FIRMIN-DIDOT, Ambroise (1790-1876) -- Catalogue illustré des dessins et estampes composant la collection de M. Ambroise Firmin-Didot. Introduction by Charles Blanc and Georges Duplessis. Paris: Danlos fils & Delisle, Librairie & Typographie Firmin-Didot & Cie, 16 April 1877.
4o (274 x 210 mm). 16 photogravure plates in various monochrome colors by St. Geoffray, A. Pilinski & Fils. Printed prices realized. Contemporary crimson half-morocco, marbled sides, t.e.g., others uncut, signed by Isidore Smeers. Provenance: Conte Andrea Bocca (bookplate).
LIMITED EDITION, number 130 of 200 large-paper copies. Though less well-known as a collector of graphic arts than of books and manuscripts, Firmin-Didot was as prodigious in that field as in the other. Of the almost 6,000 lots, described with the assistance of Firmin-Didot's old librarian and secretary Gustave Pawlowski, there were 104 original drawings by or attributed to, among others, Burckmair (4), Dürer (13, including the famous portrait of his mother, now in Berlin), Holbein (4), Schongauer (4), Van Dyck (2), Goltzius (2), Memling (1), Rembrandt (23), Cousin (5), Raphael (1); among the graphics, there were 109 copper engravings and 258 woodcuts by Dürer, of the, respectively, 110 and 270 listed by Bartsch, 400 Rembrandt engravings, including some in several states, 100 by Marcantonio Raimondi (there was also a drawing by him). But more than half of the collection consisted of portraits of historical and literary personages, listed under artists according to their schools. The Belgian binder Smeers (b. 1834), who worked for most of his life in Paris, was one of Firmin-Didot's preferred binders.