xii, , 83 pp. 8vo, Middle Hill boards (spine defective & shaky), uncut. Paris: Tilliard Frères, 1808.
The rare sale catalogue of the great botanical library of Étienne Pierre Ventenat (1757-1808), librarian of the Panthéon and one of the leading French botanists of the period. While not a large library (612 lots), this was one of the finest botanical libraries formed during the end of the 18th century and was nearly complete in the more modern works. Ventenat used his relationships and skills as a librarian to buy the best copies possible. Many of the books were annotated by him.
Lots 603-11 consisted of Ventenat’s collections of botanical specimens (lot 603 contained 14-15,000 specimens from all over the world!). The preliminary leaves contain a life of Ventenat. The auctioneer has supplied two very useful indexes, one of authors and another of anonymous works. This copy has the two-page schedule of the sale.
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xii, , 83 pp. 8vo, Middle Hill boards (spine defective & shaky), uncut. Paris: Tilliard Frères, 1808.
20 pp. 8vo, 19th-century brown half-cloth & marbled boards (spine a trifle rubbed), title on spine, spine gilt. [S.l.: 1737].
One of the very rare contemporary manuscript sale catalogues of the painting collection of the comtesse de Verrue (1670-1736), one of history’s greatest collectors of art as well as books. It is annotated with nearly all prices and a few buyers’ names. According to Lugt, there are no known printed catalogues of this sale of paintings — most likely never printed — and the Getty Provenance Index records 14 extant manuscript copies, all in institutional libraries, except this example.
“Verrue, may be best known today as Alexandre Dumas’s fictive dame volupté, a sobriquet she reputedly created and one that has too easily obscured her crucial role in the art world of early eighteenth-century Paris. She had the social confidence to renounce the traditional pattern of collecting that Crozat had eagerly embraced and turned from ‘serious’ Italian paintings to ‘petits sujets,’ bucolic landscapes, and amorous mythologies, primarily by painters of the Northern and French schools. Like Crozat, she shaped a remarkable and widely admired dwelling that was central to her identity and famous during her lifetime. The importance of each house was enhanced by the way it functioned. Each became a key site of artistic discourse, a place where art lovers and artists assembled, and a locus for assessing competing systems of value, where distinctive outlooks were forged, defined, and absorbed.”–Rochelle Ziskin, Sheltering Art (2012), p. 2.
2 p.l., 119 pp. 8vo, cont. marbled boards, finely rebacked & recornered in calf, spine gilt, red morocco lettering piece on spine. London: 1813.
A fine copy of this uncommon catalogue, here printed on fine and thick paper with many outer and lower edges uncut. Willett (1719-95), after inheriting the family’s West Indian estates, devoted his life to scholarship, botany, and the collecting of books and pictures. He formed a very rich library, strong in incunabula, travel, botany, topography, and architecture. His collections of incunabula and Caxtons, as well as four block books, were amongst the finest of the time. Willett published a....
2 p.l., 119 pp. 8vo, cont. half-calf & marbled boards (upper joint partly cracked but strong), spine gilt, uncut. London: 1813.
A fine copy of this uncommon catalogue, ruled in red with prices and buyers’ names in a contemporary hand. Willett (1719-95), after inheriting the family’s West Indian estates, devoted his life to scholarship, botany, and the collecting of books and pictures. He formed a very rich library, strong in incunabula, travel, botany, topography, and architecture. His collections of incunabula and Caxtons, as well as four block books, were amongst the finest of the time. Willett published a splendid folio catalogue of his...
Par Michel Huber [& continued by Jean Gottlob Stimmel from the 4th vol.]. Five vols. bound in seven. 8vo, not quite uniform cont. marbled boards (a little worn & rubbed, occasional foxing), pale blue lettering pieces on spines. Leipzig: Breitkopf & Hartel, -03-05-10-10.
The main series of auction catalogues of the most important collection of art formed in Leipzig in the 18th century. Winckler (1731-95), was a wealthy merchant and banker. Following his formal education, he made a European tour in Britain, Holland, and Switzerland and became intensely interested in art. Winckler started collecting prints and soon began buying paintings...
xii, 483 pp. 8vo, cont. blue pebbled cloth (minor foxing), red & green lettering pieces on spine. Paris: J. Techener, 1854.
