Woodcut arms on title. 7 p.l. (the first a blank), 620,  pp. 8vo, cont. polished marbled calf (expertly rebacked with the orig. spine laid-down), spine gilt, red morocco lettering pieces on spine. Paris: G. Martin, 1726.
The second of the two rare privately printed catalogues of the library of the Comte de Toulouse, (1678-1737), the natural, legitimized, son of Louis XIV and Madame de Montespan. Following his marriage in 1723 to Marie-Sophie-Victoire de Noailles, he retired to his Château de Rambouillet, southwest of Paris, where he sought to avoid the intrigues of the court. He lived in great splendor, rivalling the court at Versailles. The 1708 catalogue (with a 1716 Supplement) is first catalogue of a private library to be issued in France.
The Comte de Toulouse formed an important library of about 5000 titles. “Ce catalogue, il n’était destiné qu’au service de la bibliothèque, et il n’a pas été vendu. If fut rédigé avec soin et avec beaucoup de détail par Gabriel Martin, le libraire le plus instruit de l’époque.”–Gustave Dictionnaire de Bibliologie Catholique, col. 611.
As he explains in his preface, Martin wanted to make the library at Rambouillet, “that redoubt of the muses,” as accessible as possible to the Prince and the Princess and their guests. He grouped the books together by subject and printed in the margins the shelf mark and exact position of each volume (e.g. “190 F”).
Fine copy. A supplement was issued in 1734; it rarely appears.
❧ Grolier Club, Printed Catalogues of French Books Auctions…1643-1830, 26. Peignot, p. 127. Pollard & Ehrman, “Corrigenda et Addenda” slip–(recognizing our edition as preceding the Hallée catalogue of 1730; Ehrman’s copy also without the supplement of 1734).
Item ID: 4949