DESORMEAUX, Joseph-Louis-Ripault (1724-1793). Histoire de la Maison de Bourbon. Paris: l'Imprimerie Royale, 1772-1788.
5 volumes, 4° (206 x 264mm). Engraved frontispiece by Boucher, 14 portraits by Fragonard, Le Monnier and Vincent, large folding genealogical plate, numerous tail-pieces and vignettes by Choffard and head-pieces by Moreau. (Marginal wormhole in vol. IV, some spotting and browning, occasional soiling and a few marginal tears in vol. II.) Contemporary French red morocco gilt, covers with arms of the Princes de Conti within dentelle border composed of sprays, dotted wreaths, floral crowns and winged insects, spine compartments with gilt floral tools and green morocco labels (light scratch marks to covers, light rubbing to extremities, labels faded on vol.1). Provenance: Princes de Bourbon-Conti (binding) -- René de Garland Brassac, marquis de Béarn (bookplate) -- Cortlandt F. Bishop (ex-libris) -- Francis Kettaneh (ex-libris).
The rich illustrations by Choffard, described by Ray as 'one of the most exquisite of book artists', make this book of special note. The work of Desormeaux, the official historiographer to the Maison de Bourbon, was disrupted by the French Revolution and left unfinished at the reign of Henry IV. This copy is bound with appropriate splendour for the Princes de Bourbon-Conti. Brunet II, 638; Quérard II, 525; Ray, French, 69. (5)