This example, "L'Office de la Semaine Sainte, a L'Usage de la Maison du Roy" is an astonishing "fanfare" binding. It is a royal binding, used in the court of Louis XV, bearing the royal coat of arms of the king, Louis XV. It originates from Paris, provenance of a fine armorial collection.
The binding style "a la fanfare" was invented in the late 16th century by Clovis Eve. It is a rich and elaborate style of decoration, that consists of an intricate pattern of geometric compartments (of different sizes that branch out from a central oval containing the "blason"). Each compartment is framed by gilt filets and may be filled with branches of laurel, sprays and other delicate tool work. This style required the greatest skill of the bookbinder and produced a rich and sumptuous binding.
The religious text is illustrated by a fantastic facing page frontispiece engraving.There are five full page section titles (after Hamblot), three head piece engravings (two signed by N.L.S.) and three tail piece engravings. There are decorated capitals throughout. The text is printed on Holland paper.
The binding is of eighteenth century red Morocco leather, with the central gilt arms of Louis XV (coat of arms and the double "L" initials of Louis XV). The cover boards are lavishly gilt tooled "a la fanfare" with interlacing filets that are filled by sprays, leaves and fleurons embossed in "au pointelle". There are five raised bands along the spine forming compartments filled by interlacing gilt filets surrounding a central fleur de lis. The board edges and turn-ins are gilt tooled. There are gilt page edges and marbled end papers.
It was published by L'Imprimerie de Jacques Collombat, Paris, 1743. It is one volume in-8 (8 3/4" x 5 3/4"). It remains in very good antique condition (some darkening in lower right quadrant of front cover and back cover board).
It is a ravishing example of a fine royal almanach.
Item ID: LC126
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