The unpublished fragments of Dom Juan ou le festin de Pierre by Molière,
of which the full text will be published at a later date.
This first edition of Molière is very rare
and even more so in a beautiful contemporary armorial binding.
A superb copy,
preserved in its contemporary black morocco
with the arms of Louis-César de Crémeaux, marquis d’Entragues.
Molière. Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, dit. Les Fragmens de Molière. Comédie.
Paris, Jean Ribou, 1682.
Preceded by: Champmeslé. Les Grisettes, ou Crispin chevalier. Paris, Pierre Ribou, 1702.
Followed by: Champmeslé. La rue Saint Denys, comédie. Paris, Jean Ribou, 1682.
Followed by: Champmeslé. Le Parisien, comédie. Paris, Jean Ribou, 1683.
Followed by: Champmeslé. Delie, pastorale. Paris, Jean Ribou, 1668.
12mo [156 x 90 mm] of (3) ll., 40 pp., (1) l. and 58 pp., (2) ll., 68 pp., (4) ll., 108 pp., (6) ll., 84 pp.
Black morocco, blind-stamped fillet around the covers, arms stamped in gilt in center of the covers, ribbed spine decorated with fillets and cipher in gilt, lettering piece in red morocco, decorated leading edges, inner gilt roll-stamp, gilt over marbled edges. Binding from the early 18th century.
Very rare and important first edition of the unpublished fragments of Dom Juan ou le festin de Pierre by Molière of which the complete text will be published at a later date.
Tchermerzine, IV, 803 ; Brunet, III, 1804 ; Guibert I, 389-390 ; Le Petit, 313-314 ; Vérène de Diesbach-Soultrait, Bibliothèque Jean Bonna, Six siècles de littérature française XVIIe siècle, II, p. 42, n° 194.
“The Fragmens by Molière are fragments from the Festin de Pierre which was unpublished at the time, and that Champmeslé arranged so as to create a short comedy. He also inserted fragments from the Fourberies de Scapin.” (Tchemerzine)
This first edition of the Fragmens precedes by several months Dom Juan ou le Festin de Pierre published for the first time in part VII of the Œuvres de M. de Molière by Denys Thierry, Claude Barbin and Pierre Trabouillet.
“This is a very rare edition.” (Le Petit)
“The publication of the Festin de Pierre had been preceded by the publication of a small volume containing a good part of the text and titled: Les Fragmens de Molière comédie. Paris, Jean Ribou, 1682.” (Le Petit)
“They are, says M. Paul Lacroix, fragments from the Festin de Pierre, which had not yet been published. Champmeslé took them out of his friend La Fontaine’s wallet to sew them together and arrange them as well as could be in order to create a short comedy… The text of the Fragments differs in many places from the text [published in the collective 1682 edition]; furthermore, there are two or three lovely scenes that are no longer present in the play printed according to the author’s manuscript. It would be easy to conclude that these scenes were invented by Champmeslé ; but no, Molière’s touch is very easily recognizable.” (Le Petit)
This first edition by Molière, now indispensable in any serious Molière collection, is very rare and even more so in a beautiful contemporary armorial binding.
Tchemerzine only mentions two copies, both bound in 19th century morocco.
The copy mentioned by Guibert (which passed into the Jean Bonna collection) is bound in simple contemporary calf.
A splendid copy, preserved in its fine black morocco binding with the arms of Louis-César de Crémeaux d’Entragues, lieutenant-général in the Mâconnais government in the first half of the 18th century, and an enlightened bibliophile. (O. Hermal, plche 570)
Provenance : Louis-César de Crémeaux, marquis d’Entragues (arms on the covers and two engraved ex-libris).