Amsterdam: Etienne Roger, 1717. Twelvemo, measuring 6 x 3.75 inches: , 441, , . Contemporary mottled sheep, raised bands, spine compartments elaborately tooled in gilt, tan calf spine label lettered in gilt, pink paste paper endpapers, all edges stained pink, green silk bookmark. Engraved frontispiece by “Sluirter,” sixty engraved illustrations by Gedeon Quineau throughout text. Bookseller’s catalogue bound before text, title page printed in red and black with woodcut ornament, publisher’s catalogue bound at rear. Binding rubbed, spine label chipped, expert repair to joints.
First and only edition of this scarce French grammar, notable for the wonderfully illustrated fables that serve as the “pratique” of the title. Derbaud divides his course into three parts. The first features an alphabetical checklist of grammatical terms, with examples of French pronunciation, declension, and conjugation. The second provides sixty practice conversations, each demonstrating different aspects of French grammar. The third contains sixty prose fables, adapted from La Fontaine, each illustrated by the Flemish engraver Gedeon Quineau: “Le Rat de Ville et le Rat des Champs,” “La Poule aux Oeufs d’Or,” “Le Renard et les Raisins,” and other classics. Derbaud’s grammar is quite scarce: OCLC locates no holdings in the United States. A near-fine copy in a contemporary binding, with original catalogues from both bookseller and publisher.