22 - 23 March 2005
CORDES, Jean de (1570-1642) -- Gabriel NAUDÉ (1600-1653). Bibliothecae Cordesianae catalogus. Cum indice titulorum. Paris: Antoine Vitray, 1643.
8o (195 x 142 mm). Printer's woodcut device on title, full-page engraved portrait of Cordes after Daniel Dumoustier by Pierre Daret on ãii verso. Contemporary limp vellum. Provenance: early owner's undecipherable signatures on title and front free endpaper.
"...the earliest catalogue of a private library which is strictly arranged according to subjects. Although its immediate purpose was the sale of the library after the owner's death, as with so many 'inventory catalogues', for the following decades it was used as a model for forming a private library. Its classification system remained the leading one throughout the seventeenth century" (Breslauer & Folter).
Originally a canon at Limoges, Cordes lived in Paris as a book collector from around 1632 on, where he established his library. Upon his death in 1642, Cordes's library was offered to Cardinal Richelieu, who did not purchase it before his own death in December of the same year. The mansucripts were acquired by Colbert. The catalogue of printed books was compiled by Naudé, a friend of Cordes's, who became the librarian of Cardinal Mazarin after Richelieu's death. On Naudé's advice, Mazarin puchased the library of over 8,000 books, thus laying the foundation of his great library. Breslauer & Folter 53; Taylor, p. 238 (and numerous other references throughout).
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