French Decorative Bookbinding - Eighteenth Century

Pierre-Paul Dubuisson - mosaic binding 1757

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A 1757 Almanach Royal decorated by Pierre-Paul Dubuisson
arms of the King of Spain Fernando VI.

PR. Real Biblioteca | PAS/ARM3/52 | Olim: VIII-E-5

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This 1757 Almanach Royal with the arms of the King of Spain, has been elaborately decorated with many of the same tools that we have cataloged on the previous pages, as well as with a few additional new ones. There can be no doubt that this binding derives from the Dubuisson's workshop, the same tools being found on this whole series of Almanachs destined for the King of Spain, Fernando VI.

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1757 Dubuisson mosaic
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Comparative Diagram 1 - 1757 Dubuisson mosaic imprints
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Now we are going to look at another 1757 Almanach Royal (shown below) we can see many of the same tools and the roulette palette that we saw on the 1754 Almanach Royal. This Almanach however has the added benefit of containing Dubuisson's large signature ticket, in fact it more like a giant publicity page for his business (see this page to see an example of the ticket). You must be astonished to learn that Michon has ignored the ticket and attributed this binding to J A Derome, talk about obsessed. he is getting annoying. Below I have copied the auction description as well a given a rough translation of it.

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Almanach Royal, Paris, Le Breton, 1757
arms of Louis IV Phélypeaux

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Ravissant exemple de reliure rocaille à armoiries peintes, découpée, ornementée de dorures et de gouache, feuilles d'or et d'argent. Louis IV Phélypeaux (1705-1777), comte de Saint-Florentin, était encore à la date de cet almanach l'un des plus proches collaborateurs de Louis XV : il est l'un des sept conseillers du roi en son Conseil d'Etat, secrétaire d'Etat et ministre à la Maison du Roy depuis 1749, chargé des affaires de la R.P.R. (« religion prétendue réformée »), garde des sceaux et surintendant des finances des Ordres du Roy depuis l'année précédente. En 1770, il porte le nom de duc de La Vrillière, et est nommé ministre des Affaires étrangères en remplacement de Choiseul. Extrêmement impopulaire, il se décharge de toutes ses fonctions à la mort de Louis XV, et meurt sans postérité en 1777. Ses titres et les "départements" de ses responsabilités sont cités aux pages 124 et 125 de l'almanach.
Bibliophile, Louis Phélypeaux possédait une très belle collection de reliures armoriées, dont les plus beaux exemplaires portaient ses armes très finement peintes à la gouache. Ici les trois maillets devant figurer aux quartiers 2 et 3, curieusement, semblent ne pas avoir été représentés.
Vraisemblablement spolié à la Révolution et vendu aux enchères, l'exemplaire porte une note manuscrite au verso datée du 8 juillet 1790, mentionnant une "manette" dans lequel il avait dû être versé, le prix de 14 Livres, et "plus pour la camisole".
L'exemplaire fut convoité et acquis par les plus grands bibliophiles anglo-saxons du XXe siècle, Robert Hoe, Mortimer Schiff, et Major Abbey. Lorsque Hoe en reproduit la reliure dans ses Historic and artistic bookbindings, il la décrit portant l'étiquette de Pierre-Paul Dubuisson. Michon quant à lui, l'attribuera en 1956 à Jacques-Antoine Derome, dont elle porte le fer "au trident".

Lovely example of a rococoesque binding with painted armories, inlaid leathers, ornamented with gold tooling and gold and silver foils. Louis IV Phélypeaux (1705-1777), Count of Saint-Florentin, was still, at the date of this almanach, one of the closest collaborators of Louis XV: he was one of the seven advisers of the king in his Council of State, Secretary of State and Minister of the Maison du Roy (click here to see the meaaning of this) since 1749, in charge of the affairs of the RPR ("Reformed so-called religion"), Keeper of the Seals and Superintendent of Finance of the Orders of the King since the previous year. In 1770, he was named Duke of La Vrillière, and was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs to replace Choiseul. Extremely unpopular, he discharged all his functions at the death of Louis XV, and died without posterity in 1777. His titles and "departments" of his responsibilities are quoted on pages 124 and 125 of the almanach.
Bibliophile, Louis Phélypeaux possessed a very beautiful collection of armorial bindings, whose most beautiful specimens carried his arms very finely painted and decorated with foil. Here in this representation of his arms, the three maillets that should appear in quarters 2 and 3, curiously, seem not to have been represented.
Probably stolen during the Revolution and sold at auction, this copy bears a handwritten note on the back dated: July 8, 1790, mentioning a "suitcase" in which the money for the book was to be left, with the price of 14 pounds, and "more for the undergarments."
The copy was coveted and acquired by the greatest Anglo-Saxon bibliophiles of the twentieth century, Robert Hoe, Mortimer Schiff, and Major Abbey. When Hoe reproduced the binding in his Historic and Artistic Bookbindings, he describes it as bearing the ticket of Pierre-Paul Dubuisson. Michon meanwhile, will attribute it in 1956 to Jacques-Antoine Derome, on the basis of a particular trident imprint that he believed was certain proof of it being made by Derome.

There is however something strange that has always bothered me about this binding and now I see that both of the 1757 Alamanachs share this pecularity. It concerns one of Dubuisson's favorite tools, the pd-21a and 21b, these imprints are easily recognizable by the cross in the center of the flower, here suddenly there is no cross, this is not the same set of tools this is a second set of the same tool, it is missing a bud at the top as well and is easy to spot once you are looking for this.

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Comparative Diagram 2 - pd-21-2 green arrow pointing to the missing bud,
blue arrow pointing to the missing cross.

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click here to see more Pierre-Paul Dubuisson pages.

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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