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Les Essais,

15, 000 

In stock


Montaigne’s Essais from 1659.

The beautiful copies from this edition are rare
and sell for a considerable price” (A.S. Louis Bérard)

A beautiful copy, with wide-margins,
preserved in its attractive contemporary dark blue morocco.


Montaigne, Michel de. Les Essais de Michel, Seigneur de Montaigne. Nouvelle édition exactement purgée des défauts des précédentes, selon le vray original : Et enrichie & augmentée aux marges du nom des Autheurs qui y sont cités, & de la Version de leurs passages ; Avec des observations très importantes & nécessaires pour le soulagement du lecteur…
Amsterdam, Antoine Michiels, 1659.

3 volumes 12mo [153 x 87 mm] of: I/ (26) ll., 468 pp. II/ (2) ll., 708 pp. (two ll. of volume II were bound in volume I); III/ (2) ll. 510 pp., (39) ll.

Dark blue morocco, triple gilt fillets around the covers, ribbed spine decorated with panels in gilt, gilt fillet on leading edges, inner gilt roll-stamp, gilt over marbled edges. Contemporary binding.

Nice edition, very sought-after” (Tchemerzine), “well printed and sought-after by amateurs”. (Rahir)

“Very finely executed and deserves to be a part of the Elzevirian collection.” (Willems)

“It is enlarged with a general analytical table of content at the end of the third volume.” (Brunet)

Edition decorated with a copper-engraved frontispiece of Montaigne’s portrait.

Tchemerzine, IV, 904-905; Brunet, III, 1837-1838 ; Sayce & Maskell, n°33, pp.158-1162 ; Willems, n°1982 ; Rahir, Bibliothèque de l’amateur, 549 ; Graesse, Trésor de livres rares et précieux, IV, p.580 ; Bulletin Morgand et Fatout, 4192 ; Destailleur, n°757 ; Catalogue Ruble, n°65 ; En français dans le texte, 73 ; PMM, 95 ; A. S. Louis Bérard, Essai sur les éditions des Elzévirs, p.206.

In the margins are the names of all the authors mentioned and some notes that facilitate the navigation inside the text.

“Think of the real book, the true book entitled : les Essais by Michel de Montaigne, ah ! Montaigne’s Essais (there is the first edition printed in Bordeaux in 1580, but it only contains the first two books). One must acquire the Montaigne from Amsterdam, 1659, the Elzevirian edition.” (Charles Du Bus, Paul Chéron, Gazette des Beaux-Arts, Janvier-Février-Mars 1860, p.97)

At all times, amateurs have searched for this nice edition and had it brilliantly bound.

“These three volumes, if they are well-preserved and with wide margins, can be quite expensive.” (Willems)

“The beautiful copies from this edition are rare and sell for a considerable price.” (A. S. Louis Bérard, Essai sur les elzévirs, p.206)

“The ordinary copies of this book don’t sell for much, between 24 to 36 F, depending on the binding; but those that have wide margins ( (from 150 to 160 mm) are much more expensive; in old morocco, a binding signed by Padeloup, but a bit short (h. 142 mm), 1650 F in the catalogue Morgand et Fatout of January 1877 ; in morocco by Padeloup with the insignias of Longepierre, that is with the Golden Fleece on the spine and covers (155 mm), a charming book of admirable purety, 5 100 F at the Benzon sale of 1875 ; it was a real gem and was payed its price in gold.” (Brunet et Deschamps)

A beautiful copy, with wide margins (150 mm), preserved in its old dark blue morocco.

Provenance : Library of Edward Vernon Utterson, with ex-libris.

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