Catalogue Général des Livres composant les Bibliothèques du Département de la Marine et des Colonies. FRANCE DÉPARTEMENT DE LA MARINE.

Catalogue Général des Livres composant les Bibliothèques du Département de la Marine et des Colonies.

Five thick vols, each printed on heavy laid paper. 8vo (230 by 150 mm), uniformly bound ca. 1847 by the atelier of the Imprimerie Royale for the Prince Royal, Louis-Charles-Philippe-Raphaël d’Orléans, Duc de Nemours (1814-1896) in crimson straight-grained morocco (minor & skillful repairs to several joints), sides and smooth spines richly gilt in the style of the “Rocaille Louis-Philippe,” the solid tools on covers connected with curved triple fillets, in centers the initials “LO” surrounded by a laurel wreath and surmounted by the royal crown (OHDR fer 2), inside gilt roll borders, light-blue watered-silk liners and endleaves, a.e.g. Paris: Imprimerie Royale, 1838-39-40-42-43.

This magnificently bound five volume catalogue is to a large extent tantamount to a bibliography of French naval and colonial history, describing 17,108 works printed up to 1842, plus approximately 3000 later acquisitions, short-title listed in the index only. It was compiled under the supervision of Louis Marie Bajot (1775-d. “after 1854“), Inspector General of the library of the ministry of the French navy, in collaboration with Angliviel, in charge of the ministry’s library of maps and charts.

The compilation of the catalogue required remarkable cooperation of numerous librarians in Paris, the ports, and far-flung places such as Pondicherry and Guadeloupe. The catalogue, in fact, lists the contents of no less than eleven libraries belonging to the Ministère de la Marine: its main library and the Dépot général des Cartes et Plans in Paris; the libraries of the naval bases at Cherbourg, Brest, Lorient, Rochefort and Toulon; and the naval hospitals of these ports (except for Lorient). It also gives a list of six colonial naval libraries.

In all cases, the names of the librarians in charge and their salaries are given (interestingly, Bajot’s was 7,000 frs, while Angliviel’s was more than double at 18,000 frs per year). This information is repeated in the preliminary matters of each volume. The catalogue itself preferably describes the copies of the two Paris libraries, otherwise those in one of the other nine libraries; three columns indicate the symbols and shelf numbers of the eleven libraries in three columns headed “Ports,” “Hôspitaux,” and “Paris.”

During the Restoration, and especially under Louis-Philippe, the binding atelier of the Imprimerie Royale, under the direction of a certain Courtois, bound the official publications of the Imprimerie in good calf bindings for the ministries, and in richly gilt deluxe morocco for the King and the Crown Prince (the Duc de Nemours, second son of Louis-Philippe, had succeeded his elder brother on his death in 1842 as Prince Royal). These binding for the Duc de Nemours are particularly successful for the handsome treatment to the wide spines.

The Duc de Nemours, who was himself an important book collector, was greatly interested in the Navy and especially the colonies, having participated in the conquest of Algeria. His library was dispersed many years after his death, in 1931-32.

Preserved in five lined red cloth boxes, morocco labels on backs.

❧ Gustave Brunet, Dictionnaire de Bibliologie Catholique, cols. 643-44–“Le ministère de la Marine a fait en bibliographie un fort bon travail, très-digne de servir de modèle…Le catalogue de la marine se recommande par les notes qui accompagnent les titres d’un grand nombre d’ouvrages, indiquant exactement le contenu des livres enregistrés…Ces renseignements sont d’une grande utilité pour les travailleurs. Le catalogue contient en tout 17,108 articles.”.

Price: $35,000.00

Item ID: 2078