French Decorative Bookbinding - Eighteenth Century

Pierre-Paul Dubuisson - mosaic binding - c. 1753

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(click on this image to see an enlargement)

The binding shown above was the frontispiece for the Librairie SOURGET - CATALOGUE N° 37 - 2008 MANUSCRITS et LIVRES Précieux. This is a wonderful catalogur however in 2008 the experts have attributed this binding to Jacques-Andre Derome, why? because they were still clinging on to Louis-Marie Michon's book Les Reliures mosaïquées du XVIIIe siècle. Paris: Société des bibliophiles français, 1956. I am going to include below the catalogue description of this binding to show just how far people can go on the wrong track. This binding was decorated by Pierre-Paul Dubuisson, not J A Derome, as we have proved in the past pages and will continue to do so here.

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In this description they quote Michon who claimed that 9 of the hundreds of mosaics that he studied contained the tickets of the Deromes, on five of them were found the tickets of J A Derome, what he doesn't tell you is that on dozens of others were found the tickets of Dubuisson, these he ignored and or changed the attributions to that of J A Derome. However the most obvious red flag is when Michon comes to speaking of the Almanachs Royal, everyone knew that the Dubuisson's were decorating hundreds of Almanachs with their plaques, it seems as though the Dubuisson's had cornered the business of Almanach decoration, yet in his book Michon does not even mention the Dubuissons. This is our red flag to imagine he could have written such a book without a large chapter on the contribution of the Dubuissons. Michon is an example of someone who is so convinced of his own viewpoint he is unable to consider any evidence that would weaken his own theory, and worse someone who pushes his own theory in detriment to the evidence that will prove him wrong. I must admit that it does seem rather odd that J A Derome would have put his ticket inside a binding he never decorated, however Padeloup was doing the same thing in this same period. Lets say you were a rich bibliophile living in France in the middle of the 18th century, you hear from your neighbour that J A Derome makes great bindings, so you go to his shop and order a fancy cover on a book you want. J A simply is the middle man he organizes the work, he buys all the materials and outsources the actual binding work and has the gold tooling done by Dubuisson, when all is complete he puts his ticket inside and the costomer is happy, he has a wonderful J A Derome production. J A sees that this is an easier, quick way to make money and continues to sell bindings with his ticket inside and Dubuisson's decoration on the outside. This would have worked probably when Dubuisson was just starting out in the late 40's and early 50's, and as long as J A could come up with a tempting amount of money for the work. This isn't only my theory, one of the greatest experts, on French Bookbinders and bookbindings, Ernest Thoinan (1827-1894) also had doubts about whether or not J A Derome, was actually doreur as well as a binder (there were few) and spoke of the artist who was doing the gold tooking for J A Derome, as I have already discussed on another page (click here to see this page).


Comparative Diagram 1- Dubuisson imprints pd-72a and 72b


Comparative Diagram 2 - Dubuisson imprints pd-8, 600dpi


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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