LE MONDE EN ESTAMPES OU GÉOGRAPHIE DES CINQ PARTIES DU MONDE, [précédée d’un Précis de Géographie Universelle. Paris, De l’Imprimeie de Moreau, rue Montmatre, n. 39], [preface signed A. Nepveu, 1er Janvier, 1828].
1828. Oblong 8vo, pp. [vi] half-title and plate list, 4 ‘Avertissement’, 390,  blank; without the title-page which has been excised; with hand-coloured engraved title-page, twelve hand-coloured engraved maps (the first ‘Mappe-Monde’ folding and signed ‘Par A.M. Perrot, 1821), one hand-coloured engraved depiction of an armillary sphere, and 76 hand-coloured engraved plates illustrating national costumes, some with additional gilt embellishment; in all 90 plates; text a little foxed and browned, with some marginal soiling, some plates also a little browned due to paper quality; with booksellers label on front free paste down; Seemingly the first edition, though lacking the title-page, of ‘one of the most famous and most beautifully produced French children’s books of costume, rarely found complete ... the book also presents a most erudite geographical text book for children. Prudence Guillaume Baron de Roujoux (1779-1836), was a well-known French politician, journalist and historian. But the main fame of the book lies in its delicately engraved and finely hand-coloured costume plates of all parts of the world, including Australia and New-Zealand, depicting about 150 different costumes’ (Forum, 2856). As such it presents a detailed ethnological study for children, with fine plates of Europeans, Arabs, Native Americans, and indigenous people from New Guinea and Polynesia. One or two, in this copy representing China and Japan, have been embellished with gilt.
The work appears to be somewhat complicated bibliographically, with individual copies varying in the number of plates held, and indeed some containing variant plates. Whilst the plate list calls for 75 plates, the present copy in fact has 76 plates of costumes, that found at p. 215 of the ‘Bazaar d’Antioche’ not called for. The twelve engraved maps, and the appealing depiction of an Armillary sphere are also not cited in the plate list. The double-page ‘World Map’ is dated 1821 and signed ‘A.M. Perrot’. The map of France is dated 1822 and is also by Perrot, with subsequent maps dated variously 1814 and 1818 by Baratte, and others dated 1828. A previous copy held had a number of variant plates, notably some of the maps which were dated and signed differently, and also included a further couple of plates not listed (though also lacked one that was). The plates found at p. 367 and p. 378, though as called for in the plate list, appear to be printed on different paper stock. It may well be that, as was sometimes the case in such illustrative works of compilation at this time, that plates were drawn from other works, an indication that the publisher Nepveu either owned, or had access to, a ready stock of engraved maps and plates at his disposal. The copy at Yale, and the Princeton copy of the 1830 second edition (possibly the Forum copy?), also appear to have variants and extra illustrations, having two or three further additional costume plates. As far as we can tell, no two copies appear to be the same! Gumuchian 4990-4991 (2 copies of the first edition of 1828, one with 12 maps and 70 (of 75) plates, the other with only one map and 10 plates, not coloured); Colas 2584 (13 maps and 75 plates) and Hiler 761 (both 1830 edition); Forum, Catalogue 100, ‘The Children’s World of Learning’, Part VI, item 2856; OCLC locates copies at UC Irvine, Yale, Princeton, Minnesota, Chicago, New York Public Library, Library of Congress, Berlin and the BnF; seemingly no copies at the British Library or Oxford.
Condition: in the original black morocco backed printed boards, spine in compartments with raised bands, tooled and decorated in blind and gilt, covers somewhat darkened and soiled, with some surface scratching, extremities bumped, corners quite worn; despite faults, an appealing copy.