3 p.l., vi, , -766 pp., 2 leaves of errata. Two parts in one vol. Large 4to, cont. mottled calf (two corners a bit worn, outer margin of title a little stained, some spots of dampness & dormant mold towards end), arms in gilt of the Marquis de Tulle de Villefranche (the arms of this important family of the Comtat Venaissin were added in the 19th century) on both covers, spine gilt, red morocco lettering piece on spine. Avignon: L. Chambeau, 1770-71.
The very rare privately printed catalogue — issued in a few copies only — of one of the most important collections of manuscripts formed in 18th-century provincial France. Joseph Louis Dominique Cambis-Velleron (1706-72), was one of the great provincial collectors of the period. A member of a very old and distinguished family from Avignon, Cambis-Velleron served in the army for some years. “Ami des lettres, de Cambis n’avait jamais cessé, dans ses loisirs, de rassembler tous les manuscrits intéressants et les livres rare qu’il avait pu rencontrer; aussi en composa-t-il une bibliothèque fort curieuse.”–N.B.G., Vol. 7, col. 302.
This is the best — and only — record of his magnificent collection of 195 early illuminated and text manuscripts which also included some 17th-century manuscripts regarding Avignon history. Several of the manuscripts are now in Madrid at the Biblioteca National, some entered the Musée Calvet in the 19th century, and others have appeared from time to time in the market.
This catalogue was issued in two parts. The first part (through page 519) was issued in 1770. A second part — with continuous pagination starting with a reprinted page 519 —was printed in 1771 in order to describe Cambis’s most recent acquisitions. Some copies of the first part were distributed alone (see Peignot below). Cambis’s descriptions are long and amazingly exact.
This copy contains a number of contemporary annotations by someone with considerable knowledge and expertise. The annotations are found on pages 33, 49, 58, 62, 63, 68, 91, 96, 140, 196, 209, 216, 243, 291, 341, 342, 453, 467, 496, 503, 555, 621, 665, 668, 673, 674, 714, and 730. Another annotation on pages 131-32 has been cut away from the blank portion of the leaf and repaired at an early date.
A catalogue of part of Cambis’s printed book collection appeared in 1774, issued following his death by two Avignon booksellers. The family’s handsome chateau still stands in Velleron in the Vaucluse.
A very good copy with the engraved armorial bookplate of the Marquis de Tulle de Villefranche. This is the first time I have handled a copy. The autograph manuscript of this catalogue is at the Bibliothèque municipale of Avignon (BM ms. 2016).
❧ Brunet, I, col. 1510–“Catalogue fort rare n’ayant été tiré qu’à très petit nombre.” Peignot, pp. 87-88–“Catalogue tiré à petit nombre et devenu rare. Quelques exemplaires n’ont que 519 pages, et d’autres 766. Cette différence provient de ce que l’auteur, après avoir distribué une partie de l’édition, y ajouta les descriptions de plusieurs manuscrits dont il avoit fait l’acquistion.”.
Item ID: 3355