and the French institutions of his day.
There is also a copy of "Grands Ecrivains, Théophile Gautier", a hardcover 1895 edition. A selection of works by Pierre Jules Théophile Gautier (30 August 1811 – 23 October 1872). A French poet, dramatist, novelist, journalist, and art and literary critic.
If you wish to display the books in a bundle tied with twine (as in the photos) then you would need a minimum space of 14cms/ 5½" high x 22cms/ 8½" long x 14cms/ 5½" deep.
Please note that these really old books are distressed from years of genuine use and some of the pages are delicate and loose. There are no missing pages but they are in genuine antique condition, as you can see from the photos, and need to be handled with respect for their age.
Altogether they weigh 2.6kgs/ 5.7 lbs.
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