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SAILLET, Alexandre de.
Les Enfans peints par eux-mêmes, sujets de composition donnés à ses élèves
Paris: Desesserts, 1841.
[2] ff., xv, 248 pp., [1] f. (with a duplicate copy of quire 31/4, pp. 241-8). Each of the 21 chapters prefaced by two unpaginated half-titles of which the second bears a pertinent quotation, totalling 41 ff. (chapter [3] without the second half-title). Lithographed frontispiece, additional lithographed title and 31 lithographed plates by Charles de Saillet, all hand-coloured and heightened with gum Arabic; wood-engraved title vignette, ornamental and figurative headpieces, tailpieces and initials, by Eulalie B., Charles de Saillet and others, several small wood-engraved illustrations in text. 8vo., 233 x 145 mm, bound in publisher's dark blue blind-stamped boards, title and "Garçons" gilt stamped on smooth spine, all edges gilt, white moiré endpapers. FIRST EDITION of this charming and unusual "book of trades" for young boys, edited by Alexandre de Saillet (ca. 1805-1866), a Paris schoolmaster and writer of edifying but fun works for older children. Ostensibly written by his pupils, each chapter is devoted to a different boy's occupation (boarding school student, cabin boy, shepherd, chorister, groom, apprentice, pastry boy, actor, art student, "printer devil" [sic], etc.), with an entertaining and anecdotal description of the world of each, illustrated with one or two lithographic portraits. Several chapters take a different perspective on the theme, providing chilling descriptions of social injustice in the lives of foundlings (enfants trouvés), beggar-boys, blind and deaf children, and other children living in extreme misery; all contain a wealth of information (not always pleasant) on 19th-century French society. In the preface Saillet demonstrates his sympathetic understanding of children and imaginative pedagogy, recounting a surprise magic lantern session with his pupils in which their assigned essays come to life. The essays are signed by different boys, who are also named in the preface. A companion volume for girls was published the following year. Occasional light foxing or spotting, slight discolouration or text offset to a few plates, binding extremities rubbed, but a very good copy of a rare juvenile edition, particularly scarce with the lithographs coloured.

Coloured plates in order:

1. Frontispiece. Le Petite Filateur.
2. Title page.
3. Le Collegien.
4. Le Mousse.
5. L'Enfant de Troupe.
6. L'Enfant de Choeur.
7. Le Patre.
8. Manoel et Andres.
9. Le Groom.
10. L'Apprenti.
11. L'Apprenti Tailleur.
12. Le Petit Bucheron.
13. L'Enfant Trouve.
14. L'Enfant Trouve.
15. L'Eleve Patissier.
16. Le Mendiant.
17. Le Mendiant.
18. Le Petit Saltimbanque.
19. Saltimbanque.
20. L'Eleve en Peinture.
21. L'Eleve en Peinture.
22. The Printer-Devil (Le Diable de L'Imprimerie.)
23. The Printer-Devil (Le Diable de L'Imprimerie.)
24. Le Jeune Raccomodeur de Faience.
25. Le Petit Acteur.
26. Le Petit Acteur.
27. Le Fils du Cultivateur.
28. Le Fils du Cultivateur.
29. Le Jeune Aveugle.
30. Le Moniteur.
31. Le Petit Clerc.
32. Le Petit Savoyard.
33. Le Petit Marchand des Rues.
Gumuchian 5020 "rare avec les figures coloriées"
Hand coloured plates
Children, France
Stock ID