The Largest Private Library in France of its Time?
Catalogue des Livres de la Bibliotheque de feu Monseigneur le Marechal Duc d’Estrées.
2 p.l., x, 239 pp.; 279 pp.; 146 pp.; 2 p.l., xii, 252 pp.; 187 pp. Five parts in two vols. 8vo, cont. calf (well-rebacked & recornered with the orig. spines laid-down, some browning), spines gilt, red morocco lettering pieces on spines. Paris: J. Guerin, 1740.
The library of the Duc d’Estrées (1660-1737), was probably the largest private library in France of its time, comprising 52,000 volumes. The prices realized were low, no doubt depressed by the huge quantity of material offered. Although the Duc de Saint-Simon, perhaps somewhat maliciously, stated that his fellow-duke’s vast library had been packed up in bales throughout his life, the library was a serious and scholarly one. Many of the books were purchased by La Vallière. An author index was published twenty years later and is not present for obvious reasons.
Very good set.
❧ Gustave Brunet, Dictionnaire de Bibliologie Catholique, cols. 455-57–“Le catalogue est d’ailleurs très-considerable; il offre près de 20,000 articles…on ne trouve guère dans cette vaste collection que des livres sérieux et de travail”–(& see the rest of his long note). Grolier Club, Printed Catalogues of French Books Auctions…1643-1830, 55. Guigard, II, p. 208. Peignot, p. 94. Taylor, Book Catalogues, p. 240.
Item ID: 5906