Bombay: Ganpat Krishna Ji, 1849. Full calf. Octavo size, 298 pp., with 189 illustrations, in Marathi. Very good +. Item #19121601
"Aesop's Fables" have been with us for centuries; they are credited to Aesop, a storyteller (who was also a slave) believed to have lived in ancient Greece somewhere around 600 BCE. However, since the fables were originally told and retold orally and are of different origins, it's fairly certain they originated from many different sources.
In their manner of teaching morals and wisdom with pithy sayings, many of them attributed to wise and witty (or otherwise) animal characters, they have become a part of many societies and today have been reprinted countless times. They were originally set down in written form in Greek and Latin manuscripts; once printing arrived in the western world, the Fables were amongst the earliest works chosen for the new manner of sharing information.
This an 1849 publication of Aesop in Marathi, printed in Bombay. Marathi today is one of the twenty-two recognized languages spoken in India, and contains some of the oldest literature in modern Indian languages. Marathi translations of Aesop can be found as early as 1809, but are scarce. As of this writing, there is one copy available in the marketplace (with an 1837 date) and OCLC locates between two and seven copies (depending on how one searches). With 189 woodcut illustrations, many of which can easily be related to a specific fable (e.g., the fox and the grapes), but many more carry a distinctly Indian flavour in the characters and buildings.
___DESCRIPTION: Bound in full leather over somewhat flexible boards, five double narrowed-ruled gilt rules on the spine, the entire book, including pagination, in Marathi except for the first three lines on the title page giving the title in English, with 189 illustrations after woodcuts throughout; octavo size (8 1/8" by 6"), pagination (all written in Marathi): title page with blank verso, index (6 pp.), text (290 pp).
___CONDITION: A bit better than very good, complete and most of the interior clean and bright; the volume was sent to a professional (name available upon request) for restoration to the binding, to reinsert several loose pages, and repair tattered page edges (approximately the first dozen or so leaves) with tissue. There remains one closed tear to the bottom third of a single leaf, toning around the edges of the first and final few leaves, on the title page are a prior owner initials in a vintage hand in sepia ink, and a few small, neatly hand-written notes in pencil found on a few pages (apparently attempts at translation).
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