Catalogue d’une belle Collection de Tableaux, des trois Ecoles; Bronzes, Marbres, Porcelaines anciennes, beaux Meubles de Boule, Feux & Bras de Bronze doré, & autres Objets de Curiosité; qui composent le Cabinet de M. L’Abbé Le Blanc, Historiographe des Bâtimens du Roi. Dont la Vente se fera le Mercredi 14 Février 1781, & jours suivans…Par J.B.P Le Brun. Jean Bernard AUCTION CATALOGUE: LE BLANC.
Catalogue d’une belle Collection de Tableaux, des trois Ecoles; Bronzes, Marbres, Porcelaines anciennes, beaux Meubles de Boule, Feux & Bras de Bronze doré, & autres Objets de Curiosité; qui composent le Cabinet de M. L’Abbé Le Blanc, Historiographe des Bâtimens du Roi. Dont la Vente se fera le Mercredi 14 Février 1781, & jours suivans…Par J.B.P Le Brun.

With 21 Croquis of the Lots

Catalogue d’une belle Collection de Tableaux, des trois Ecoles; Bronzes, Marbres, Porcelaines anciennes, beaux Meubles de Boule, Feux & Bras de Bronze doré, & autres Objets de Curiosité; qui composent le Cabinet de M. L’Abbé Le Blanc, Historiographe des Bâtimens du Roi. Dont la Vente se fera le Mercredi 14 Février 1781, & jours suivans…Par J.B.P Le Brun.

40 pp. 8vo, attractive antique calf (recased with sympathetic new endpapers), spine nicely gilt. Paris: Lebrun, 1781.

A spectacular “illustrated” copy of this important sale catalogue with 21 detailed contemporary ink sketches in a similar style to Gabriel de Saint Aubin (1724-80), who frequently embellished art auction catalogues with original drawings (croquis).

Le Blanc (1707-81), man of letters, translator of David Hume, and a true taste-making collector, was an early exponent of Chardin’s paintings. In 1749, Madame de Pompadour selected Le Blanc as a guide for the future marquis de Marigny’s tour of Italy, on which they were accompanied by Jacques Germain Soufflot and Charles Nicholas Cochin. Le Blanc thereby secured Pompadour as a patron, and she soon had him named historiographe des Bâtiments de France.

This special copy, with most prices and a number of buyers noted in two contemporary hands, describes 167 lots: 54 lots of paintings (by Murillo, Panini, Carracci, J. Brueghel, Bril, Poelenburg, Teniers, ter Borch, van Ostade, Wouwerman, Miel, Poussin, Claude, S. Bourdon, etc.); eight mounted prints (by Wille, Le Bas, etc.); 28 of bronzes and marble sculptures, 45 of porcelains, 16 of pieces of furniture; and 16 lots of items such as a Chinese pagoda, a lacquer writing case, an ebony tray, tapestry, etc.

The finely rendered marginal ink sketches depict 21 of the objects offered for sale. The annotations, in two distinct hands, name important figures in the art market of the time, such as Lebrun (this sale’s expert), Dubois, Langlier, Paillet, Basan, Dulac, etc. For a majority of the lots, Lebrun has provided measurements, a concise description, and distinguished provenance. Le Blanc was a frequent buyer at the famous auctions of the mid-18th century (de Jullienne, Dézallier d’Argenville, Randon de Boisset, Comte du Barry, etc.).

A fine copy of this catalogue, “extra-illustrated” with 21 delicate sketches. Catalogues with expert drawings such as these are now extremely rare on the market. An informative manuscript biography of Le Blanc faces the title-page, written sometime in the 19th century. Bookplate of Henry Pannier (1853-1935), the Parisian art dealer and book collector. Stamp of the Bibliothèque Heim in the usual location.

❧ Lugt 3216. Blanc, Trésor de la Curiosité, Vol. II, pp. 45-46. Patrick Michel, Le Commerce du Tableau à Paris dans la seconde moitié du XVIIIe siècle, p. 111.

Price: $25,000.00

Item ID: 6448