DELCROZ -- Etat de ma Bibliothèque le 1er Vendemiaire an XI (23 7bre 1802). [? Paris, 1802].
4o (237 x 183 mm). MANUSCRIPT, PERHAPS AUTOGRAPH, in brown ink on a single stock of Van der Ley paper (fleur-de-lys watermark and initials VDL), ruled in lead pencil (vertical) and red ink (horizontal) for use as a ledger. Collation: [1-244 256] (1/2-3 and 25/6 blank removed). 192 numbered pages of which 63 are blank except for pagination. Drop-title as given above on p. 1, table of subject divisions on the leaf preceding it.
PARISIAN BINDING BY DEROME LE JEUNE, unsigned, c. 1765: gold-tooled red morocco, wide dentelle border on sides composed of floral and shell tools, acanthus leaves, stars and solid dots, outer border of drawer handles; spine with raised bands, decorated in compartments with small tools including Derome's characteristic bird tool, title LIVRE DE COMPTE lettered in the second compartment, floral roll along the turn-ins, blue silk liners, gilt edges, (small stains on front cover, minor wear at extremities). Provenance: Delcroz -- Edouard Rahir (bookplate, Morgand 1910 binding catalogue, item 238; Rahir sale VI, Paris 1938, lot 1699).
Although the exact identity of the owner of this fine library and the consignor of the sale that took place on 20-24 December 1802 at Silvestre's rooms (copies of the printed catalogue at BnF and the Grolier Club) remains a mystery, this important manuscript catalogue provides rare insight into the method of accounting the dispersal of a substantial collection by auction in Revolutionary France. It is the collector's own inventory of his library before he turned it over to the auctioneer (Catoire) or expert (Merigot), precisely recording author, title, imprint, date, format, binding, date of acquisition and purchase price, as well as a running tally of the number of editions, volumes and total cost. The first part of the catalogue is arranged in order of accession, the second classified by subject. After the first hundred entries Delcroz states : "J'avais ces livres avant de penser à former une Bibliothèque." Altogether he owned 722 works in 3115 volumes, costing 40,342 frs. The subsequent auction sale, whose lot numbers are keyed to the manuscript catalogue numbers, realized 41,953 frs. 12s.
Peignot identified the consignor of the sale as Delcroz, which Rahir spelled Delcro in his description of this manuscript. Van der Elst and Blogie name Aimable-Charles, Marquis de La Guiche as the collector in their entries of the auction catalogue (see also North 421). Among the more unusual subjects entered in this manuscript catalogue are Poligraphes, Facéties, Bibliographie and Priapées.