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DEBURE, Guillaume-François (1731-82).  Bibliographie instructive: ou traité de la connoissance des livres rares et singuliers. Paris: Didot for Debure le Jeune, 1763-69 [tome dixième: Demonville for Goguée & Née de la Rochelle, 1782].
DEBURE, Guillaume-François (1731-82). Bibliographie instructive: ou traité de la connoissance des livres rares et singuliers. Paris: Didot for Debure le Jeune, 1763-69 [tome dixième: Demonville for Goguée & Née de la Rochelle, 1782].

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DEBURE, Guillaume-François (1731-82). Bibliographie instructive: ou traité de la connoissance des livres rares et singuliers. Paris: Didot for Debure le Jeune, 1763-69 [tome dixième: Demonville for Goguée & Née de la Rochelle, 1782].

4o (218 x 166 mm), tome dixième: large 4o (254 x 198 mm), 12 volumes. UNIFORM CONTEMPORARY FRENCH GOLD-TOOLED RED MOROCCO BINDINGS, triple fillet on sides, raised bands on spines with floral tooling in compartments and lettering, roll-tooled turn-ins, marbled endpapers, gilt edges (tome dixième decorated with different tools to the same design, tiny repair to a few joints). Modern folding cloth cases. Provenance: 18th-century French bookseller's price code in vol. 1 -- John Whitefoord Mackenzie (armorial bookplate, London sale, March-April 1886) -- Edmund Marsden Goldsmid, the bibliographer of Aldines and Elzeviers (bookplate) -- Edouard Kann (Paris sale, Georges Andrieux expert, 14 November 1930, lot 58) -- Maurice Escoffier (his mimeographed catalogue c. 1935, no. 37).

SUPERB COMPLETE SET OF THE LARGE-PAPER ISSUE, LIMITED TO 50 COPIES, of the Bible of 'haute bibliophilie'. It more than any other book, catalogue, or event, is seen by collectors as codifying the transition from Gabriel Naudé's universal library of best books (see lot 15) to the world of rare books. Its continuing influence today, albeit indirect, is real. The condition of the Mackenzie-Kann-Escoffier -Breslauer set embodies several of the work's essential concepts: special paper (large throughout, blue in the final volume), rarity (50 copies issued), fine binding (gold-tooled morocco), significant provenance (Kann, Escoffier, and last but not least Breslauer). As the following list of contents shows, the work is strictly complete in nine volumes, the 2-volume Gaignat sale catalogue being expressly intended as a supplement; from the beginning, however, booksellers, collectors, and Debure himself have added the 2-volume catalogue of the first La Vallière auction, because in order to prepare it he had had to interrupt his work. The final volume, designated tome dixième, appeared from a different source after the work had already established itself as the classic guide, in the year of Debure's death. A 1787 calf-bound manuscript record of prices for books discussed by Debure, which were realized in 34 major sales between 1707 (Jean Giraud) and 1784 (La Vallière), has been added to the lot as a demonstration of the canonical status of Bibliographie instructive.

Vol. 1: Théologie 1763. The Mazarin Bible is here identified with the Gutenberg Bible (no. 25).

Vol. 2: Jurisprudence, Sciences et Arts 1764. Bound with: Lettre à M.*** servant de réponse à une critique de la Bibliographie instructive; and with: Appel aux savans et aux gens de lettres, au sujet de la Bibliographie instructive 1763.

Vol. 3: Belles-Lettres. Tome I 1765.

Vol. 4: Belles-Lettres. Tome II 1765.

Vol. 5: Catalogue des livres provenans de la bibliothèque de M.L.D.D.L.V. [La Vallière]. Tome premier 1767, prices marked in pencil.

Vol. 6: Catalogue des livres de M.L.D.D.L.V. Tome second 1767, prices marked in pencil.

Vol. 7: Histoire. Tome premier 1768.

Vol. 8: Histoire. Tome II 1768.

Vol. 9: Histoire. Tome III, Table générale 1768.

Vol. 10: Supplément à la Bibliographie instructive, ou catalogue des livres du cabinet de feu M. Louis Jean Gaignat. Tome premier 1769, manuscript prices in red ink.

Vol. 11: Supplément. Tome second 1769, manuscript prices in red ink.

Vol. 12: Tome dixième, Contenant une table destinée à faciliter la recherche des livres anonymes. Précédée d'un discours sur la science bibliographique & sur les devoirs du bibliographe 1782. Printed on "papier fin d'Angoulême azuré".

CHEVALIER. Bibliographie instructive ou notice du prix ou ont été portés à diverses ventes les livres rares dont fait mention Guillaume-François de Bure le Jeune, libraire à Paris, quai des Augustins. Bibliothèque de Mr. le Bon. de Stonne, Capitaine au Regiment de Dauphiné. Fait à la plume par Chevalier à Montpellier 1787. MANUSCRIPT ON WOVE PAPER, 290 pages, title-cartouche drawn in pen-and-ink. 8o (195 x 120 mm), original marbled calf gilt, gilt edges (repair to front joint); modern chemise and slipcase. (13)
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