Very Good. Item #6142
Amsterdam: Chez Changuion, 1765. Octavo; viii + 268pp. Marbled calf with matching grisaille marbled textblock edges. Double-ruled gilt panel borders with ornaments at panel corners; gilt-embossed spine and title-lettering—though spine title now largely chafed away. Gilt inner dentelles, vestiges of gilt edge tooling. Both panels stamped with gilt crest. Striking endpapers of purple and teal floral design manually printed on off-white laid paper.
Signs of liquid discoloration to edges of panels and paste-downs, perhaps related to the binding process, since it has not touched the textblock. Front joint starting to show cracks at crown and foot but remains solid, as do rear joint and hinges. Neat blue ink underscoring present solely on Table des Chapitres header.
This is the original stand-alone essay that Voltaire published under a pseudonym, and would later incorporate into his Essaie sur les moeurs. It contains the full dedication page to Catherine the Great: 'À Très Haute et Très Auguste Princesse Catherine II. Impératrice de Toutes les Russies, Protectrice des Arts et des Sciences; Digne par Son Esprit de Juger des Anciennes Nations, Comme Elle est Digne de Gouverner la Sienne. Offert très-humblement par le neveu de l’Auteur.'.