—. Catalogue de la Riche Collection d’Estampes et de Dessins composant le Cabinet de feu M. F. van den Zande…rédigé par F. Guichardot. xii, 355 pp. 8vo. Paris: F. Guichardot, 1855.
4, 99 pp. 8vo, cont. red morocco-backed blue paste-paper boards, flat spine gilt. Paris: Gogué & Née de la Rochelle, 1781.
A rare and noteworthy catalogue, containing many book s from the celebrated library of Claude Gabriel de Boze (1680-1753). While de Boze’s library was being prepared for sale after his death in 1753, two distinguished bibliophiles — Jules François Cotte, Président au Parlement de Paris, and Charles Robert Boutin, Maître des Requêtes, purchased the entire library for the sum of 83,000 livres. They, in turn, sold most of the 15th-century books, except for the Gutenberg Bible, to Gaignat. Cotte and Boutin then...
2 p.l., lvi, 502 pp. 8vo, 19th-cent. sheep-backed marbled boards, flat spine gilt, red morocco lettering piece on spine. Paris: Dessain, 1779.
A most unusual copy, very probably Chardin’s own copy, of this sale catalogue; it is the first of several sales, here held under the maiden name of his wife “Filheul,” by which Chardin, one of the most important Parisian booksellers of his time, periodically disposed of a portion of his vast stock. We know of later sales in 1806, 1819 (in London), and 1824.
This did not prevent Chardin from selling many rare books and MSS. directly to collectors throughout his career...
2 p.l., iv, 360 pp. 8vo, orig. blue wrappers (upper wrapper detached), uncut. Paris: J.S. Merlin, 1827.
A fine thick paper copy of the very rare sale catalogue of the library of Châteaugiron (1774-1848), a founder-member of the Société des Bibliophiles françois. After a short military career he entered the French diplomatic service. His library was considered to be one of the most beautiful in Paris on account of the choice of copies and the elegance and richness of the bindings. According to the Preface many were bound by the two Bozérians, Simier, and the two Thouvenins. Châteaugiron owned some fine...
2 p.l., iii, 48 pp. 8vo, orig. upper printed wrapper (lacking the lower wrapper). Paris: J. Techener, 1853.
“Bibliothèque peu nombreuse, 302 numéros seulement, mais fort beaux ouvrages qui se sont payés des prix élevés. Le produit de la vente a été de 50,000 fr. environ…Il y avait aussi à cette vente de beaux manuscrits qui se sont payés fort cher.”–Gustave Brunet, Dictionnaire de Bibliologie Catholique, cols. 431-32.
Fine copy. Inscribed by Techener on the upper wrapper and printed on superior paper.
2 p.l., iv, 371 pp. 8vo, cont. red sheep-backed red boards, both “maroquiné” (head of spine a little worn), flat spine gilt, uncut. Paris: De Bure, 1829.
A major sale of 3821 lots. Coulon was a member of the Société des Bibliophiles and a collector for a considerable period of time. We learn from the Preface that all his new books were bound in the best style by Bozerian, Thouvenin, and Simier. He had a very considerable collection of incunabula and Aldines, books printed on vellum or large paper, and many rarities of French literature.
Very good copy. Priced throughout in a contemporary hand.
xvi, 189 pp. 8vo, cont. green cloth, spine lettered in gilt. Paris: Bachelin-Deflorenne, 1868.
Very little is known about G. Gancia, described by Breslauer as a “somewhat shadowy, obviously Italian, dealer operating in Brighton, England.” Nevertheless, he was the greatest dealer in England of the period for French books. He issued a series of catalogues between 1848 and 1858 from 73 King’s Road, Brighton and was, along with Tross, the chief supplier of French books to Huth. He was also active as a publisher. Arriving at retirement age, Gancia began to consign his enormous inventory to the leading auction houses of London...
Par Guillaume-Franç. De Bure, le jeune. 3 p.l., lv, , 241 pp. 8vo, cont. mottled calf (head of spine a little worn), triple gilt fillet round sides, spine gilt, red morocco lettering piece on spine. Paris: G.F. De Bure, 1757.
One of the choicest and most celebrated collections formed in France during the 18th century, this copy has been priced throughout in a contemporary hand. Girardot, a timber merchant, on his retirement from business, became depressed. As Bogeng relates, his doctor, Hyacinthe Baron, himself an important collector, advised him to cure his melancholia by forming a library. The result is recorded in...
xix, 464 pp. 8vo, cont. green cloth-backed marbled boards, spine gilt. Paris: L. Potier, 1855.
