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Birch, John; Robert Cruikshank, illus.  Fifty-one fables, with moral and ethical index. London: Hamilton, Adams & Co. (pr. by S. Bagster, Jr.), 1833. 8vo (21.6 cm, 8.5"). [4], 251, [1] pp.; 52 plts., illus.

First edition and with a Cruikshank autograph note including a small sketch mounted to front fly-leaf. "Will you please to send more fables?" Cruikshank provided designs for => 85 wood engravings, executed by Slader, D. Dodd, S. Williams, Bonner, and others. Each fable opens with one plate and many close with a vignette, the in-text vignettes offering more updated, contemporary representations of the classical morals — such as the well-dressed => "arrogant Pharisee" assaulting a beggar directly underneath a sign reading "Next Sunday a charity sermon."
        The fables are followed by a newly revised translation of Plutarch's "Banquet of the Seven Sages."
        Binding: 19th-century calf framed in triple gilt fillets with gilt-tooled corner fleurons, spine with gilt-stamped leather title-label and gilt-stamped compartment decorations, board edges with gilt dot roll, turn-ins with gilt floral and foliate roll. All edges gilt. => Signed by S. Kaufmann.
        Provenance: Front pastedown with the charming "Ex libris fabulae" bookplate of Gordon Thaxter Banks, an eminent book dealer, appraiser, and member of the Massachusetts Historical Society.

Rebacked preserving original spine; joints rubbed and both covers scratched (notably at tops); volume solid. Frontispiece and title-page each with small edge chip; pages gently age-toned, with occasional small spots of mild foxing. => A book worth having, with that note and sketch and interesting provenance to boot.  (40841)   Please RESHELVE This.

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