A PRIZED COPY

Histoire de l’Academie Françoise par M. Pelisson [sic], nouvelle edition, augmentee des deux discours de M. l’Abé [sic] de St. Pierre sur les travaux de l’Academie. 

Amsterdam, Jean Frederic Bernard, 1717. 

12mo, pp. 76, ‘122’ [recte 212]; title printed in red and black with large woodcut ornament, woodcut initials, headpieces, and ornaments; some leaves a little foxed, nonetheless a very good copy; in contemporary French mottled sheep, spine richly gilt with gilt red morocco lettering-piece, a second lettering-piece apparently lost, blue marbled edges, marbled endpapers, pink ribbon place-marker; lightly rubbed at extremities; with printed presentation label to upper pastedown, and armorial woodcut to lower (see below).

£150

Approximately:
US $183€173

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Histoire de l’Academie Françoise par M. Pelisson [sic], nouvelle edition, augmentee des deux discours de M. l’Abé [sic] de St. Pierre sur les travaux de l’Academie. 

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An attractive prize copy of Pellisson’s history of the Académie française, with a printed presentation label from the Jesuit college in the Occitan town of Carpentras, outside Avignon. 

This little volume was awarded in August 1755 ‘ex munificentia Senatus populique carpentoractensis’ to Jean-Joseph Oudra as a prize for his success in rhetoric.  A seventeen-line letterpress presentation label, within a typographic border and completed in manuscript, is pasted to the front endpapers, while a large woodcut of the city’s arms is found at the rear. 

The first work on the subject, first published in 1652 and read to the Académie by its founder Valentin Conrart, the Histoire earned its author Paul Pellisson (1624–1693) the promise of the next available seat, to which he was elected the following year.  It is here joined by two discourses of the later Academician Charle-Irénée Castel de Saint-Pierre, and by a short excerpt translated from Thomas Sprat’s History of the Royal Society of London (1667). 

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