|When I first saw this book on eBay, I didn't even look at the title, I was looking at the large dentelle decorating the binding. I was thinking that this might be a Douceur and quickly looked through my Douceur pages. and soon found a binding that I had previously documented, with what looked like an identical corner tool and spine palette.|
|As soon as I saw that this eBay 1749 shared some common imprints with the Tajan item No. 54, I stopped searching any further and waited to see if I would manage to get the winning bid. Fortunately I did, and so started to try to find out more about this single item of a 2 volume set. The eBay seller did not give the correct title for this item nor author. The author is not printed on the title page, but someone has penned it in by hand (see the ebay page), still it wasn't mentioned in the auction details, you had to dig a little to find out the real title and author. The surprise was that this turned out to be the very same edition of the same set of books by Henault as was item 54. This seemed to me a great coincidence. I somehow managed to get the same book, decorated by the same binder. Comparative Diagram 1, shown below leaves no doubt in this question. The same binder decorated both items, however was the binder Douceur?|
|Several years ago when I was researching the work of Douceur and specificly the 1749 item 54, my main reason for imagining that this was a Douceur was an imprint I dubbed d-46. This imprint is found on a number of bindings that I attributed to Douceur, specifically binding No 90 as I have outlined on the page (see this page). No. 90 is definitely a Douceur, and by deduction of the same identical imprint so must item 54 be a Douceur, and so too therfore this new eBay 1749 Henault. Still I wasn't really satisfied as one of the tools on the eBay item was slightly different than the usual imprint of this type, and so I set out on yet again another long and labourious search of Douceur bindings that I might have over looked or not yet discovered, I needed to find good high resolution examples and these are rare on the internet. Then while I was searching for random dentelle bindings in the online collection of the French Bibliotheque nationale, I stumbled on something that really made my day.|
|I show above the BnF page with the information on this binding which they attribute to Padeloup? You can go there with the link and then click on the bindings to see them enlarged in the Gallica pages. In Gallica you can zoom into the binding up to a 600 dpi resolution to see the fine details of the gold tooling.|
|In Comparative Diagram 2 we are surprised to see that our eBay 1749 imprints match the BnF Padeloup imprints?|
|In Comparative Diagram 3 we are again surprised to see that our eBay 1749 imprints match the BnF Padeloup imprints? Even though the eBay photos are not of a high resolution we can still see that the important details match up perfectly.|
|When I was looking at the BnF RES P-YF-243 dauphin imprint, I wondered if it was the same as the dauphin imprint on No. 54 and decided to test this with an overlay experiment.|
|In Comparative Diagram we see one close fitting overlay and a second that is shifted a bit off to the side to show the overlay effect. There seems little doubt that this is the same imprint from the same tool. Here is proof that this binding was not decorated by Padeloup, and that all these imprints belong to Douceur. When the bindings arrive on my scanner I will be able to show you more detailed proof that these imprints really do match... (postscript 13/03/2018 see below Comparative Diagram 6, high resolution scan, you only need one imprint comparison at 1200dpi for irrefutable proof! Binding BnF RES P-YF-243 was gold tooled with Douceur's tools and not those of Padeloup.)|
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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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