12 June 2009
PARIS 1573 -- DORAT, Jean. Magnificentissimi spectaculi, a regina regum matre in hortis suburbanis editi, in Henrici regis Poloniae, inuictissimi nuper renunciati gratulationem. Paris: Frédéric Morel, 1573.
4o (190 x 142 mm). Quires 2C and 2D (containing verse by Ronsard and Amadis Jamyn) originally imposed and worked together and inserted at a later stage of the book's production. Two woodcut devices, the second incorporating the arms of Charles IX (Renouard 791 & 792), three full-page woodcuts, 16 woodcut emblematic pendants by JEAN COUSIN or OLIVIER CODORÉ, foliated woodcut outline initials and woodcut head-pieces (the final woodcut shaved along fore-margin). Old vellum (the book was folded like a document and sealed before it was put in this binding).
Dorat recounts the elaborate ballet held for the accession to the throne of Poland by HENRI DE VALOIS (1551-1589), duc d'Anjou (later HENRI III). The ballet was organzied by his mother, CATHERINE DE' MEDICI, for the Polish delegates who had come to Paris for the occasion. The ballet was performed at the Tuilleries gardens, in which a pavillion was constructed and an elaborate chariot in the shape of a mountain was built to carry the dancers into the pavillion (shown in woodcuts on F2v-3r). The sixteen dancers each represented one of the provinces of France, each wearing a gold pendant with the device of the province. These pendants were presented to the royal party and their guests at the end of the performance. Didot attributes the woodcuts to Jean Cousin, while Brun suggests that may be the work of Olivier Codoré, based on similarities to his work in the 1572 work recording the entry of Charles IX into Paris (see previous lot). This copy has the the word "Laureus" on B2r and "Regna" on B3v capitalized, described by Mortimer as the probable original state. Barbier II:81, III:79; Brun, p.187; Didot Cousin, pp.193-194; Harvard/Mortimer French 177 (in their collation, quires 2C and 2D are inserted together after quire B); Tchemerzine V, p.7; Watanabe 1652.
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