VARIN, Amédée. L'Empire des Légumes. Memoires de Cucurbitus Ier. Recueillis et mis en ordre par MM. Eugène Nus et Antony Meray. , 310 pp. Illustrated with an engraved frontispiece and 24 engraved plates, all coloured by a contemporary hand. 4to., 266 x 177 mm, bound in publisher's decorated polychrome cloth. Paris: Gabriel de Gonet, .
First Edition. A superb copy in the rare publisher's polychrome binding. A delicately hand-coloured copy of the "Droleries Végétales," a masterpiece of nineteenth-century French book-illustration in the style of Grandville. The twenty-five plates depict various kinds of vegetables, including carrots, radishes, onions, beans and lettuce, that begin to walk and talk; several of these anamorphic beings assume human traits, with hilarious results. Witness the asparagus and artichoke fighting ("For too long we have been put in the same sauce; it is finally time to put our foot down!") or the Parliamentary Carrot ("Three hours on the witness stand without cracking"). The fine plates by Amédée Varin (1818-1883) and brilliantly conceived and executed. The first edition, with points: "Un ministre..." on line 1 of the last page. It is difficult to find a copy in the original polychrome binding and in such fine condition with just minumal foxing.
Carteret III, 218. Brivois 134-5. Vicaire VI, 245. Sander 537. Not in Ray.
Item nr. 168841