Champfleury's wonderful book on cats (1869, third ed)
Third edition, half-leather with marbled paper covered boards, contrasting title label to spine. 17.5 × 11.5cm, xvi +287pp. French text.
Full title: Les Chats; Histoire, Moeurs, Observations, Anecdotes. Illustre de 52 dessins par Eugene Delacroix, Viollet-Le-Duc, Merimee, Manet, Prisse D'Avennes, Ribot, Kreutzberger, Mind, Ok'Sai, etc
Champfleury's most popular book which went through several editions almost immediately on publication. In 23 chapters and 13 appendices, the book describes the cat in ancient civilizations, popular traditions, heraldry, art and literature. There are also chapters on friends, enemies and painters of cats. The book is illustrated throughout with several full page drawings, including one by Manet of a black and a white cat on the Parisian rooftops engaged in a mating game. The frontispiece is by Gottfried Mind (the Raphael of Cats, according to Champfleury), and the closing sketch is a portrait of Champfleury in his study, with cat ears, by Edmond Morin.
A good copy. The leather is rubbed as are the boards edges, with a few patches of loss to the marbled paper. The endpapers foxed and a bookplate (Edgar Mac Culloch) to the front pastedown as well as library stamp from Elizabeth College, Guernsey (this is the only suggestion of the book being ex-library). The main body of text is in very good order with secure binding and clean pages though the book must have belonged to a smoker and there is a whiff of tobacco which will dissipate in time. Overall, a sound copy.