ADÉLAÏDE, Madame de France (1732-1800) -- Catalogue des Livres de Madame Adélaïde. [Versailles, c. 1753-54].
4o (238 x 177 mm). CALLIGRAPHIC MANUSCRIPT in ink on French paper (a single stock with standard watermark "date" 1742), quiring uncertain, apparently mostly in twelves:  leaves, the first two blank, title, table of classification, seventh leaf blank; 154 ff. of catalogue (recte 153, numbering omits 143); 20 leaves, author index, find two leaves blank. Rule-border on each page, catalogue written on rectos only in a single hand, additions in the same hand on 46 versos, 21 latest additions entered by a different librarian, the number of entries recorded in the lower margin of each page in the principal hand.
ORIGINAL FRENCH GOLD-TOOLED RED MOROCCO BINDING, triple fillet on sides with the arms of Mesdames de France in the center, small floral tools in compartments of spine, green morocco lettering piece, roll-tooled turn-ins, marbled endpapers, gilt edges, green silk bookmark, (a few very small, insignificant stains on covers). Provenance: Marie-Adélaïde of France (arms-block on binding close to but not identical with Olivier 2514.2 and 2514.5), eldest of the Mesdames of France, the three surviving daughters of Louis XV and Marie Leczinska.
THE EARLIEST KNOWN AND UNPUBLISHED MANUSCRIPT CATALOGUE OF MADAME ADéLAïDE'S CELEBRATED LIBRARY. After the collection had grown considerably and she had moved to the château of Belleville following her nephew Louis XVI's accession to the throne, Madame Adélaïde had a new catalogue compiled, which is preserved at the Arsenal Library in Paris.
Madame Adélaïde was the most intelligent and the most bibliophile of the three sisters. Her books were bound in armorial red morocco (by Fournier in Versailles and Vente in Paris), Madame Victoire's in green, Madame Sophie's in citron, but all three used the same coat-of-arms. Mesdames Victoire and Adélaïde escaped the guillotine by fleeing France in February 1791 for Rome, then Naples, Corfu and Trieste, where they died destitute in 1799 and 1800 respectively. The manuscript catalogue of Madame Sophie's library, compiled in 1778 and bound in citron morocco, was owned by Guglielmo Libri (Sotheby's, 1st August 1859, lot 551).
This impressive catalogue documents Madame Adélaïde's library when she was only about twenty-one years old. It contained some 750 works by more than 400 authors, in almost 2000 volumes. It is divided into sections on prayerbooks, scriptures, Greek and Latin Fathers, catechisms and sermons, religion, philosophy and law, arts and sciences, philology and literature, poetry, geography and history, ecclesiastical history, classical history, French history, Italian and Iberian history, Low Countries and Britain, Germany and Scandinavia, Turkey and the Far East, Africa and America, voyages, miscellaneous; then subdivided into formats. It is not recorded in Quentin-Bauchard, Les Femmes bibliophiles (1886). The library was sold by auction during the French Revolution.