French Decorative Bookbinding - Eighteenth Century

Luc-Antoine-Boyet (1685 - 1733)

click to see a 600 dpi enlargement

To start this page which is about a Boyet binding I recently found on eBay, I think its best that I show first a similar binding by Boyet (shown above). This I found in my old stock of Boyet images and I am not sure where exactly the photo comes from but in the interest of science I will present it here. Perhaps some reader will recognize it and be kind enough to send me the details. We can be sure it is a Boyet by a number of things but perhaps the most convincing detail is the unusual palette found at the base of the spine. This Boyet palette has been classified as Type VI in the 2002 Paris publication by Isabelle de Conihout & Pascal Ract-Madoux, Reliures françaises du XVIIe siècle. In this publication the authors present a number of bindings which they attribute to Boyet and on page 110 they have catalogued some of the tools commonly found on the bindings presented.


Comparative Diagram 1 - Boyet palette VI

In Comparative Diagram 1, I show the Type VI palette model from their book as well as another binding example. This unusual palette is easy to recognize simply because it is so different from every other in this period or in any period for that matter. Now we can compare this proven Boyet binding to the ebay example (shown below).


ebay text

I show here the back board of this binding, exactly as it was presented by the seller on his eBay page. The detail is crisp and sharp, the fine points of the dentelle clearly visible as well as a bonus of an unusual Boyet bouquet that is again easy to recognize simply by its unusual form and combination of tools. When I first saw this bouquet in one of Esmerians photos, I thought it was some kind of fish or beast, and only now do realize that it is a kind of bouquet that became very popular several decades later.

click to see an enlargement

Boyet binding with bouquets, Reliure No. 60 from Raphaël Esmerian's 1972 publication Bibliotheque Raphaël Esmerian, 2eme Partie


Comparative Diagram 2 - Boyet Bouquets


Comparative Diagram 3 - Padeloup le jeune vs Boyet

Now when we come to comparing the dentelles I was surprised to find a Padeloup dentelle that either uses very similar tools or maybe even the same tools. Padeloup was a fanatic for precision tooling, his work on this kind of dentelle was often very precise however in this example that is from a 1726 signed Padeloup binding (shown on this page) does not compare in accuracy to that of Boyet. To make this kind of dentelle perfectly you have to be able to not only lay down a precise pattern but you have to make the pattern fit into a limited space, this means juggling the pattern a bit, overlapping in small amounts, but here Padeloup fails completely he doesn't manage to accomplish what Boyet has done, a nearly perfect placement of each imprint. Now we ask ourselves is this ebay binding a real Boyet? Of course it must be, only Boyet could achieve this perfection with these tools. On another page I show an intricate dentelle by Padeloup that was perhaps made around 1715, here is fantastic accuracy, while the lack of accuracy shown in the 1726 dentelle might suggest a decline in Padeloup's ability to do such precise work, this question needs more research as well as determining whether Padeloup was borrowing Boyet's tools. When I get this ebay Boyet under my microscope perhaps we will get an answer.


Decorative endpapers - Brokatpapier possibly from Augsburg by Georg Christoph Stoy?

Another huge plus in our eBay Boyet is this Brokatpapier, a quick search for this, keeps bringing me back to Georg Christoph Stoy, but here I am only guessing, on the next page we will look at ways of researching this decorative paper.

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see below links to previous work

the last fanfare

Atelier I B 31/10/2014

Icons of the Renaissance 06/02/2014

Atelier au trefle 22/12/2014 most recent page

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

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.

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