|The first thing I need to mention is that book spines are very hard to scan with a flat bed scanner, they must be called flat bed due to the fact that they can only scan things that are flat, anything that is not sitting flat on the glass will not be in focus. So I had to resort to a photograph to make the Compartive Diagram above and the scales are approximative. When I first attempted this I noticed some differences that made me think something in our 1696 example was not the same as the Conihout palette IV model. On the previous pages I have mentioned the invaluable reference work by Isabelle de Conihout & Pascal Ract-Madoux, Reliures françaises du XVIIe siècleParis, 2002, wherein they have provided us with a limited inventory of some of the tools that Boyet often used.|
|When you see that the imprint you are researching does not match the expected model you should always make sure that you have not made a mistake somewhere. I decided to look for some better examples of the Conihout palette IV and found a great example in a recent Sotheby's auction.|
|Gathering these palettes together on one page and looking for things to line up proved challenging as you can see in Comparative Diagram 3 above. Not only did they not line up there appeared to be some kind of overlapping. Thinking this might be a smaller tool used repeatedly instead of a palette, I decided to test that theory, with a shorter model.|
|In Comparative Diagram 4, I noticed that there were two distinct sections (marked with green lines linking the dots) that seemed out of alignnment. Therefore I made a virtual model of what the section might look like. We can see that in this model the first module marked with a green "a" is very clean and sharp in all examples and appears to be the only module with the center petals turned off center in a slightly clockwise rotation (marked with a red line) while the middle module was more or less straight and the third module slightly rotated counterclockwise. All these details seemed to affirm the possibility that this was not a palette but rather a single tool used repeatedly to cover the bottom of the spine in the fashion of a palette.|
Still even with the idea of a smaller tool the arrangement of the 1696 example could not be explained. Finally after some further experimentation I found a solution that would explain why the Conihout palette IV did not match the 1696 palette, the center section has been rotated 180 degrees, this is the only explaination that could explain this arrangement. Thus I am tempted to say that the Conihout palette IV is not exactly as they have defined it, in fact its not really even a palette. When we find better high resolution examples, we can verify this (or not).
On the next page we will look at the 1696 doublure roulette.
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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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