A Notable Auction Catalogue,
Compiled by Gabriel Martin
Catalogue des Livres de la Bibliotheque de feu M. Le Blanc, Secretaire d’Etat. Dont la Vente se fera à l’amiable le Lundy 7. March 1729. & jours suivans…
Woodcut arms of Le Blanc on title. xvi, 310 pp. (lacking the 19-leaf index). 8vo, cont. calf (headcap a bit defective), spine richly gilt, red morocco lettering piece on spine. Paris: G. Martin, 1729.
The very rare sale catalogue of the library of Le Blanc (1669-1728), who held many positions in the defense ministry of France, finally serving from 1726 until his death as chief defense minister. As befitting an “homme d’état, ” this was a library rich in French history, histories of other countries, and biographies. 3328 lots; the final 130 lots are MSS., mostly historical and legal. As is often the case, without the 19-leaf index at end.
This catalogue was published by Martin while the sale of the vast Colbertina was in progress. The disposal of the books singly at marked prices — à l’amiable et en detail as stated on the title — was no doubt so slow that Martin decided to sell them by auction — à l’encan — the dates of which were announced by handbills (one of these has survived).
Fine copy. Ownership inscription on title: “Ex Musaeo du Tilliot Anno 1729.“ On the free front endpaper, Du Tilliot has provided a brief biographical sketch of Le Blanc and an account of the library.
❧ Bléchet, pp. 80-81. Grolier Club, Printed Catalogues of French Books Auctions…1643-1830, 29. Peignot, p. 81. It is interesting to note that Ehrman, who made a considerable effort in acquiring Gabriel Martin’s catalogues, did not own this one.
Item ID: 5864