[CHILDRENS BOOK] FREVILLE, A. F. J. Alphabet Personnifie ou Les Lettres rendues sensible par des Figures DEnfants qui en port...
Paris: Didot Jeune for Merigot, 1801. First edition. Full speckled calf of the period, gilt roll of alternate diamonds and circles on covers, flat spine with five compartments, simple gilt. 3 1/2 x 2 3/4 inches (9 x 7 cm); 72 pp., including 25 very fine engravings (complete thus, no "W" is called for). Binding worn, joints partially separated and very tender but holding, several leaves (both plates and text) with old black crayon marks, a well thumbed copy with two plates with clean transverse tears and other, more minor defects elsewhere.
This charming work, with its twenty-five superb engraved plates, is an exceedingly rare children's alphabet. Gumuchian 130 records a copy, and a copy of the 1809 third edition was sold at Christie's in 2006 for $1,140, the cataloguing noting that no other copy of any edition had been traced; all the editions were doubtless read to death. The small boy in the engravings waters his garden ("Arrose"), drinks ("boit"). sings ("chante") etc. The second half of the work contains elementary reading exercises. According to the Annuaire de la Librarie, volume I, this is complete with 72 pp.
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