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Antique French Binding"Grand Format", "Richelieu" circa 1904
This is a magnificent folio edition (12" x 14"), published in Paris (1904) by Ancienne Librairie Furne. The text is in French.
The coverboards are of olive green percoline. The front cover boasts a polychrome illustration by J.Fau of Cardinal Richelieu standing by a map, sword in hand and a crown on a table by his side. The back cover holds the blind-stamped arms of Richelieu. The pages edges are gilt. The book is in good condition.
The text is illustrated (by Maurice Leloir) with spectacular color plates. There are 84 pages which include a frontispiece, and 40 watercolor illustrations (including 36 full-page and 2 double-page plates). Many of the illustrations overlay the text.
This stunning book documents the famous 17th century French statesman. Cardinal Richelieu (1585-1642) was a French clergyman, noble and statesman. He was often known as the King's "Chief Minister", and is considered to be the world's first Prime Minister. By restraining the power of the nobility, he transformed France into a strong, centralized state. Richelieu was also a leading character in "The Three Musketeers" by Dumas. He is portrayed as a powerful ruler, even more powerful than the King himself.
This title is one in the series of "Collection d'Albums Historiques", published in Paris. This collection featured important men (and one woman) in the history of France. The histories are simply presented in text, but lavishly represented in illustration. The series was published for the literary public, who amassed collections of magnificently produced books of the time. All the "bells and whistles" were used in the production of this book, making it breathtaking both inside and out.
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