Les singeries humaines. Petit museum comique et grotesque.
Item ID 72228
Paris, Louis Janet, ca. 1825. Oblong 8vo (19.0 x 12.3 cm). iv, 146, [i] pp.; title page with large, engraved and finely hand-coloured vignette, 12 finely engraved, tissue-guarded plates with contemporary hand-colouring. Contemporary quarter polished calf over marbled boards. Spine with gilt bands and title, and blind tooled vignettes. A wonderfully preserved copy of a very rare, delightfully illustrated satire on human behaviour, humorously compared with the behaviour of monkeys. OCLC reports only six copies, of which only one in France (Bibliothèque nationale), one in Spain, and four in American libraries - the one in the Morgan Library & Museum being incomplete, and none reported to be more than partly hand-coloured. The author is unknown, and, given the satire hidden behind the jolly illustrations, perhaps wisely remained anonymous. However, it seems reasonable to assume that the publisher, [Pierre Claude] Louis Janet (1788-1840) was the author, as he was known as a writer, in particular of works published by himself. Former owner's name pencilled in an old hand on the front free endpaper recto. Some (mostly light) rubbing to the boards, occasional light, marginal thumbing, a few small smudges, but generally very clean. The colouring is bright, careful and detailed. Only one auction record, most probably of a plain copy - in 1907. Not in any major bibliography, we could find. Possibly the only copy entirely in contemporary hand-colouring