Les Contenances de la Table. Translated with an Introduction by Timothy J. Tomasik.

1503. [Lyons, Pierre Mareschal & Bernabé Chaussard, ca. 1503: i.e Sebastopol and London: Ben Kinmont and Bernard Quaritch: 2006].

Small slim 8vo, 36, (1, colophon) pp. With the original text in fine facsimile within the pagination. Title printed in red and black. Half red morocco, marbled boards backstrip lettered in gilt and with blind-filleted panels. New.

§ Regular edition of this superb facsimile, being the first edition in English, limited to 80 copies printed on small paper. “Issued a few decades after the invention of printing, this French rhymed treatise on table manners is a courtesy book addressed to children of humble as well as noble rank. It has been argued that this is the first printed book (apart from elementary Latin grammars) intended to be read specifically by children. The unknown author of Les Contenances offers his advice in the form of quatrains, each beginning “Enfant...” (Pierpont Morgan Library, Early Children’s Books and their Illustration p. 32). Much sought after since the time of publication, a facsimile edition, limited to 35 copies - one printed on vellum - was published in 12mo by Bulmer and Co. for the Roxburghe Club in 1816. Another facsimile, limited to 20 copies, was published in Paris, ca. 1850, with a copy being offered in Pierre Berès catalogue Nourritures of 1991 for Ff 8000.
Baudrier XI 483 (listing a copy at Fribourg); Brunet II 244; Cat. Firmin Didot, 1879, 219; Vicaire 207-8; although ISTC provides several entries, the earliest there being described as “Lyons, Printer of the Complainte de l'Ame damnée, about 1485-90”, no certain sequence of editions -- none are dated -- has been established. A total of six copies -- none in the British Library -- of the various Paris and Lyons printings are recorded in ISTC: two at Chantilly, two at the BibliothËque Nationale, Paris, one at the Bodleian Library, Oxford, and one at the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Munich; the only American location is Pierpont Morgan Library, New York (the only known copy of the first edition: see Fairfax Murray 106). (Ben Kinmont/Bernard Quaritch, of their copy of the 1503 edition). Item #102856

Price: $500.00

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