12 June 2009
BURGUNDY 1454 -- LUCOTTE DU TILLIOT, Jean Bénigne. Memoires pour servir a l'histoire de la Fëte des Foux, qui se faisoit autrefois dans plusieurs eglises. Lausanne and Geneva: Marc-Michel Bousquet, 1741.
4o (248 x 192 mm). Title-page printed in red and black. Engraved title vignette, 12 engraved folding plates, woodcut head- and tail-pieces (small wormhole slight affecting plate images and a few letters of text). 19th-century half vellum, paper-covered boards. Provenance: ink notation on front free endpaper dated "1829."
Tilliot's history of the Festival of Fools, a mock religious festival with a long tradition of celebration. Traced back to the pagan Saturnalia of ancient Rome, the revelry and buffoonery of the Festival of Fools was later performed during the Middle Ages on Epiphany (January 6). Tilliot's work outlines the history of the occasion and describes the festival according to how it was celebrated in Dijon in the 17th and 18th centuries. The plates illustrate banners and flags used during the festivities, as well as the dress of the participants, and ceramics adorned with pictorial representations of fools. Often blasphemous in nature, the Festival of Fools was condemned at the Council of Basle in 1435 and in 1445, King Charles VII forbid its celebration anywhere within his realm of rule. It nonetheless managed to survive until the restoration and even longer in some parts of France, particularly in Dijon. Brunet V, 860; Cohen-De Ricci 339; Graesse VI, p.160; Ruggieri 551.
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