3 June 2009
SILVESTRE, Joseph Balthazar (b.1791). Paléographie Universelle. Collection de fac-simile d'écritures de tous les peoples et de tous les temps. Paris: Firmin Didot Frères, 1839-1841.
4 volumes, broadsheet 2° (600 x 430mm). Half-titles. Engraved title in each volume, 296 plates, many of these hand-coloured and printed in colour. (Plates 76 and 119 without caption leaves perhaps as issued, spotting, sometimes heavy in the text, the plates with occasional light offsetting and light browning, edges trimmed.) Loose as issued, preserving the upper side of five original printed paper wrappers, each volume in a green morocco-backed chemise and slipcase (some spotting on the wrappers).
'A LANDMARK WORK, EXECUTED WITH THE GREATEST LUXURY' (Brunet). 'An excellent work and one of a kind' (Graesse). This copy hand-coloured and preserving some of the original part wrappers. Copies are known with and without a frontispiece portrait. ABPC records only one set selling at auction in over 35 years. Brunet V, 390 (recording also an uncoloured issue); Graesse VI, 408. (4)
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