Woodcut illus. of artists’ marks on many leaves. 72 pp. 12mo, early 18th-cent. morocco (about 1740), triple gilt fillet round sides, flat spine gilt, contrasting morocco lettering piece on spine, a.e.g. Paris: J. Langlois, 1672.
The catalogue of the second print collection formed by Marolles (1600-81), abbot of Villeloin and man of letters. His first collection amounted to 123,400 separate prints by more than 6000 print makers, mounted in 400 large volumes and 141 smaller ones. It was acquired in the name of the King by Colbert in 1667. This was the largest and finest collection ever formed up to that time and is now the foundation of the Bibliothèque Nationale’s Department of Prints.
In 1626 Marolles began to assemble “the first print collection on the grand scale...[and he]...was among the first of the private collectors in history to sacrifice his life and fortune to his passion. He may truly be called the ‘Father of Print Collecting’…by the very scope of his activity, and his interest in separating his many thousands of pieces of paper into artist schools, Marolles lifted the printed picture from a by-path of typography to being one of the major prizes of the born collector.”–Taylor, The Taste of Angels: A History of Art Collecting.
The second collection includes illustrated books and is as important as the first. It describes the 100,848 prints and 10,576 drawings Marolles purchased and organized in the six years following the sale of his first collection. The contents of this second collection were dispersed. The catalogue contains a series of 163 reproductions of marks of artists on pages 29-43. This book is very probably the first printed work in which the monograms of artists are systematically reproduced.
Fine and large copy. The second catalogue is rather scarcer than the first. Armorial bookplate of Louis de la Forets, Comte d’Armaillé and another. Signature of L. Potier. This is surely Antoine-Laurent Potier (1806-81), one of the greatest Parisian booksellers of the 19th century. He started his career in 1831 and retired in 1872. He formed a large and important private collection, sold 1870-82, which was rich in bibliography.
❧ Besterman, Old Art Books, p. 72. Brunet, III, 1443–“Ce deux petits catalogues ne sont communs ni l’un ni l’autre; mais le second est le plus difficile à trouver; on y voit les figures de 163 monogrammes de vieux maîtres.” Lugt, Marques, pp. 339-40–“L’abbé Michel de Marolles est un des plus remarquables amateurs d’estampes de l’histoire. La richesses de son cabinet était fabuleuse.”.
Item ID: 5841