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French Decorative Bookbinding - Eighteenth Century

Louis Douceur - 1749
Nouvel abrégé chronologique de l'histoire de France.


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Comparative Diagram 1 - imprints from No. 90 and 54 vs Barber FR 44.
Catalogue of Printed Books and Bookbindings: The James A. de Rothschild Bequest at Waddesdon Manor,
by Giles Barber 2013

(click on this image to see a 600dpi enlargement)



On the previous page we were pointing out the similarities between the eBay 1749 Henault and the No. 54, 1749 henault which has been documented on another page, (click here to see this page). If you study that page you will notice that my comparison between No. 54 and No. 90 rests strongly on a large imprint pair d-46a and d-46b found on both bindings, shown below in Comparative Diagram 2 and in Comparative Diagram 1.

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Comparative Diagram 2 - imprints d-46a and d-46b.
(click on this image to see a 600dpi enlargement)


Just recently a wonderful friend sent me a copy of Barber's Douceur imprint model FR 44, which is similar but not identical to my Douceur imprint model d-46, as you can see in Comparative Diagram 1. This is disturbing as it suggests that my d-46 imprint is not perhaps from an authentic Douceur tool. I decided to test again the imprints from No. 90. First I want to make sure of the size of the imprint, this could be done by testing the corner imprint with the corner imprint of a binding found in the British Library Database of Bookbindings that is almost certain to be by Douceur as his signature ticket is found inside. Shown below in Comparative Diagram 3.


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Comparative Diagram 3 - Davis543 British Library vs catalogue photo.
(click on this image to see an enlargement)


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Fortunately the enlarged images from the British Library are accompanied with a ruler for scale, in photoshop it is a simple matter to resize the image to its exact actual size in a 300 dpi resolution. So now we are able to proceed with exactly scaled Douceur imprints.

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Comparative Diagram 4 - Davis543 corner imprint overlay with No. 90. corner imprint
(click on this image to see an enlargement)

In Comparative Diagram 4, we see that we have both the Davis543 corner imprint and the No. 90 corner imprint placed together on a background, then we have copied the Davis543 corner to make another layer which we place over the No. 90 corner. This layer is then color inverted to make the differences more obvious, and the layer is set to 58% transparency. Initially I was doing this experiment to check the size of the No. 90 imprint, to verify that all the imprints would be the correct size. I quicklly discovered that while the size was good, the imprints did not match up. Ah Ha I hear you saying but wait, if you rotate the layer eventually they do line up, they Match! See this in Comparative Diagram 5, below. Proof positive these two imprints derive from the same Douceur tool!


match

Comparative Diagram 5- Davis543 corner imprint overlay with No. 90. corner imprint match.


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Comparative Diagram 6- Douceur corner imprint d-25 examples rotated.
(click on this image to see a 600dpi enlargement)


After making Comparative Diagram 5, I wondered if there was any specific rotation to this imprint and decided to test all eight examples (Davis543 TOM I and Davis544 TOM II) that you can find in the British Library Database of Bookbindings. I tried a number of not so convincing tests to try to identify the rotation of this imprint. Although there are a few possible imprint defects that might help to show orientation, I wasn't convinced, I needed a better way to look at this imprint, and finally devised a way to see it. After looking at it for hours, I thought I might be able to recognice a face or different faces, however with the circular distribution it was far to difficult to see. This led to the inspiration for Comparative Diagram 7, shown below.


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Comparative Diagram 7 - corner imprint d-25 disected.
(click on this image to see a 600dpi enlargement)


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Comparative Diagram 8 - corner imprint d-25 rotations.
(click on this image to see a 600dpi enlargement)


This work allowed me to make comparative Diagram 8, I actually started on the Davis544 side, the imprints are shown as they appear in the corners of the boards. The part of the imprint that appears to have a defect is marked "A" once we see the orientation, it is easy to imagine that Douceur started on the bottom doing the left and right corners, then turned the book around around on the table, still holding the tool in the same orientation to work on the top, thus the "A" is always be close to the outside and the "D" on the interior. On Davis543 the same routine was repeated however he was now holding the tool rotated in his hand nearly 180 degrees. Therefore, there is not likely to be any one single orientation for this tool (according to our testing up to this point). My type model for this imprint, shown in Comparative Diagram 6, is shown rotated according to the Davis544 orientation "A" outward which is the same orientation found in the corner imprint of No. 90 (front bottom spine side).

