|The binding shown above can be found on the web site of the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum. This Dubuisson binding is one where you do not see a lot of distinctive gold tooled imprints that you could easily identify. This binding may have fooled some experts in the past however it does have Pierre-Paul Dubuisson's ticket pasted inside and thus can only be another work of the master himself.|
|In Comparative Diagram 1, I have loosely arranged some Almanach Royal examples, one must bear in mind that these bindings were almost always made within a year of the printing date. Therefore we can get an idea of chronological progressions in Dubuisson's work, probably we need many more examples to get an absolute fix on the introduction of new techniques. Here for example we see that the use of foil in the mosaics, seems to appear from 1753 onward and then was very popular for at least 2 decades. Cream colored morocco leathers with very similar spine decorations and or the lack of raised bands are seen from 1752-1758. The two bindings shown at 'n' had to be shown as is, because this was the only way to show an important 1758 binding which is behind a 1772 binding that Dubuisson did not bind but probably came from the Dubuisson workshops. The bindings a, b , c, are plaque bindings and shown as a sort of beginning to the mosaics, the plaques have arms that have been painted in as opposed the the usual large armorial stamps in gilt,. The Mosaics that appear in 1749 or earlier 'd' and 'e' appear as the sign of things to come, and yet have a restrospective look comparable with bindings that appeared some 3 decades earlier. From my scattered searches, it appears that we do not see any of the Dubuission imprints/tools that I have catalogued, on Almanach Royal bindings prior to 1746. This suggests that his work as a doreur started in 1746. If Pierre-Paul Dubuisson was born in 1707 as some have suggested, one wonders what he was doing up until when he officially became a binder in 1746. We can see by the example below that plaques for the Almanach Royal were being made as early as 1740.|
|At the moment I cannot say whether Rene Dubuisson made this early Almamach plaque catalogued as No. 184f in the 1910 Paris publication entitled LIVRES DANS DE RICHES RELIURES by Édouard Rahir. Nor can I say whether this was the first example of the Almanach plaques, however what we can see in this plaque are the design archetypes for the future tools Pierre-Paul Dubuisson, tools that he would be using several years later. Tools that would become the main stay of French decorative bookbinding for the next 40 years|
|In his classification of these plaques Rahir chose a plaque that he found on a 1744 Almanach royal, (pre Pierre-Paul Dubuisson tools) as his first model, '184a', This plaque could almost be seen as an extraordinary vision of the future, 40 years later the archetypal motifs within the design of this plaque would be turned into distinct individual tools. The Dubuisson workshops kept this and the other Almanach plaques in service for decades, Pierre- Paul Dubuisson started using individual tools following the models of the plaques and his tools were then copied by Derome le Jeune, Jubert, Douceur and many others as the whole art form snow balled, into a dentelle frensy. The motifs were often mistakenly attributed to Padeloup however history will probably show that either Rene Dubuisson or his son were in fact, the designers of these plaques and subsequent tools that were to have a major impact on the decoration of bookbindings in the second half of the 18th century|
|Now we come to another Almanach Royal decorated with Dubuisson plaque 184f in 1759 almost 20 years after the 1740 example and appearently still in service. The reason I want to show this binding, (that also has Dubuisson's ticket inside), is that here we see the same palette used at the base of the spine. Shown below in Comparative Diagram 3.|
|Finally I present in Comparative Diagram 4, one final bit of evidence that shows the 1753 binding at the top of the page is the work of Dubuisson, imprint pd-6-2.|
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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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