A major sale of 3304 lots; among the more notable incunabula was the Mainz Catholicon, the 1465 Mainz Cicero on vellum, and a number of rare editiones princepes. Giraud, a lawyer, also formed a splendid collection of 17th-century French literature and many of his books had important royal or noble provenances.
Fine copy. Stamp of the “Bibliotheque Royale” on title. Bookplate of Eric Speeckaert.
36 pp. Small 8vo, attractive antique calf-backed paste paper boards, spine gilt, red morocco lettering piece on spine. Paris: Musier, 1774.
The uncommon sale catalogue of a distinguished collection belonging to Antoine Antonin, duc de Gramont (1722-1801), who inherited the title in 1745. 106 lots thoroughly described, including works by Albani, Guerchin, Wouwermans, Jordaens, Watteau, etc.
Nice copy, despite inoffensive marginal worming to first five leaves.
iv, 159 pp. 8vo (200 x 135 mm.), antique calf-backed paste-paper boards, red morocco lettering-piece on spine, spine gilt. Paris: Chariot, Boileau & Joullain, 1773.
A scarce sale catalogue, priced throughout in a contemporary hand and with running totals, featuring a large number of drawings formerly in the Crozat collection. Lempereur (1701-79), a well-known jeweler and local politician, cultivated a close relationship with Mariette, and at Mariette’s sale, Lempereur advised the king on drawings worthy of the royal collection. Gersaint counted Lempereur among his most important clients. Lempereur’s son, Jean Baptiste Denis (1726-96), continued in his footsteps as a passionate collector and patron of the...
36 pp. Small 8vo (170 x 105 mm.), late 19th-century brown morocco-backed marbled boards, spine gilt. Paris: Chariot & Joullain, 1775.
A scarce priced auction catalogue, which is, according to the Getty Provenance database, incorrectly attributed by Lugt (and the inscription on the present book’s title-page) to Lempereur (1701-79), a Parisian jeweler — not to be confused with his son, the collector Jean Baptiste Denis (1726-96). This anonymous sale very probably consisted of the estate of a man with a similar surname (see Lugt Marques, 1740). A contemporary annotator has added all prices.
The catalogue describes 252 lots, including 18 paintings (by Lemoyne, H. Robert, Largillière, etc.), 169 drawings (by Maratti, Rubens, Jordaens, C. Vanloo, Greuze, Fragonard, Callot, Watteau, etc.), 56 lots of prints and books of prints, and nine sculptures.
32 pp. 8vo (195 x 129 mm.), late 19th-century marbled boards (spine a bit rubbed), red morocco lettering-piece on spine. Paris: Bonnefons & Henry, 1818.
A very scarce sale catalogue, mostly priced; we locate no copy in North America. A later 19th-century pencil inscription in the present copy, as well as in two other inscribed catalogues, suggests that the contents of this auction belonged to the art collector Hippolyte de Livry (1765-1834) — not to be confused with the author of the same name. Our Hippolyte had previously dispersed a portion of his collection through the expert and art critic Charles Landon in 1814 (one...
xvi, 312 pp. 8vo, attractive antique calf, sides decorated in gilt, spine gilt, red morocco lettering piece on spine. Paris: De Bure, 1780.
A rare catalogue, priced throughout in a contemporary hand, of the library of Mel de Saint Ceran, receiver general of finances. “Catalogue curieux et qui peut trouver place à côté de celui de Gaignat. Il est fort bien raisonné; et plusieurs notes de l’éditeur corrigent très à propos quelques articles de la Bibliographie instructive.”–Peignot, p. 112.
Nice copy from the library of Jean Viardot. 2295 lots with an author index at end. There are some fine early MSS...
1 p.l., 140 pp. 8vo, attractive antique half-calf & boards. [Paris]: Mauger & Hubert, An VII .
The very rare sale catalogue of duplicates from the library of Mérard (1749-1812), man of letters. He was born into a very rich family and, for a number of years, was in charge of the residence of the future Louis XIII. After retiring from his public duties in 1782, he concentrated on his growing collection of books and commissioned editions printed in severely limited numbers.
