Folio (55 x 38.5 cm overall, the pages 54.2 x 37.8 cm). Contemporary half-calf over marbled paper boards, top edges marbled, others rough trimmed. Printed incisively in large types on fine wove paper. Collates [2 ll. (binder's blanks)], 1 l. (front wrapper), 1 l. (half-title), 1 l. (title), 1 l. (dedication), pp. i-xvi (Histoire typographique de Benjamin Franklin, extraite de ses Mémoires), pp. 1-16 (La science du bonhomme Richard ou Le chemin de la fortune), 1 l. (rear wrapper), [2 ll. (binder's blanks)]. Spine lightly scuffed and scraped, some edgewear to covers, skinning and wear to corners, rippling of marbled paper on back cover, the original wrappers lightly toned and slightly foxed but strong, unfaded and without any tears, insignificant foxing and paper defects in text block, internally exceptionally bright and overall fine.
Panckoucke's typographical tour-de-force, the tribute of one master printer to another, bears the dedication, "A Benjamin Franklin Imprimeur/ C.L.F. Panckoucke Imprimeur," with "Franklin" printed in enormous type. The first part, the Histoire typographique, translates the section of Franklin's Autobiography relating to his activities as a printer. Like Franklin, Panckoucke was equally celebrated as printer, editor and author. In 1827, the year of this Franklin, he presented at L'exposition des produits de l'industrie his magnificent folio Latin edition of the Oeuvres complètes de Tacite, for which he received the médaille d'or; in the previous year he had been decorated by the Légion d'honneur, of which he would later be an officer. Sabin 25584: "A splendid edition, and but few printed."View more images of this item