[LAMOIGNON COPY]. Memoirs of the reign of Queen Elizabeth, from the year 1581 till her death. In which the secret intrigues of her court, and the conduct of her favourite, Robert Earl of Essex, both at Home and Abroad, are particularly illustrated. From the original papers of his intimate Friend, Anthony Bacon, Esquire, And other Manuscripts never before published
London: Printed for A. Millar, 1754. First Edition. 2 vols., 4to. Elegant contemporary French blue morocco, smooth spines gilt (faded to chestnut brown), vol. 1 with special label at the foot of the spine gilt with the author's name, place of imprint, and date, inner dentelles gilt, marbled pastedowns and endpapers, all edges gilt. In beautiful unsophisticated state, the paper stock virtually without blemish save for browning to endleaves and on final leaf of vol. 2. Very good. Item #3899
¶ One of the few English titles from the absolutely epic library of Chretien-Francois de Lamoignon copy. The present volumes were bound in the workshop of Pierre & Etienne Enguerrand (a.k.a. Anguerrand). Pierre Enguerrand was royal binder to Louis XV from 1759 to 1766; he was succeeded by his son Etienne in 1767, who served as royal binder to Louis XVI until 1783. The shop accepted commissions from the foremost collectors of the age, such as the Abbe Rothelin, the Comte d'Argenson, the Marquis de Paulmy (son of Comte d'Argenson and founder of the Bibliotheque de l'Arsenal), and Lamoignon, for which see Sabrina Le Bris, "La communaute des relieurs et doreurs parisiens a la fin de l'Ancien Regime (1776-1795)" (Thesis: Ecole nationale des Chartes, 1995). See also Thoinon, "Notes historiques sur les relieurs des rois de France" in: Le Moniteur du bibliophile, Vol. 1 (1878) p. 363.
Lamoignon (1735-1789), magistrate and statesman, was one of the wealthiest men in France, and one of the first to anticipate the momentous bloodbath now known as the French Revolution. Initially on the side of Parlement, and later on that of the king (who named him Garde des Sceaux in 1787), Lamoignon was one of the assistants of Lomenie de Brienne, whose unpopularity -- and fall -- he was to share (Lamoignon died in his Baville castle on 15 May 1789, presumably by suicide). He left behind a magnificent collection of books, most of which he had had elegantly bound by Enguerrand in the highest quality goatskin (as here). Lamoignon was one of the earliest collectors to deman that the date of publication appear at the foot of the spine, usually on the first volume only (as here).
¶ PROVENANCE: "Bibliotheca Lamoniana" label inside both volumes (printed letter "R" below which are written shelf marks 76 and 77), his crowned "L" ink stamp on fol. B2 in both volumes. -- The Lamoignon library was purchased en bloc by Thomas Payne and sold at auction in Paris in 1791 and 1792 ("Catalogue des Livres de la Bibliotheque de feu M. de Lamoignon, Garde de Sceaux de France"); the present volumes comprised lot 5366. -- From the notable collection of Dr. Gordon W. Jones of Falmouth, Virginia, with his bookplate.