Paris: Leon Techener, 1877. First Edition. Softcover. 8vo. , 83 pp. Recent sympathetic wrappers, edges untrimmed (some a little frayed). Very good. Item #1910
Copy no. 74 of 100 numbered copies, being one of the first celebrations of 17th-century French illustrated books, published when the craze for 18th-century French illustrated books was at its apogee: "Nous aurions voulu appeler l'attention des bibliophiles sur l'ensemble des livres du dix-septième siècle, trop negliges aujourd'hui, quand ce ne sont pas des exemplaires des editions originales de nos classiques."
From the introduction (translated): "We propose to describe the principal books illustrated by Sebastien Le Clerc; our focus is on Parisian imprints, and among these are the publications in which the text is particularly notable. As for the books that Le Clerc 'decorated' while he was at Metz: their description is almost impossible because these books are almost never found, except in very rare instances. We leave entirely aside that part of Sebastian's work, and assess only the works in which his prints, vignettes, headpieces, frontispieces, fleurons, and ornamental initials were executed specifically for Parisian publishers. We look to Brunet's 'Manual' for such books to be accurately described, but many of these were unknown to Brunet, or were poorly described by him. That so many are scarce is due to various causes, foremost among them being that most volumes were broken up by print collectors. [...] We want to establish that Le Clerc was a true innovator, and that he revolutionized the art of decorating books." ¶ Reprinted from the "Bulletin du Bibliophile," this work is particularly uncommon in the U.S.; only three American libraries report holdings to Worldcat (Emory, St. John's University, Univ. Michigan).
From the distinguished collection of B.H. Breslauer, with his Bibliotheca Bibliographica Breslaueriana bookplate.