|The reproduction shown above is from a relatively recent (2013) publication by Giles Barber, with the mention below it that this binding is "ascribed" to Louis Douceur. Barber in his very expensive book has thrown the study of the work of Louis Douceur into a terrible disarray. He would like us to imagine that Louis Douceur went out of his way to make a bunch of obviously fake reproductions of his own tools to make bindings that only look like his originals? However Barber has gone to a great amount of work to catalogue a lot of imitation Douceur bindings, this will make our work easier in the end. I touched on this subject on another page when I discovered that Barber's type model for one of Douceurs imprints (FR 44.) did not match up with imprints that I had found. I didn't go too far on that page because I was not sure where Barber found his imprint. Now I have discovered the source on his page 304 reproduction we can look at this matter more thoroughly.|
|As you can see in Comparative Diagram 1, especially if you look at the enlargement, these imprints are very similar BUT not exactly the same, they were not made with the same tools, when ever you see this, imprints that are close but not identical you can be sure that there is a problem somewhere. Now if this were just a single tool being different you could imagine that perhaps the original was damaged and a new replacement copy made. However when you see that the entire binding is covered with look alike tools you know this was not the case.|
|In Comparative Diagram 3, we see a very special Douceur tool d-17a that I have managed to scan at 1200dpi, the W.Cat 636 imprint is not even a close copy but anyway, to the unaided eye, looks very similar, shown here enlarged to 300dpi.|
|In Comparative Diagram 4, we see first that the imprint DCR 13 is a copy of the Douceur corner imprint that Barber has catalogued as DCR 14. If you want to imitate someones decorative gold tooling, the corner imprint is the place to start, many people seem to home into a particular binder, by the corner tools, probably it is easier to remember just one imprint.|
|I could find many more imitation tools on this 636 binding and conversely I do not see any tool that I clearly recognize as a Douceur tool. This is an imitation Douceur and it is important to understand the ramifications of this fact. Barber has cataloged these tools as Douceur tools! In Comparative Diagram 1, I show Barber's FR 44 as well as his list of bindings where he has found it, as well as the tools he has cataloged on those bindings... I will bet that these are not Douceur bindings and the listed imprint types do not derive from Douceur tools.|
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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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