The Fables of Aesop With a Life of the Author and Embellished with one Hundred Twelve Plates, Vol. II
. John Stockdale . London
PA3855.E5 1793 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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This is one of the most impressive treasures I have found. Unless I am deceived, it is at last a true first edition Stockdale. See 1793/1810? for two pairs of volumes found earlier that keep the 1793 title-page but were in fact printed later, as the paper's watermark confirms. Signs of this particular edition by contrast include the elongated s like an f without the crossbar, the misprint of the page number for the last page of the first volume (891 for 198), and the advertisement for Gay's fables after the last page of this second volume. The book has relatively little foxing and excellent impressions of the illustrations. I cannot find a watermark on this paper; I am eager to find someone who can tell me what that might mean! What I can find is R G facing 87 and 107 in this volume. Several of the illustrations in this volume are off center, e.g. DS (125). This volume contains the last sixty-three fables. See my comments on the first volume. Among the best illustrations here are The Fox and the Goat (49), The Hawk and the Nightingale (111), WC (133), TB (153), and particularly The Lion, the Ass, and the Fox (173). The artists here choose an unusual posture for the carter praying to Hercules (23): he lies down! The moment chosen for the illustration of DLS (95) comes when the headpiece has gone awry.