"binding signed plumet. Red morocco, large central floret and wide border with gilded nets, interrupted ten times by a rococo motif pattern containing a floral tool, back with nerves adorned and gilded with signature Plumet C, on the bottom of the spine of the first volume, inner dentelle, gilded edges. Minimal restorations at the corners, weak hinges in the upper part of volume II
Luxurious illustrated edition, printed on strong paper of Holland, published in Paris, in spite of the address of Amsterdam appearing on the titles. We know three bookbinders in Paris in the name of Plumet, all three active at the time of publishing this book. They were all three administrators of the brotherhood of Saint-Hilaire, and they all lived on the rue d'Ecosse: Louis-Valentin (died in 1773), Jacques-Louis (died in 1786), and Jacques-René (died around 1790). All three, we do not know if they belonged to the same family, they were very active in the community of gilding bookbinders of Paris and all were elected guards of the corporation between the years 1733 and 1767. Valentin Plumet was related to the family of Derome. Note the small tool "au plumet", present on other bindings."
|This binding appeared in a Sotheby's 2012 auction (19th November, 2012, Paris), I have roughly translated the description of it above, (click here to see this page.) It sold for 6,250 euros, even though it was signed PLUMET C. at the bottom of the spines. I am going to show on this page that some of the imprints that are found on this binding derive from Douceur's tools therefore it may be possible that Plumet continued the work in Douceurs atelier for some years after Douceur passed away. I have found another binding that was made in 1783 or later, that appears to have some of these same imprints arranged in a similar way, we will look at that on the next page.|
|First I would like to point out the central decoration of the boards, right in the center of these decorations is what appears to be one of Douceur's favorite tools, usually found in the corners, I have catalogued it as d-26-2. This imprint is unusually sharp on the Tomb II volume in this auction photo (shown behind the first).|
|In Comparative Diagram 2 we can see that the type model is not as clear as the imprints found in the centerpieces. However it will be interesting to compare the binding that produced the type model, I show it below, this is another binding that is unusual compared to many other Douceur bindings. Shown in color as well as in Esmerians black and white photo of the same binding, click on these images to see enlargements.|
|This binding was sold in a Sotheby's auction in 2012 for a price of 27.150 euros (click here to see the Sotheby's page on this).The copy is enriched with 240 portraits of important individuals in the history of France, from Desrocher's collection, proofs drawn in ornate frames, 11 of which bear the additional signature of Ponce and the date 1761. There are also 2 large engravings of Gaspard Bouttats of Antwerp engraved on double pages: The Massacre of St. Bartholomew and The Assassination of Henry IV. Therefore what we are looking at here is a binding that was made sometime around 1761 or later. Sotheby's also gives the dimensions, 2 volumes in-4 (292 x 220 mm) Avec le Supplément à la date de 1756.|
|In Comparative Diagram 3, I have assembled the imprints from Esmerian's No.97, unfortunately Esmerian's work is comprimised by the poor printing quality of his photographic reproductions, we cannot enlarge the imprints very far, however I made this diagram to make a basic start on cataloging the Douceur imprints many years ago. Today I have rotated d-10 and d-14 simply to make them more easily recognized in terms of Barber's catalogue, where we do find at least one of the imprints, DCR 16. However I want to first point out another imprint that is shared between these bindings, yet is not found in Barber's imprint collection. Shown below in Comparative Diagram 4.|
In Comparative Diagram 5, I show that my d-14 is the same as Barber's DCR 16 although he obviously did not have a good copy. This imprint he notes as being found on Douceur bindings. Another thing I want to point out, that can be found on my preliminary Douceur catalogue (click here to see it) is a palette that I noticed so often that I placed it in the inventory as d-palette-1, shown below in Comparative Diagram 6. Seriously I think it unlikely that this so called Plumet binding was made with anything other than Douceur tools.
There are a few more comparative bindings that bear a close relationship with No. 97 and the Lucretius at the top of this page, these we will look at on the next page. Also note that binding No 97 was the source of the d-7 imprint that appears to verify the signed Douceur 1757 Longus (shown on page 7) which then indicates that No. 97 is indeed a Douceur and therefore by reason of shared imprints, this Lucretius is another Louis Douceur binding.
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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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