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Catalogue des Tableaux précieux, des plus grands Maîtres des Ecoles Flamande & Hollandoise; qui composaient le Cabinet de Monsieur le Duc de la Valliere; dont la Vente se fera…le Mercredi 21 Février 1781, & jours suivans…Sous la direction de A. Paillet, Peintre.

48 pp. 8vo (180 x 130 mm.), late 19th-cent. brown morocco-backed marbled boards, spine gilt. Paris: Delaville & Paillet, 1781.

The auction catalogue of 114 paintings belonging to the Duc de la Vallière (1708-80), the greatest bibliophile of the 18th century. This copy is fully priced, with many buyers’ names added in a contemporary hand. In addition to his fervent book collecting, La Vallière amassed an impressive collection of Italian and Northern school paintings, described here.

The present catalogue details 114 lots of paintings and a lot of two porcelain candle-stands. The paintings include the work of Raphael, Veronese, Tintoretto, Jordaens, Teniers, Rembrandt, Dou, Wouwerman, G. & T. Netscher, Metsu, van Ostade, A. and P. van der Werff, Steen, Cornelis Bega, Breenbergh, Poelenburgh, etc. Lot 74, Steen’s The Drawing Lesson, is now at the Getty.

The contemporary annotator records that important dealers (Lebrun le jeune, Lenglier, Basan, Paillet, and Hamon), and collectors (Dubois, abbé Richard, Saint Yves, de Vouge, Bélisard), of the period were present at this sale. The total written at the end, 58,760 – 4 livres, does not agree with the amount noted in the Frick copy.

Alexandre Joseph Paillet (1743-1814), this sale’s expert, was La Vallière’s trusted agent and organized this sale. Paillet also acted as Angiviller’s intermediary to purchase works for the Louvre.

A fine copy, with important provenance information. With the uncommon three leaves of vacations at end. Stamp of the Bibliothèque Heim on verso of title.

❧ Lugt 3221. Blanc, Le Trésor de la Curiosité, Vol. II, pp. 40-44. JoLynn Edwards, Alexandre Joseph Paillet: Expert et marchand de tableaux à la fin du XVIIIe siècle (1996), pp. 239-40.

Price: $7,500.00

Item ID: 6645