London: Arthur L. Humphreys, 1904. B/w Illustrations. First Edition. Full Leather. 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" Near Fine. Item #00535785
Extra-Illustrated Copy in Beautiful 'Cosway' Binding by Bayntun-Riviere This stunning, extra-illustrated book on celebrated courtesan and author Ninon de Lenclos is housed in a stunning, Cosway-style binding by Bayntun Riviere. Bound in full brown crushed morocco, spine with raised bands, oval portrait of Ninon de Lenclos at the height of her beauty inset under glass in front cover, spine and both covers beautifully tooled with stylized Art Nouveau flower designs (probably fuschias); gilt-tooled inner dentelles with floral designs at corners, all edges gilt, marbled endpapers. A vibrant, fine copy aside from several surface scratches and small spots of wear; front cover a bit sunned. Housed in binder's velvet-lined green cloth clamshell box. The binding's provenance is known back through 1948, so certainly dates from the period between 1939 (when Bayntun acquired Riviere's tools), and that date. In addition to the b/w illustrations called for in the text, this copy is extra-illustrated with the insertion of twenty earlier (mainly engraved) plates, of which five are hand-colored. Ninon de Lenclos (1620-1705) French author, freethinker, courtesan... a woman ahead of her time and a figure of enduring fascination.