4 p.l., xviii, 452 pp. 8vo, cont. half-sheep & speckled boards, spine gilt, red morocco lettering piece on spine. Brussels: J. Ermens, 1781.
The extremely rare auction catalogue of the books, prints, and drawings in the collection of Charles Alexandre, Duke of Lorraine (1712-80), and governor of The Netherlands. This was one of the three greatest libraries and art collections sold in Belgium during the late 18th century. The sale contains the largest surviving group of copper plates of Rubens’ works.
Charles Alexandre married the sister of Maria Theresa in 1744 and, following a very successful military career, retired in 1757 to devote himself to the governorship of Holland. In this position he also enjoyed great success, encouraging the commerce and agriculture of the country as well its cultural activities. A man of considerable education, he established an academy and a public library at Brussels as well as a free school to teach painting and sculpture.
Charles Alexandre was an ardent book and art collector; he also formed a notable natural history cabinet. This catalogue lists 3354 lots of books, 232 lots of prints and drawings, 171 lots of “planches gravées,” and 23 lots of “paquets d’hazard.”
A fine copy.
❧ Blogie col. 27. N.B.G., Vol. 31, cols. 686-87. Peignot, p. 89.
Item ID: 1261