London: Printed by H. Hills jun. for Francis Barlow, and are to be sold by Chr. Wilkinson, Tho. Fox, and Henry Faithorne, 1687. Item #03379
The Beautiful Barlow Aesop
In a Contemporary Binding
AESOP. Æsop’s Fables with His Life: in English, French and Latin. Newly Translated. Illustrated with One hundred and twelve Sculptures. To this Edition are likewise added, Thirty one New Figures representing his Life. By Francis Barlow. London: Printed by H. Hills jun. for Francis Barlow, and are to be sold by Chr. Wilkinson at the Black-boy against St. Dunstan's Church in Fleet-Street, Tho. Fox in Westminster-hall, and Henry Faithorne at the Rose in St. Paul's Church-yard. 1687.
The thirty-one plates were engraved by Thomas Dudley in 1678 - this second edition is the first to contain these superb engravings.
Second edition (first published in 1666). Folio (12 x 7 5/8 inches; 306 x 193 mm.). [2, recto blank, verso engraved pictorial title], [2, title, verso blank], [2, dedication], [1, To the Reader], [1, full-page engraving of Aesop surrounded by animals and birds], 40, 40, 17, 2-221, , [1, blank] pp. Full page engraved plate of the arms of the Earl of Devonshire and thirty-one (including the suppressed plate No. 17, which is often missing) full page engraved plates by Thomas Dudley after Francis Barlow illustrating the life of Aesop, and 110 half page engravings in the text. The thirty-one additional plates are bound within the forty pages of English text. Leaves Zz & Zz2 (pp. 161-164) have been supplied from another copy of the same 1687 edition. The copy at hand was apparently bound without these two leaves (not uncommon in 1687) and is now complete by the expert insertion of the binder who also has restored the original mottled calf binding to its former glory. The front blank has the early ink inscription "Marmaduke Wyvill/his booke" and three lines from The Universal Prayer Book, Or, Christian Assistant (1768) "If my repentance be Daily no Death can be Sudden" [to my soul]. Also on the rear paste-down (upside-down) the early ink signature of "John Wilkinson".
Contemporary blind stamped mottled calf, expertly rebacked and re-edged with the original blind-stamped mottled calf laid-down. An absolutely spectacular restoration. The second Barlow plate (facing p.1) with expertly repaired lower marginal tear and very small expert restoration to blank lower gutter; Eighth Barlow plate (facing p.8) cut a little close on fore-margin but not touching plate mark; expert tiny marginal repairs to K2 (pp. 35/36); lower right-hand corner expertly reopaired on Hh2 (pp. 103/1040; small expert marginal repair to fore-margin Lll (pp. 205/206); tiny repairs to lower corner of Nnn & Nnn2 (pp. 213/4 & 215/6). All of the above mentioned repairs have been expertly done and are almost invisible. None of the repairs affects any of the plate margins or text. Taking into account the aforementioned replacement of two leaves, minor paper repairs and expert restoration of the binding this is still an exceptional copy of this extremely rare and beautiful edition.
“The fables and plates are printed here in the same manner as in the first edition, the French version on the verso of each leaf, facing the plate, and Latin version on the recto of the following leaf. In the brief address "To The Reader"` it is stated that the English verses on each plate were written by "the ingenious Mrs. A. Behn". The thirty-one additional plates illustrating the life of Æsop are placed at the end of the volume. They are preceded by the plate representing Æsop surrounded by animals and birds, which formed the first plate to the first edition. Plate No. 17 is usually wanting, being generally removed as too free a character. Nearly all of them are signed "Tho: Dudley fecit". (Grolier, Wither to Prior).
“This seventeenth-century polyglot (English-French-Latin) Aesop is handsomely illustrated with engravings after designs by Francis Barlow (?1626-1702), an English painter renowned for his pictures of country life and field sports. (He was perhaps the finest English draughtsman of animal scenes in the seventeenth century.) Barlow, who published the book at his own expense, explains in his preface that he intends the work to contribute to the education of young people. This is the first edition; the relatively few copies known are all survivors of the Great Fire of London, which swept over the printer’s premises in 1666” (Morgan Library, Early Children’s Books - citing the 1666 first edition).
Sir Marmaduke Wyvill, 5th Baronet (1666-1722), English politician and official, elected Member of Parliament for Richmond in 1695. In 1711 he became a Fellow of the Royal Society.
Grolier, Wither to Prior, 666. Hodnett, Aesop in England, pp. 56-59 and 72. Morgan Library, Early Children’s Books, 11 (describing the 1666 first edition). Wing A703.