LA FONTAINE Jean de (1621-1695) - Fables choisies. Paris: Desaint, Saillant et Durant, 1755-1759. "One of the most ambitious and successful of all illustrated books" (Ray). A fine copy in first state: the first plate of fable CLXXII lacks the words ‘Le Leopard’ on the banner. Jean-Baptiste Oudry (1686-1755) illustrated La Fontaine’s fables between 1729 and 1734 after which Cochin turned the drawings into prints, thus creating the spectacular illustrations seen in the volumes. 4 volumes, folio (430 x 300mm). Half-titles, additional engraved title, engraved portrait and 275 full-page plates (some browning and some occasional stains). Contemporary mottled calf, gilt panels and spine (some scuffing, rubbing, chipping and restorations). (4) The lot is accompanied by a export license.