DE BURE, Guillaume-François (1731-82). Bibliographie instructive: ou traité de la connoissance des livres rares et singuliers. Paris: Didot for De Bure le Jeune, 1763-69 and [vol. 10] Demonville for Goguée & Née de la Rochelle, 1782. 10 volumes, 8° (195 x 125mm). With half-titles in volumes 3, 5, and 8, and without most blanks. (Light worming in the bottom margin of vol. 9.) Uniform contemporary French mottled calf, spines gilt in compartments, double lettering pieces, edges red (some corners rubbed, light wear at extremities).
FIRST EDITION. ‘THE BEST OF THE EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY RARE BOOK BIBLIOGRAPHIES, important for the new classification scheme employed and for the extensive bibliographical data and notes. It is here that the Gutenberg Bible (‘Bible Mazarine’) is identified and first described’ (Grolier). 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 to the world of rare books. Its continuing influence today, albeit indirect, is real. The two volumes relating to the superb Gaignat collection are priced in manuscript, in black ink. Volume 1 is bound with De Bure’s response to his detractors: Lettre à M.*** servant de réponse à une critique de la Bibliographie instructive, and Appel aux savans et aux gens de lettres, au sujet de la Bibliographie instructive. This set conforms to the usual ten volume composition for this work, with the index volume, and without the two volumes relating to La Vallière sometimes added to it. Grolier, Bibliography, p. 107.