"THE BEST TRANSLATION OF AESOP": DODSLEY'S 1773 ILLUSTRATED SELECT FABLES
(AESOP) DODSLEY, R. Select Fables of Esop and Other Fabulists. London: J. Dodsley, 1773. 12mo, modern full limp vellum gilt, leather ties. $750.
Early edition of the "best translation of Aesop" and other fabulists, beautifully illustrated with frontispiece and 13 copper-engraved plates, as well as vignettes, head- and tailpieces—most with at least some contemporary hand-coloring.
"This is considered the best translation of Aesop" (Lowndes). "Written by the bookseller-publisher-writer Robert Dodsley, friend and publisher to Dr. Johnson and his circle. Dodsley… addressed his fable collection to children as well as their elders. It won considerable popularity with both, and was widely read until at least the end of the century" (Morgan). Each tale is illustrated by a small captioned medallion, one of 12 on every full-page engraved plate. With life of Aesop and "An Essay on Fable," and separate part titles. Three parts—Ancient, Modern, and Newly Invented—as issued, paginated sequentially. See Lowndes, 17 (first edition, 1761). Morgan, Early Children's Books and Their Illustration 12. Early owner ink signature, dated 1776.
Occasional light foxing or soiling, a few leaves with minor edge-wear. Binding fine and attractive.