Antique French Binding, "Francois 1er" (illustrated by Robida) circa 1909
This is a very beautiful work ("grand format historique") of G. Gustave Toudouze. It contains 40 aquarelles illustrated by Albert Robida of which two are double page.The title was published in a collection of historic albums which included great leaders in French history: "Louis XI, Henri IV, Richelieu, Le Roy Soleil and Bonaparte". The text of this title is in French.
Francois I was known as the Cavalier King and was much loved among his subjects. Of noble bearing, and, in spite of a very long and large nose, extremely handsome, he was a sturdy and valiant knight, affable, courteous, a brilliant talker and a facile poet. He had a passion for hunting, tournaments, masquerades and amusements of all kinds. He became king, succeeding Louis XII, on the 1st of January 1515. Albert Robida has brilliantly brought to life on the pages of this volume the enchanting life of Francois I.
The illustrations of Albert Robida (1848-1926) are much revered by collectors around the world. He was an illustrator, etcher, lithographer, caricaturist, and novelist, writing and illustrating important works. The illustrations within this volume are highly detailed and very colorful. They are quite large, measuring 13 3/4" x 11". The illustrated pages of the text and images are attached with a hinge, which gives the reader the opportunity to view the images flat without losing any part of the illustration in the margins.
The binding is large, 14" x 11 3/4" x 3/4" thick. The hard paper boards are covered in coated fine linen (pictoral cloth) in a pale shade of grey. A custom plaque (by the binder Engle) was made for the glorious cover design. it was coated with color or gilt then heated and stamped. This took several processes to realize the final image. The very tall and handsome king stands surveying his kingdom, with his ministers, ladies in waiting and soldiers literally under his feet. The title of the volume is placed in a large gilt banner at the bottom of the cover board. The title is gilt tooled on the spine. The page edges are gilt. The end papers are a patterned blue and gold paper.
The binding remains in very good condition. There is very slight wear to the corners, top and bottom of the spine. Otherwise the binding has very, very little wear. The pages are still well attached. The illustrations retain their original color. The front cover board retains it's original brilliant colors.
This is a lavishly produced book printed on luxury paper. It contains important illustrations and makes a fine edition to any collection.
Item ID: LC108
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