BOULARD, Antoine-Marie-Henri (1754-1826) -- Catalogue des livres de la bibliothèque... Paris: Gaudefroy & Bleuet et al., 19 May 1828-1833.
Five volumes in three, 8o (199 x 123 mm). Early 20th-century half dark-red morocco (light rubbing to edges).
The extraordinary sale catalogue of an extraordinary library, and according to Hofer the largest library ever formed by an individual. At his death, he owned more than 300,000 volumes "of unequal value, but including veritable curiosities" (DBF). The dealers who organized the auction were faced with an almost impossible task; many volumes were simply discarded; "we are told that a hundred and fifty thousand volumes were set aside as not worth listing separately and were sold in bundles of thirty and forty books... Four volumes (of the Boulard Catalogue) contain French books, and a fifth contains books in other languages. The fact that the first volume lists some thirty thousand volumes of theology, law and science gives an idea of the collection" (Taylor). Richard Heber bought all the historical books. The five sales contained 17,000 lots, but many of these consisted of up to ten or twelve titles, all individually listed. The sales were catalogued by: L.F.A. Gaudefroy, J.A. Bleuet and J.F. Boisverd. The dispersal took 248 days. "Boulard's library was intended to be sold in 5 parts; part 5 sold a few months after part 1, beginning in November 1828, part 2 was sold in 1829, and part 3 in 1830; part 3 combines the losts originally intended to form parts 3 and 4 of the sale, and although a catalogue labeled 'part 4' was issued in 1833 it is in fact a supplement to the main series" (North). Boulard, Notaire au Châtelet, had a considerable reputation as author and collector under the Ancien Régime, but, for all his wealth, was not victimized during the Revolution, becoming "maire" of the XIth Arrondissement, and deputy under Napoleon. He was the literary executor of La Harpe, and made numerous translations from the English and German, being an excellent linguist. Blogie II, col. 39; Graesse II:69; North 599, 600, 603, and 615; Taylor p.121-122. (3)