Antique Eighteenth Century French Almanach circa 1766

This is a sumptuous binding, with a Dubuisson gilt plaque on both the front and back cover boards. It was published by "Le Breton, Premier Imprimeur Ordinaire Du Roy", for (and in) the year 1766. Le Breton was a printer for the King of France in Paris.

Royal Almanachs were printed each year in the eighteenth century. A small number were ordered by the Royal Family to be bound with a particular coat of arms. These examples would have been given as gifts to visiting dignitaries or high ranking friends of the palace. They were always bound in the most magnificent way possible, as best represents the Royalty of the kingdom of France.

This almanach contains much information from the year 1766, such as the twelve zodiac signs, the seven known planets, the movements of the sun during the year, and the times of the rising and setting of the sun and moon. It also documents the birth of princes and princesses of Europe, names of various church officials and military officers, governmental departments, libraries, universities, and the dates and hours of departure of couriers.

The binding is of the utmost luxury. It has been stamped with the well-revered "Dubuisson" plaque (a large stamp, hand forged which is used to press the gilt design into the binding). The design of this example bears the overboards gilt embossed with central arms of Louis-Philippe, Duc D'Orleans (1725-1785), ornate gilt scroll leaf and seashell pattern to corners. Louis Philippe Joseph d'Orleans (1747-1793) actively supported the French Revolution. His son, Louis-Philippe became king of the French after the July Revolution of 1730.

Before the invention of the plaque or plate, the gilt design would have been individually tooled with tiny stamps. The plaque is thought to be the invention of Pierre-Paul Dubuisson and his father, Rene, who specialized in the binding of almanacs. Books with their plaques are well documented and this example is cited in the much reverenced reference book: Rahir (published 1910), example number 184L. The coat of arms is documented and identified in the reference work of "Olivier", number 2572.

It measures 7 3/4" x 5" (In-8). It is bound in eighteenth century crimson Morocco leather, with the cover boards bearing the arms of Louis-Philippe, Duc D'Orleans. There are raised hubs on the spine forming compartments that are highly ornamented with gilt fleur de lis (the Royal symbol of the French kingdom). The inner guards of are blue silk and the page edges are gilt. The binding is in good condition, there is wear to the head and foot of the spine, some darkening to the red Morocco of the front cover board, slight separation of the first two pages from the binding interior. There is light wear to the blue silk endpapers as is typical with age and use.

As a large majority of these Royal bindings were burned or effaced in the Revolution, surviving examples are true treasures.

Item ID: LC34

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$2,500 USD SOLD

Librairie Clermont

Librairie Clermont, Linville, NC   

A division of Paris Chateau, presenting quality, authentic antique French books. LAYAWAYS WELCOME!

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Rare and Antiquarian French Bindings: 17th, 18th & 19th Centuries, Bibles, Romantic, Medicine, History: LAYAWAYS WELCOME.

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