|When I first spotted this binding on eBay, I was sure that I recognized some of the imprints, and after a quick search, I discovered that some of them looked to be from the tools of the MM Binder. This was an exciting possibility and so I went all out to scoop it up. Below I show one of the sellers photos, this shows very well the imprints.|
|Now waiting for it to arrive, I have been looking again at the work of this binder who I have detailed previously, (click to see the MM Binder links). If you read through my previous pages on this, you will see that I started researching a particular binding shown in Marius Michel's 1880 book, La Reliure Française (from the invention of printing to the end of the 18th century) It is one of the best books of it's kind, written by a man who knew bookbinding inside and out because he was himself a master of the craft. He devotes a good part of this work to the art of gold tooling and illustrates the various styles and motifs that have appeared from its first beginnings in 16th century France. Below I show Plate XXII from this book, Instructions données à Lapeyrouse pour son voyage de découvertes autour du monde we find that this binding covers a manuscript that was written by the King himself, Louis XVI in 1785. (see wikisource)|
|Marius Michel did not know who made this binding, I wanted to find out and named this binder provisionally the MM binder. Last year while working with the online images at the Bibliotheque Nationale I stumbled on something amazing, a binding that is obviously by the same binder, that the BnF attributes to Derome? We must show again that this binding was not by Nicolas-Denis Derome! Some of the tools on these two bindings are identical and not only that, they have been employed in a strikingly similar fashion. I suggest that the BnF example was not executed around 1777 as they suggest but a full decade later. (see the BnF page for this binding)|
|I have detailed the Derome imprint comparisons thoroughly on another page (see this page) and it is not my reason for pointing all this out again here, what I want to show is another MM binding example, shown below, a 1774 Almanach Royal, this important binding was perhaps actually made in 1774.|
|In Comparative Diagram 4, I have chosen the imprint mm-14 from both the 1774 binding and the 1785 Planche XXII example, while in Comparative Diagram 5, I make the same comparisons with the BnF bindings B-183 and B-182 which has been incorrectly attributed to Derome le jeune. The greeen arrows point out a detail that can be seen in almost all examples, a kind of break or bend in the stem, the blue arrows point to a distinct cross that has been cut in this bottom bead. We see therefore that all these imprints derive from the same tool, all four bindings have been executed by the same binder, the MM Binder.|
|In Comparative Diagram 6, I show the difference between an MM Binder imprint 14 and a Derome le jeune imprint 14, there is a big difference. On the next page we are going to examine the eBay 1768 imprints.|
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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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