Le Barbier de Séville, ou la Précaution inutile. Comédie en quatre Actes; Par M. De Beaumachais
Chez Ruault, 1775. First Edition. Leather. 12mo - over 6¾" - 7¾" tall. / No Jacket. Item #005495872
First edition, apparently unrecorded variant issue, or unrecorded early piracy, of this classic play (the basis of Gioachino Rossini's celebrated opera 'The Barber of Seville), in a custom binding. Attractively bound in full blue calf over beveled boards, spine title and ruled in gilt with twin gilt fleur-de-lys, covers bordered with twin gilt rules and gilt floral devices at inner corners, front cover filled with a veritable deluge of fleur-de-lys in gilt, 239 in all (in 24 rows), rear cover features 49 gilt-tooled fleur-de-lys in a diamond design (7 x 7, on the diagonal), blue silk patterned endpapers, and ribbon marker. Binding is likely post World War II, but does not appear recent. Spine a bit faded, but does not distract; interior is nice, with some aging to the edges and very light foxing. This title appears to be an unrecorded variant from those given in Cordier, most closely matching #47, but with variants in pagination, and the title page mis-spelling the author's name 'Beaumachais', and with other variants, or perhaps an early piracy, Title reads, in full: 'LE BARBIER DE SÉVILLE, OU LA PRÉCAUTION INUTILE, COMEDIE EN QUARTRE ACTES; par M de Beaumachais, Représentée sur le Théatre de la Comédie Française, aux Tuileries, le 23 de Fevrier 1775. Et j'étois Père & je ne pus mourir! (Zaïre, Acte 2.) [device of lyre and laurel leaves] A Paris. Chez Ruault, Libraire rue de la Harpe M.DCC.LXXV. Avec Approbation et Permission.' Title page; 'lettre modérée' 3-32pp. 'Personnages' 33-34; play 35-130, 'Approbation' and 'Permission' page ,  is blank; a comedy in four acts, complete. The two woodcuts appearing at pages  and  are of a small walled town as view from the country, framed by two trees and small hills, and the view of a river, bridge, town and small sailing ship, respectively. 2 Chapter Headpieces.