French Decorative Bookbinding - Eighteenth Century

MM Binder - 1772 - Gosselin rue St-Jacques

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I don't have to tell you how excited I was when I discovered this binding in the Librairie SOURGET - CATALOGUE N° XIX - 1999 MANUSCRITS et LIVRES Précieux. Here we discover the identity of the MM binder, he signed this binding

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The discovery of the identity of this binder was made by the experts in the Librairie SOURGET nearly 20 years ago and no one noticed, the most important discovery in 200 years! Certainly not anyone in the Bibliotheque national de France. Well I am glad to put this on my web page finally, I have only been wondering about this for 10 years.

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In their description of this binding the Librairie SOURGET do not mince their words they are claiming that this is one of the most elegant and luxurious bindings of the 18th century! However they do not give a lot of information about the binder, Gosselin who had a business on the rue St-Jacques along with all the other top of the line binders. Sourget probably doesn't give us any more information because there is very little to be had, the BnF have never even heard of him (check this, do a search of the BnF for Gosselin) and he certainly isn't on their list of important binders, yet we know that Gosselin was one of the best, even making special bindings for Louis XVI.


We can however find a Gosselin in Ernest Thoinan's list of binders, see above a clipping from his famous book Les relieurs français (1500-1800) : biographie critique et anecdotique ; précédée de l'Histoire de la communauté des relieurs et doreurs de livres de la ville de Paris ; et d'une Etude sur les styles de reliure Ernest Thoinan,1893. Here he mentions Leon Gruel's text on a Gosselin but it cannot be the same one, our Gosselin was not a contempory of Padeloup, but here I think Gruel could have been wrong he speaks of the tools of Padeloup, these were probably the tools of Dubuisson (who decorated bindings for Padeloup) that he was thinking of and the address of 41 rue Saint Jacques fits with Thoinan's text.


Seymore De Ricci also has a signed Gosselin binding in his 1935 publication,French signed bindings in the Mortimer L. Schiff Collection. Volume I [- III] § IV: British and miscellaneous signed bindings New York, [printed by Lecram-Servant, Paris], 1935. Shown below it is his Plate 156.

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Normally I would not show this because the binding looks nothing like our Gosselin's work, however the number on this Gosseman etiquette has been changed by hand from 49 to 42 (or 41?) which has some correspondence with Thoinan's text... another thing to perhaps consider is that on the eve of the Revolution, fancy bindings went out the window. On searching the name Jean-Baptiste Gosselin I found this note "Marguerite-Louise Derome, épouse de Jean-Baptiste Gosselin, relieur, rue Saint-Jacques, 77, Vendent devant le tribunal civil de Paris, le 30 août 1811, une maison rue des Amandiers 7, 9 et 11." All this corresponds to Thoinan's assumption that the binder is indeed Jean-Baptiste Gosselin.

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Comparative Diagram 1 - BnF binding B-182 vs Gosselin 1772 binding.
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Last year I notified the Bibliotheque national de France, of errors in their attributions of certain bindings to Derome le jeune, however they ignored my advice, (see these pages) Now we have proof, proof that the BnF do not know what a Derome le jeune binding looks like, hard to believe I know. If you want to see real Derome le jeune bindings, look at this recent page on Derome.

Click here to see the next page.

click this link to see similar recent MM Binder pages MM Binder - 1768 Office de la quinzaine de Pasque

click this link to see more MM Binder pages Atelier MM binder, fl. 1770-179?

click here to see the INDEX of the pages from 2017.

click here to return to the HOME page.

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