FIRMIN-DIDOT, Ambroise (1790-1876) -- Catalogue illustré des livres précieux, manuscrits et imprimés, faisant partie de la bibliothèque de M. Ambroise Firmin-Didot. Paris: Adolphe Labitte & Veuve Labitte, Librairie & Typographie Firmin-Didot & Cie., 6 June 1878-10 June 1884.
6 volumes, 4o (290 x 192 mm). Approximately 200 plates. Indices and printed price lists. Contemporary crimson half morocco, marbled sides, t.e.g., others uncut, by Edouard Pagnant. Provenance: Laurence Potier (original subscriber); Edouard Pagnant, his successor; Conte Andrea Bocca (bookplates).
A VERY FINE SET OF THE LIMITED EDITION ON LARGE-PAPER, one of 500 copies, the first two volumes of the set subscribed to by Laurence Potier (no. 53). Although the 3,320 lots sold in these six sales only represented a small portion of the vast collection of books and manuscripts assembled by Ambroise Firmin-Didot during his long life, they were the most valuable ones, realizing the vast sum of 2,612,743 frs, 25 centimes, including the 5 sale tax -- the most important sale held in France since the MacCarthy-Reagh sale of 1815. Gustave Pawlowski, Firmin-Didot's old librarian and secretary, again collaborated in the compilation of the sale catalogues, as he had already done in the sale catalogue of the drawings and engravings in 1877 (see previous lot). On the printed front wrappers, at least of the six volumes of the ordinary edition, underneath the names of Delestre and Labitte, is the note "Se Vend Au Profit Des Pauvres," a fact that has remained unrecorded by DBF, Jammes, and other authorities. Blogie II, cols. 150,154,159,164,168,172. (6)