LE PETIT MODISTE FRANÇAIS, Dédié Aux Dames.
Paris: Le Fuel, 1819. Le Petit Modiste Français was an almanac intended by its publishers to become "le livre classique des boudoirs, et à se trouver sur toutes les toilettes." Poetry, allegory and advice on everything from fashionable dress and accessories to proper etiquette is offered here, along with 12 hand-coloured plates, one per month, showing a fashionably dressed woman either engaged in or, more often, in the foreground of some seasonal activity. (June shows a hot-air balloon aloft behind the lady). Our particular copy here has survived in a most detailed and decorative paper covered binding and slipcase, the first being quite neo-classical in ornament and the latter more romantic. Colas describes an issue of 1822 and notes that Grand Carteret cites examples from 1818, 1819 and 1820. There are 19 pages of addresses of merchants such as modistes, florists, hair dressers, cloth merchants, perfumers, shoemakers, etc, as well as announcements of where to find the latest creams, rouges, aromatic compounds, etc. Rare; OCLC lists only one undated copy from this series in any North American library and we have been unable to locate any copies of the present edition outside of France. Colas 2333; Grand Carteret 1843; 24mo (11.4 x 7.5 cm); (iv) + 211 + (1) pp. + 13 hand-colored plates including decorative title page.
Bound in contemporary highly decorative color printed paper with six panels of arabesque designs on spine; upper and lower covers printed in shades of red, green, blue, black and yellow, with images of cherubs or putti in corners ; vignette of small children in a draped woodland setting within a lozenge shaped center panel; small seasonal "friezes" as accents on all sides; corners and sides ruled in gold with just slight age wear; a.e.g.; in highly decorative slipcase printed in similar colours with a scene of a visit by two young ladies to a rocky island hermitage printed on upper and lower covers, and with small rusticated and garden views (a small bridge with overhanging willow and an avenue of trees) in small compartments on the spine; slipcase shows some very moderate wear and very light soiling.
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