A Beautifully detailed French "Missel des Catacombes", a Prayer Book, published by Alfred Mame & Fils, Tours, France, and dated 1896.
Alfred Mame & Fils was one of the best French publishers in the Victorian timeframe, creating very elaborate Missels, and many that were Custom made for their clients. This particular custom Missel was produced for a client in Avignon (interior lid of the original Box is gold stamped "A.Maria Avignon, and the first flyleaf has an "Open Book" shaped small label at the top which states "MARIA Avignon, Librarie Papeterie), with the box and the inside front cover gold stamped either "F.M" or "L.M", the initials of the owner.
The Fore Edge of the book is Gold when closed, and when thumbed at an angle the Fore Edge is Marbleized !! Quite Unique.....
The Covers are in a dark Chocolate brown Moroccan Leather, also Gold Stamped with elaborate swirling foliage. The inside of front and back covers are in a Beige Silk Moire' (the photos might appear Pink but they are Beige with the leather edges gold stamped in Trailing Roses.
There are 7 full page engravings in excellent detail that were designed by "Luc Olivier Merson"...all the print pages are engraved along the edges.
The size of the Missel itself is approx. 4.5" x 6.5", and the box is approx. 6.5" x 7.5"...The box is lined in a an off white Silk, and the exterior has some scuffs and scrapes....the hinges and lock mechanism are in good order.
The Missel is in Excellent condition with only a very petite dot of a scuff on the front and one on the back. Also retained is the narrow original striped silk ribbon Page Marker. Also included is a 3 Ribbon Page Marker of White Silk, with an elaborate top of a ribbon & Bow holding a Bar grasping the silk, and two bottom ornaments of the "Cross of Lorraine", and a circular medal of "Joan of Arc" (one ornament is missing).
A quite wonderful Missel in very excellent condition for its age...I don't think this Missel was used very much at all. Excellent example for your collection....