Guigard wrote (Vol. II, p. 351): “San l’amour des livres, Mérard de Saint-Just serait complètement oublié.” In 1783 he issued a famous...
126 pp. 8vo (195 x 130 mm.), late 19th-cent. blue sheep-backed marbled boards, spine gilt. Paris: Lebrun, 1788.
A rare auction catalogue, priced throughout in a contemporary hand, of a formidable collection of paintings. Although Lugt attributes this to Montesquiou (1739-98), it seems that most of the lots did not belong to him. Jean Baptiste Pierre Lebrun (1748-1813), this sale’s expert, was known to add his inventory and lesser consignments to prestigious sales for which he was responsible. Montesquiou, member of the Académie Française and a general, was close to many of the physiocrats.
The present catalogue describes 276 lots of paintings by artists such as Giulio Romano, Guercino, Tintoretto, Veronese, Albani, Velazquez, Panini, J. Brueghel the Elder, Bril, Rembrandt, Brauwer, Hals, Teniers, Rubens, A. van Dyck, J. Ruysdael, Potter, Jordaens, A. & I. van Ostade, Metsu, Wynants, Wouwerman, C. Netscher, Miel, N. Berghem, Lairesse, Maes, J. Steen, Lancret, Weenix, Bega, Le Nain, Vouet, G. Poussin, S. Bourdon, Watteau, Coypel, C. Vanloo, F. Boucher, Natoire, Lagrenée aîné & jeune, H. Robert, Greuze, Fragonard, Norblin, etc., etc. The remaining lots consist of ceramics, sculpture, Japanese lacquer and porcelain, ornate pieces of furniture, chandeliers, clocks, and girandoles (for a grand total of 417 lots). The Dutch and Flemish paintings sold for extremely high prices. The annotations also show which lots were bought-in.
vii, , 335,  pp. 8vo, orig. blue wrappers, uncut. Paris: Silvestre, 1841.
An important sale, the second of two of Motteley’s books. “Cette collection nombreuse contient des manuscrits, des livres imprimés sur vélin, des ouvrages curieux en tout genre, sans offrir cependant de véritables trésors bibliographiques. On remarque quelques volumes aux armes d’Henri II, d’Anne d’Autriche, de Richelieu, de Mazarin.”–Brunet, Dictionnaire de Bibliologie Catholique, col. 499.
Motteley was one of the great eccentrics in the annals of book collectors; Pichon described him as “peut-être le plus bizarre de nos bibliophiles.” We learn from Brunet that...
2 p.l., 192 pp., one leaf of errata. 8vo, cont. calf (joints nicely repaired), flat spine gilt, contrasting leather lettering piece on spine. London: Edwards; Paris: Laurent, 1790.
A priced copy of the Paris edition of this famous sale; an English edition appeared the next year. For a fascinating account of this catalogue and sale (which caused traffic jams along Pall Mall), see Arthur Rau’s “Bibliotheca Parisina” in The Book Collector (Autumn 1969), pp. 307-17. Amongst the buyers at this sale were Lord Spencer, Douce, Woodhull, Cracherode, and the Duke of Newcastle.
Thanks to the recent researches of Milton McC. Gatch (“The Bibliotheca Parisina” in The Library, Seventh Series, Vol. 12, Number 2 (June 2011), pp. 90-118), we finally know the identity of the consignor: Antoine Marie Pâris d’Illins (1746-1809), a military man who was forced to emigrate in 1792 because of conflicts with the Revolution. Rehabilitated by Napoleon, Pâris d’Illins died as a general of the infantry during the Spanish campaigns at Cocana in 1809. See the entire article to learn more about the collector, his library, Edwards’s additions, etc.
viii, 164 pp. 8vo, cont. paper-backed pink boards (rather rubbed & a little discolored), uncut. [London: for J. Edwards, 1791].
The English edition, first issue, of the catalogue of this famous sale. For a fascinating account of this catalogue and sale (which caused traffic jams along Pall Mall), see Arthur Rau’s “Bibliotheca Parisina” in The Book Collector (Autumn 1969), pp. 307-17. Amongst the buyers at this sale were Lord Spencer, Douce, Woodhull, Cracherode, and the Duke of Newcastle.
Thanks to the recent researches of Milton McC. Gatch (“The Bibliotheca Parisina” in The Library, Seventh Series, Vol. 12, Number 2 (June 2011), pp. 90-118)...