French Decorative Bookbinding - Eighteenth Century

Luc-Antoine Boyet 1696

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Comparative Diagram 1 - 1696 Boyet imprint lab-antipod type model

I mentioned on the first page of this analysis of the 1696 Breviary that appeared on eBay some weeks ago, the imprint shown above (antipod). Now that I have attempted to make high resolution scans and photos, I can present it here. However the work is far from finished. A 2400dpi photo might reveal some surprising details that are only just barely visible here. This Boyet imprint is found on all of his restrospective Louis XIII-Anne d'Autriche bindings.

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Luc-Antoine Boyet - Retrospective binding (see Reliures françaises du XVIIe siècle,
Isabelle de Conihout & Pascal Ract-Madoux, Paris, 2002)

Thoinan (Ernest), pseudonym of Antoine Ernest Roquet, 1827-1894, was probably the greatest expert on subject of French Bookbinding, that ever lived, his work entitled Les relieurs français (1500-1800) has served as a sort of bible on the whole subject for well over a century, no expert today, can consider themselves an expert without knowing this book inside out. Yet for as great as his knowledge was he was fooled by the Boyet bindings, and mixed Boyet's tools with those of the 17th century. The proof of this comes from Thoinans own drawings. In describing the decoration books from the 17th century he illustrated Boyet's tools as being 17th century examples.

1893 -160 years after Boyet

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Comparative Diagram 2, 1893 Illustration from page 154 of Les relieurs français (1500-1800)
by Ernest Thoinan vs Boyet retrospective tools (actual imprints)

160 years after Boyet

Comparative Diagram 3, 1893 Illustration from page 154 of Les relieurs français (1500-1800)
by Ernest Thoinan vs Boyet 1700 imprint

I point out Thoinan's error not to criticize him but to show just how extraordinary Boyet's work was and is still today hundreds of years later you can pick up a binding by Boyet, even after use for centuries, the leather is still remarkably soft and holding up well, with shine as though it was still new.

shines like new

What are such treasures worth? The retrospective binding shown above was estimated by the auction experts to bring between 12 and 16.000 euros, it sold for 41.000. This seems to me far short of the real value, of a hand made, three hundred year old work of art, by one of the greatest decorative bookbinding artists who ever lived, Royal binder to Louis XIV... well lets return to our binding from eBay, I show above the spine and in all the searching I have done, in the probably over one hundred Boyet examples that I have seen, this is the first with this fleuron in the center of the compartments, it's rare indeed, and surly has a fascinating history to tell us.

On the next page we are going to look at the spine palette, Conihout Type IV.

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click here to return to the INDEX of new (2017) pages.

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