French Decorative Bookbinding - Eighteenth Century

Pierre Delorme fl 1763-1790?

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1777 Almanach Royal - image from BALaT © KIK-IRPA .

On a previous page I referred to high resolution images providing irrefutable proof and on another page I was speaking of the need for another signed binding by Pierre Delorme to be able to link him to the Etat bindings. Now as if by a miracle, divine providence has guided me to just what was needed the missing link. I show it above, it is found online at the Belgian Art Links and Tools, website, and although it doesn't look so impressive now with its golden foils worn off and being the worse for wear, the important thing is that BALaT provides us with a powerful zoom tool with which we can inspect this binding and all its detail. Their higher resolution zoom is one of the most powerful zooms anywhere, here we find at last, high resolution images.

cmpt 1

Comparative Diagram 1 - Delorme imprint from the BnF vs Etat 263 and BALaT 1777.

In Comparative Diagram 1, we see that all these imprints derive from the same tool, where as before with poorer quality images you could have questioned this, but here we have irrefutable proof and we can now definitely say that Delorme and the Etat bindings are undeniably linked. Below I show another 1777 BALaT imprint that I have not seen on any bindings by Dubuisson or any Etat bindings yet it leads us to another highly interesting Almanach Royal.

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Almanach Royal 1789 with the of arms of Chapuseau, Signieur de Beauge
found in The British Library Database of Bookbindings, Shelfmark: C27e12
(please note all reproductions from the British Library are under copyright)


Comparative Diagram 2 - 1777 Almanach Royal imprints vs 1789 Almanach Royal imprints.

We see in Comparative Diagram 2, that these imprints are identical, even though the British Library example is from a relatively low resolution photograph, the match is undeniable. We can see also, what probably is the same imprint that can be seen in Comparative Diagram 1, however here is where high resolution imprints make a clear difference, where as with the lower resolution images we often can only speculate, I suspect that there are a number of other imprints that derive from the tools of Dubuisson, such as the trident pd-7 that we have examined in connection with the Etat bindings (see this page)

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1785 Almanach Royal Etat binding, Real Biblioteca | CS/4/16 (1785) PATRIMONIO NACIONAL

Below in Comparative Diagram 2, I show an Etat signature imprint that was kept in use right up to 1789 or later and appeared on bindings for perhaps 30 years, similarly the Dubuisson plaques were kept in service decorating certain Almanach Royals for those who could pay for such luxuries. Was this the work of Pierre Delorme working in the Dubuisson workshops? Everything seems to point to this conclusion, we see in his mosaic bindings of the 70's the same tools that were being applied when Pierre-Paul Dubuisson was still alive in the 50's. Especially here in this 1777 BALaT example we see Dubuissons original pd-21 pair, the high resolution images allowing us to confirm this strange fact.

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Comparative Diagram 2 - Etat imprint vs the same imprint found on Almanach Royal bindings.

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Comparative Diagram 3 - Pierre-Paul Dubuisson imprints pd-21a and pd-21b 1747 - 1777

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Comparative Diagram 4 - 1777 BALaT imprint vs 1761 Gulbenkian LA250 imprint.

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Comparative Diagram 5 - Delorme Almanach Royal imprints 1769 - 1778

In Comparative Diagram 5 we see 4 sets of identical imprints, they all derive from Almanach Royal delux mosaic bindings that range in dates from 1769 to 1778. Delorme signed the 1776 binding, and he declaired himself Dubuisson's successor in 1769 (see this page) and I see little reason to doubt this, and further more if we take into account the Etat bindings as also coming from this same workshop, we begin to realize that Delorme was also a binder and decorator of talent who's name ought to be as well known as that of Derome le jeune. Perhaps one day it will be and the Etat bindings fetching the high prices that they deserve. Who sent the Temple of the Gnide to Queen Charlotte? Who paid Delorme to bind it? No one will be surprised it it turns out to be Marie Antoinette herself!

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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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