French Decorative Bookbinding - Eighteenth Century

click to see an enlargement

Comparative Diagram 1 - Pierre-Paul Dubuisson imprints from Rahir's 1910 Catalogue, binding No. 217 vs Etat 1774 imprint

Now we are going to compare Etat imprints to those of Dubuisson which were made perhaps 15 or more years previously. The black and white imprints do not have the same quality but are anyway remarkable considering that they derive from a 1910 catalogue. Dubuisson had a number of these so called trident tools I have listed them previously as pd-7 the form shown above is only one of about 4 variations, but one that was used extensively around these hand painted, mica covered armories. This model of the Dubuison tridents is remarkable for its thin waist and seemingly damaged point. A close scrutiny of the Etat example shows that it is very similar if not identical to the Dubuisson imprints and in fact derives from the same tool, If it is from Dubuisson's tool kit one might suspect that this work derives from the Dubuisson workshop that continued producing plaque and other binding for decades after Pierre-Paul Dubuisson's untimely death. Below I show a high resolution scan of an Etat binding, the trident imprint is not too hard to find and if you click on this scan you will find it easily near the middle of the enlarged image. Look closely at the enlarged scan, when you have this kind of detail, comparative research is able to make giant steps in the realm of imprint identification.

click to see an enlargement

High resolution scan, click to enlarge.

Below I show a binding that was sold at the 1930 Rahir auction for the equivalent of about 70 thousand dollars of todays dollars, this amount of money then was probably an amazing amount of money for a binding, they were not paying that for the Almanach, perhaps the fact that it was decorated with the Arms of the then young King of the Two Sicilies, Ferdinand I, had some influence on the price, either way, this amount of money was only about half of what was paid for a binding by Jubert in 1885, (according to Gruel pg 115), which was another mosaic binding and was signed by Jubert so they were not thinking they were buying a Derome! This is interesting to think about, Jubert's signed binding broke auction records in 1885 and today no one seems to have heard of him, why? I think it maybe because the bindings of Jubert has been confounded with the those of Derome. However I am digressing here, the binding below as I said sold for high price and mysteriously resurfaced in a 2016 Librairie Camille Sourget auction catalogue

click to see an enlargement

click to see an enlargement

Comparative Diagram 2 - Camille Sourget 2016 item #38 vs Rahir's 1930 Catalogue, binding No. 8.

In Comparative Diagram I show the two 1772 Almanach Royal with identical arms, we are told that these two bindings are one and the same however for them to be the same the Sourget example must have been repaired with miraculous precision. Indeed the two binding present a sort of mystery but that is not the subject of this page. There appears on these bindings, Etat imprints, really I am tempted to call them products deriving from the Dubuisson workshop, because we know that the Dubuisson workshop continued to specialize in Almanach bindings for at least another decade if not 2 and the fact that there are within the Etat imprints a number of imprints from Dubuisson's tools. However because of Michon insisting that these bindings were produced by the Deromes, the matter has become very confused. Here however we are going to put an end to the Derome myth. This same 1772 Almanach binding was also reproduced by G. Withney Hoff. This reproduction is better than most and allows us to compare imprints (shown below - Item 416). In Comparative Diagram 3 I show an imprint from the 1772 Almanach compared with an Etat imprint which appears to be the same.

click to see an enlargement

click to see an enlargement

Comparative Diagram 3 - G. Withney Hoff 1772 Almanach Royal imprint vs Etat imprint

In Comparative Diagram 4, we see another imprint match from the 1772 Almanachs and an Etat imprint which almost certainly has been produced by the same tool. Now that we have linked these bindings with the Etat bindings this will take us on an amazing journey of discovery.

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Comparative Diagram 4- G. Withney Hoff 1772 Almanach Royal imprint vs Rahir 1930 # 8 imprint vs an Etat imprint

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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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