Paris: de Lormel, Imprimeur de l'Académie Royale de Musique rue du Foin Saint Jacques, 1773.
Octavo. Four volumes bound in two. Full dark red 19th century morocco elaborately gilt with raised bands on spine in compartments gilt, dark green leather title labels, wide decorative inner dentelles gilt, all edges gilt, marbled endpapers. Engraved throughout.
With 3 fine illustrated titles and 100 fine full-page engravings illustrating chansons set for voice and harpsichord or harp, with engravers including Moreau, Masquelier and Née after Moreau, Le Bouteux, Le Barbier, and Saint-Quentin.
Authors include a number of the most notable literary figures of the day: Bernard, Comte de Bissy, Chabanon de Maugry, de Chastellux, Colardeau, Dorat, Le Prieur, Marmontel, Le Chevalier de Menilglaise, Montcrif, de la Motte, La Comtesse de Murat, François de Neuchateau, de Non, Pannard, de Plumeteau, Rousseau, de la Sabliere, de St. Alphonse, de St. Lambert, de St. Marc, Séguier, and Voltaire.
Volume I: 1f. (recto title, verso blank), 1f. (dedication, verso blank), -154, [iii] (contents), [i] (blank) pp. (46 chansons).
Volume II: 1f. (recto illustrated title incorporating a bust-length portrait of the dedicatee Marie Antoinette, verso blank), -149, 150-153 (contents), [i] (blank) pp. (36 chansons).
Volume III: 1f. (recto illustrated title, verso blank), -150, [iii] (contents), [i] (blank) pp. (41 chansons).
Volume IV: 1f. (recto illustrated title, verso blank), -150, [iii] (contents), [i] (blank) pp. (44 chansons).
The distinguished collector, pianist, and teacher Alfred Cortot (1877-1962), with his distinctive bookplate to front pastedown of each volume and small rectangular monogrammatic stamp in green ink to lower outer corner of title to Tomes I and III.
In exceptional condition. With printed text "Serpent affreux" neatly crossed out in pencil and corrected to "affreux Serpent," also in pencil. Without the portrait of La Borde published in 1774.
First Edition, first issue, with "serpent affreux" to p. 54 of Volume II, changed to "affreux serpent" in the second issue.
Cohen-de Ricci: Guide de l'amateur de livres à gravures du XVIIIème siècle, 534-538: "un des plus beaux livres du XVIIIe siècle." RISM L100 (4 copies only).
A portrait of La Borde was printed in 1774 and added to copies that remained unsold at that time; the present copy was evidently sold prior to that date. Cohen-de Ricci (5th edition) cols. 293-295.
A French composer and writer on music, Laborde studied the violin with Dauvergne and composition with Rameau. Born into an aristocratic family, he served at the court of Louis XV from 1762-1774 as "premier valet du chambre." He escaped from Paris during the Revolution but his palace, including its library of some 25,000 volumes, was burnt down. Arrested in Rouen, he was brought back to Paris and guillotined.
An exceptionally fine example of one of the most beautifully illustrated music books of the 18th century, with distinguished provenance.
Price: $5,500.00 other currencies