Engraved medallion port. of the collector on title. 32,  pp. 8vo, modern half-calf & paste-paper boards, spine gilt, red morocco lettering piece on spine. Paris: J.L. Nyon l’aîné, 1797.
The sale catalogue of the vast library, especially rich in natural history, formed by one of the outstanding figures of 18th-century France. Lamoignon-Malesherbes (1721-94), born into one of the great legal families, was the son of Guillaume de Lamoignon, Chancellor of France, who entrusted his son with the control of the press which he exercised in the most liberal manner: Grimm asserted that without his assistance the Encyclopédie would probably never have been published. Malesherbes was an influential spokesman for freedom of the press, religious toleration, and tax reform. Having been twice minister of the “Maison du Roi,” he retired to his country seat, but in 1792 volunteered to defend Louis XVI before the Convention. Accused of having defended the king and of other “acts of treason,” Malesherbes was guillotined, after being forced to witness the execution of his entire family.
This sale of 7413 lots reflect Malesherbes’s intense interest in agronomy, botany, and natural history in general.
Fine copy. Although the title page and last leaf promise an author’s index, this was never published. From the library of A.R.A. Hobson with bookplate.
❧ D.S.B., IX, pp. 53-55. Grolier Club, Printed Catalogues of French Books Auctions…1643-1830, 369. Guigard, II, pp. 281-82. Peignot, p. 111–“Il présente des collections considérable d’histoire naturelle et de voyages.” Taylor, Book Catalogues, pp. 249-50–“A collection important for natural history.”.
Item ID: 5110