Catalogue de Livres précieux, provenant du Cabinet du Cen M***, dont la Vente se fera…le 15 Ventôse an VII, et jours suivans…. Simon Pierre AUCTION CATALOGUE: [MÉRARD DE SAINT-JUST.

Catalogue de Livres précieux, provenant du Cabinet du Cen M***, dont la Vente se fera…le 15 Ventôse an VII, et jours suivans…

1 p.l., 140 pp. 8vo, attractive antique half-calf & boards. [Paris]: Mauger & Hubert, An VII [1799].

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 catalogue limited to 25 copies. The catalogue is an odd combination of books which were present in his library, books no longer in his library, and books which he desired for his library (including some completely imaginary books).

His collection was not large but fine. Mérard did not have the taste for editio princeps (except for Aldines) but preferred the best editions with careful editing. He bought books from many of the great collections of the 18th century — Pompadour, de Boze, Gaignat, Randon de Boisset, Mac-Carthy Reagh, Gouttard, etc. — and selected choicely bound volumes (including examples by Padeloup, Derôme, Roger Payne, and Baumgarten).

1079 lots and priced throughout in a contemporary hand.

Lacking half-title but a nice copy.

❧ Grolier Club, Printed Catalogues of French Books Auctions...1643-1830, 396. Peignot, p. 113.

Price: $3,750.00

Item ID: 2068