On the next page we will try to find more evidence to show that our eBay 1749 Henault was in fact decorated with the tools of Louis Douceur, and not those of Padeloup le jeune.


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see below links to previous work






Atelier I B 31/10/2014





Icons of the Renaissance 06/02/2014





Atelier au trefle 22/12/2014




Atelier Royal 1518 - 1524 09/11/2014





Unraveling G. D. Hobson's book on fanfares 27/11/2014





16c fanfare on eBay 23/11/2014




another Padeloup binding on eBay 07/12/2014


the last Padeloup fanfare?


Rare Padeloup binding on eBay 15/11/2014



Pierre-Paul Dubuisson's work attributed to Derone le jeune 23/10/2014 (unfinished work now finished)


Pierre-Paul Dubuisson's work attributed to Douceur 22/10/2014 (an under contruction page finished at last)


Louis-Marie Michon - the 1956 Disaster 19/10/2014 (an unfinished page finished at last)


Louis XII Dolphins motif 03/02/2014


Aristophanes Binder 1543 02/02/2014


Atelier des reliures LOUIS XII - Atlas Catalan 12/01/2014


Atelier des reliures LOUIS XII - FRANÇOIS Ier - Linacre bindings 05/01/2014


Atelier des reliures LOUIS XII - FRANÇOIS Ier c. 1500-1520


Atelier des reliures LOUIS XII - FRANÇOIS Ier - Chronology 16/01/2014


Atelier des reliures LOUIS XII - FRANÇOIS Ier - Inventory - binding No. 29 19/01/2014


Atelier des reliures LOUIS XII - FRANÇOIS Ier - Inventory - binding No. 39 19/01/2014


Atelier des reliures LOUIS XII - FRANÇOIS Ier - The mysterious disappearance of François Tissard d'Amboise 23/01/2014


Atelier des reliures LOUIS XII - FRANÇOIS Ier - The Simon Vostre fiasco 18/01/2014


L'Atelier Simon Vostre 1486-1521 01/01/2014


L'Atelier de Pierre Roffet 1511-1533 - TOOL CATALOGUE 26/01/2014


L'Atelier de Pierre Roffet 1511-1533 27/12/2013


Pierre Roffet - fleur-de-lis binder 28/12/2013


Fleur-de-lis Binder 1525-1540 27/11/2013


Du Saix Master 02/12/2013


Atelier Étienne Roffet 1538-1549 12/12/2013


Atelier Jean Picard 1538-1547


Imitative Binder c.1540 15/12/2013


Salel Binder 1540 17/11/2013


Atelier Ruette 1606-1669 INVENTORY


Atelier Macé Ruette 1606-1644


Atelier du Maitre Doreur 1622-1638


Atelier Antoine Ruette 1638-1669


Atelier des Caumartin 1652-1715


Atelier de Charenton 1670-1685


Atelier Luc-Antoine Boyet 1685-1733


Atelier Antoine-Michel Padeloup. dit Le Jeune 1685-1758


Atelier Louis Douceur 1721-1769


Atelier Pierre-Paul Dubuisson 1746-1762


Atelier Nicolas-Denis Derome, dit Derome le Jeune 1761-1788


Atelier Jean-Pierre Jubert, 1771-1793?


Atelier MM binder, 1770-179-?





A word of Caution

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.

Virtual Bookings, created by L. A. Miller return to the Home page of VIRTUAL BOOKBINDINGS

l.a.miller@mail.pf