Fables Nouvelles, Vol. II, Binder 3
Dorat, Claude Joseph
. (Nicolas-Augustin) Delalain . A la Haye & Paris (Bodemann identifier 157.2 )
Language note: French
PQ1981.D35A6 1773 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
Language note: French
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Here is the third of three binders containing together ninety-six cards measuring 6¾x4¼ with approximately 190 signed prints, almost all two prints to a card. The eBay seller writes that the three binders/volumes are from a museum de-acquisition from the early 1800’s. The set came from an 87 year-old collector. The museum professionally mounted all the illustrated pages onto conservator board. More exactly, what is mounted on the conservator boards is not the pages but the excerpted illustrations, about ninety-five illustrations and about 95 endpieces. The book from which these excerpted illustrations come is apparently the second volume to Claude Joseph Dorat's Fables ou Allégories Philosophiques of 1772. Almost none of these illustrations show a one-to-one correspondence with fables I know from La Fontaine or Aesop. The seventh card shows a strong scene of King Lion's court. A few cards later horse and ass confront each other in a stable. The sixteenth shows a snail and cicada talking with each other at the base of a tree. A few cards later, a shepherd talks with a wolf in the presence of his dog. A few cards after that we see the popular scene of a man chopping a snake into parts, but here it is outdoors before a huge building with high columns; usually this is the formerly frozen snake that is terrorizing a family inside the house. The fourth-to-last card has one of the best engraved scenes: camel, ox, and rhinoceros (?) listen to donkey. The second-to-last card seems to contrast the earth-bound peacock with the flying birds above her. A number of the endpieces, here usually mounted above the fable illustrations, exhibit the word Fable, presumably as the first word on the following page. As I mention a propos of Binder 1, working with these materials presents a challenge: without the book, one can know neither to what work any particular picture belongs nor what order the original materials followed. Each binder could contain material that belongs in a different binder and in a different order.