A monkey made of Joseph II

[Steinsberg, Carl Franz Guolfinger Ritter von]. Der 42jährige Affe. Ein ganz vermaledeites Mährchen! Aus dem Französischen.

Berlin [i.e., Prague, Schönfeld], 1784.

8vo. 250, (2) pp. Title-page printer in red and black, with engraved vignette. Contemporary half calf with giltstamped label to florally gilt spine. All edges red. Coloured endpapers.


First edition. "Oddly, this stinging and piquant satire has long been described as being levelled against Voltaire, while it is patently clear that its object is Joseph II, then 42 years of age. When it appeared, the book sold out so quickly that soon a copy could not be obtained for less than six or even twelve ducats" (cf. Hayn/Gotendorf). A second part would follow in 1786.


Front pastedown has handwritten ownership label of "Herm. Martens", dated 8 May 1891. From the collection of Prof. Dr. Ferdinand Engel.


Binding rather severely rubbed, edges and corners bumped, spine-ends defective. Browned throughout due to paper stock. Wants the last leaf of the table of contents (supplied by an early hand).


Hayn/Gotendorf I, 31. Goedeke V, 349, 217.