A magnificent binding by the house of Mame et fils, the cover design is simply magnificent. It was published in Tours, France. The French text is written by Louis Barron, in 1899.
The founder of the Mame firm, Charles Mame, printed two newspapers at Angers in the last quarter of the eighteenth century and was a bookseller and publisher in Paris, under the First Empire. He edited many famous titles but persecutions against these books by the French police led to his ruin.His third son, Amand Mame, came to Tours and with his son, Alfred founded the much loved and important firm of Mame et Fils.
This title is in the large format of the time, with a bright French blue toile binding. An impressive cover design features the Chateau of Chenonceau, with flowers and flying birds. To make this beautiful design a custom-made stamp would apply the black ink of the base figures. Then the colors (blue and green would have been applied). Lastly, a large stamp impressed shining gilt, giving the appearance of the book a jewel-like quality.
The French text is that of an armchair traveler to France. Many black and white photographs have been reproduced to enhance the text (a "modern" advancement from engravings of the past). There is a large two-page map in the front of the text, where the reader can refer to while reading of the different areas of this great country. The pages of the book are edged in gilt (still shimmering and bright).
The binding is in very good condition for it's age and size (large bindings such as this usually have not fared well in the passage of time). The French blue covers remain without fading (there is a small scratch along the back coverboard) and the gilt and black design remains crisp and fresh. The corners do show light wear, but are still in good condition. The book size is: 9 3/8" wide, 13" tall and 1 1/2" thick.
As a decorative book, it is outstanding, especially when placed on an antique (preferably a French provencal desk). The text is easily read by intermediate students of French and is absolutely fascinating. It presents a picture of each region, a snapshot from over 100 years ago.
Item ID: LC29
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