|On this page we are going to look at high resolution imprints from the Bibliotheque Nationale Gallica site. Gallica provides you with a way to see certain bindings and or documents with high resolution imagery. They allow you to use these images for non commercial purposes providing that you acknowledge the BnF as the source of the images. Within the Gallica system of image manipulation you will find that they offer downloads of the entire image or enlarged selected areas of the image. In this research we need to be able to measure imprints very precisely so that they can be compared with other examples with confidence. So we need to first to check the images downloaded from Gallica and or rescale them to their correct size this can be done relatively simply. First we will download from Gallica their full image of the front board of the binding we were looking at on the previous page namely a binding found in the BnF selection of Padeloup binding examples. This is the last binding in the list, Reliure mosaïquée à décor à la dentelle aux armes de Marie-Antoinette, reine de France. Paris, BnF, RLR, RES-YD-47|
|Click on the binding thumbnail and it will take you to the Gallica page for this binding, click on my images here to see an enlargement of these screenshots.|
|On the gallica page you click on the magnifying icon to bring up the image zoom and then find the selection tools that will allow you to download parts or all of this binding, you can download the entire image. This will be at 72 dpi and not to scale, rescale it to the size given in the binding data, if you want to check the size of your enlarged selections. I have verified this and found that if you select the imprint as shown below and the option I have selected in the sidebar you will receive a 400 dpi image that is at correct scale.|
In Comparative Diagram 1, I have assembled the imprint examples of the Dubuisson imprint pd-12, within these you can observe a small flaw that may serve as an absolute proof when comparing these imprints. I have chosen this particular imprint because from the time of Dubuisson onward for a number of decades, many other binders adopted a tool of this kind and used them in ways identical to the work of Dubuisson. Thus in the huge assortment of very similar bindings by numerous other binders we find this tool. Now if we can identify each one comparatively we can quickly determine which binder we are dealing with. This is very interesting and rewarding work.
I decided to use the Biblioteque Nationale binding examples listed for Derome le jeune, there are six and I was surprised to see that many are from the later part of Derome's career. It is well known that Derome employed other binders to do his work and this I suspect happened near the end of his career. I discovered this some time ago while researching the binder Jean-Pierre Jubert (click here to see this page), and documented the fact that his tools and or tooling is found on a number of famous Derome bindings, that is to say bindings with Derome's ticket inside however the main part of the decoration was done by Jubert who was probably just as good at it as Derome but not nearly as famous, in fact the BnF appears to still be unaware of his importance, Derome occasionally decorated the spine himself with his own tools, and this has I believe confused a lot of "experts" past and present. As soon as I recovered the imprints from Gallica of this tool on the bindings that the Bibliotheque Nationale has proclaimed to be the work of Derome what did I find?
YES here we have the work and tools of Jubert on at least two of the six Derome bindings. What a shocking state of affairs when the Bibliotheque Nationale cannot even correctly identify the work of Derome. Imagine all the poor mislead booksellers who have used the pages of the BN as a reference to identify bindings that they think may or may not be a Derome. Fortunately the British Library has carefuly and correctly identified a number of true Derome bindings where we can find actual Derome examples of this tool. These copy more closely the Dubuisson original.
In Comparative Diagram 3, I show 2 Derome examples from the British Library, these are undisputedly Derome bindings and Derome tools. We can see now the distinct differences in these tools and if you see one on a binding remember that they are a real key to identifying famous French bookbinders of the 18th Centhury.
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|Even experts are sometimes wrong, before you spend thousands on a book, please do your own research! Just because I say a certain binding can be attributed to le Maitre isn't any kind of guarantee, don't take my word for it, go a step further and get your own proof. In these pages I have provided you with a way of doing just that.|
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