L'ART DE PLAIRE ET DE FIXER by L'AMI. ( Mosse,…

L'ART DE PLAIRE ET DE FIXER Ou Conseils Aux Femmes.......

An extremely pretty little copy of this exhaustive detailing of what a woman must do to please ( her man). The engraved frontispiece and title vignette suggest an adventurous topic - these show partly undressed women in bedroom scenes - but the whole of the text amounts to a guide to personal beauty and care, as well as to domestic activities and personal virtues. A “Tablette des Matieres” indexes a plethora of advice from how to behave with one’s chamber maid to what various toilet waters to use in every circumstance of personal care. In the case of this particular edition, a “Notes” section on toilet waters serves as an advertising vehicle for a M. Antoine, Directeur du Dépôt des Recettes secrètes pour Embellir et Fortifier, rue Montmartre, No. 154, who is listed as the editor of the work. There are editions published in Brussels, as well as Paris; in fact, the text seems to have been quite useful as advertising vehicle: in this copy,there is a lengthy list of French cities and departments with specific bookstores where the book could be found. Our copy seems closest in description to an 1830 copy described in the British Library, but there are also versions from the 1820s ( for which see Barbier 1, p. 293. A full page of introductory notes describes the cost for various bindings “Broché”, “Cartonné”, “ Relié en beau maroquin”, and with various “Étuis” available. An amusing and charming bit of social persuasion and marketing from early 19th century France. 12mo (12.5 x 8.5 cm); (vi) pp. including half-title and lists of numerous vendors where one can purchase the book; 221 pp. + engraved frontispiece and title; 7 unnumbered pp. of publisher’s ads at back.

Contemporary marbled paper over boards, very slight shelfwear; gilt decorated calf spine with stamped compartments, including red lettering piece, gilt in second compartment; varied decorations in remaining three compartments; original endpapers; very infrequent brown spots, but the text is fresh and bright; engraved frontispiece with tissue guard; engraved vignette on title page fine. With previous owner’s signature and private collection number penned on verso of free endpaper. Near fine.

ID#: 16798
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