RABUTIN, François de (d. 1582). Continuation des Commentaires des dernieres guerres en la Gaule Belgique. Paris: Michel de Vascosan, 1559.
8° (186 x 120mm). Woodcut ornamental initials. (A few paper flaws, mostly repaired and occasionally affecting a few letters, faint browning, occasional small stain.) Contemporary Paris painted mosaiqué binding: brown morocco over pasteboard, painted in black and tooled in silver to a freehand design of central medallion and leafy scrolls, flat spine similarly tooled and painted, upper cover with the gilt and painted arms of Polin de la Garde on painted red ground within a collar of St Michel, lower cover with a tooled and painted emblematic design of clasped hands stamp, floral and palm branches and gilt banderole lettered in Greek, fore-edges silvered, gauffered and lightly coloured to a floral design, two fore-edge ties in black and green, single front flyleaf, a pair of rear flyleaves (discreet repairs, gilding and painting retouched, ties renewed); modern chemise and slipcase. Provenance: Antoine Escalin des Aimars, baron Polin de la Garde (1498-1578; binding) – Leon Techener (sale 1889, lot 199) – Adolphe Bordes.
A DE LUXE BINDING BY THE GRAND DOREUR, RESPONSIBLE FOR MASTERPIECES FOR THE ROYAL LIBRARY AND ITS BINDERS, GOMAR ESTIENNE AND CLAUDE DE PICQUES FOR ANTOINE ESCALIN DES AIMARS, BARON DE LA GARDE. A BOOK ON WARFARE BY A NOTED SOLDIER AND DIPLOMAT.
Escalin des Aimars distinguished himself in military exploits to rise from humble origins to earn a knighthood from François I. He served as French ambassador to the Ottoman empire at Constantinople, negotiated a Franco-Ottoman alliance against Italian states in 1542, joined in the armed crusade against the Protestant Waldensians and fought against the English, including invading the Isle of Wight. According to Guigard, after a busy and dangerous life, he succeeded in gathering ‘some books which were to become the friends of the end of his life’. Books from his library are extremely scarce.
For similar elements on bindings for the Royal bindery, see nos 101, 102 and 111 in Reliures royales de la Renaissance. The present binding was reproduced in L’Album de planches a l’eau-forte … reproduisant les principals reliures compromises dans les ventes de la bibliothèque de Feu M. Leon Techener (1889).