GAYOT, François-Marie (d. 1768) and Félix-Louis (1733-69) -- Catalogue des livres de la bibliothèque de Mrs. Gayot. Strasbourg, 1762.
Royal 2o (400 x 260 mm). CALLIGRAPHIC ILLUSTRATED MANUSCRIPT in ink on Dutch paper (a multigeminate stock watermarked with the Strasbourg fleur-de-lys and countermarked I VILLEDARY, another fleur-de-lys stock countermarked with crowned GR). Irregular quiring, mostly in sixes. 16 preliminary leaves: title, frontispiece, contents table, list of illustrations; 646 numbered pages (plus bis and ter 21, 307, 432, 477, 497 and 531): catalogue, tables of Variorum collection, incunabula, editiones principes, Aldus, Estienne, Elzevier, Haack, Coustelier and Barbou editions, and of journals; LXXXXIV numbered pages: author index. Each page within a black-rule frame. Text written in a fine cursive hand.
DECORATION: title within elaborate Rococo cartouches incorporating the Gayot arms; allegorical frontispiece showing Minerva surrounded by genii working in Gayot's library, drawn in pen-and-ink by Striedbeck after Marié; 99 LARGE PICTORIAL VIGNETTES AND TAILPIECES (one signed Metzger, the last D.W.), many emblematic, in pen-and-ink and grey wash, all relating to the subject divisions where they occur, their iconography taken from illustrations in editions represented in the library, including the Bible, Racine, Horace, Boileau, La Fontaine, Rabelais, Juvenal, Pufendorf, Basnage and others (all duly identified in the "Explication des Vignettes et Culs de Lampes"); 29 DECORATIVE TAILPIECES, some incorporating landscapes (the final one signed by D.W.).
CONTEMPORARY GOLD-TOOLED RED MOROCCO BINDING, perhaps executed at Strasbourg, triple fillets around the sides, the Gayot arms in the center (Olivier 2414.1), floral and other small tools in compartments of the spine with green morocco lettering piece, double fillet on board edges , floral roll on turn-ins, gilt leaf-edges. The binding is beautifully preserved, its color retaining the original brightness, because it has always been contained in its brown calf chemise (repaired at spine-ends), with gilt red morocco lettering piece; 18TH CENTURY LEATHER CHEMISES APPEAR TO BE UNRECORDED, and this one may originally have served as the catalogue's first binding. Provenance: Gayot, père et fils (the catalogue was not included in Debure's anonymous auction sale of this collection in 1770-71, see following lot) -- Paris sale, 9th March 1925, lot 148 (Giraud-Badin expert) -- Maurice Escoffier (no. 156 in his private-library catalogue) -- Pierre Chrétien catalogue 133 (1961), sold to -- Major J.R. Abbey (bookplate, Sotheby's, eleventh portion, 19 June 1989, lot 3050).
FINELY DECORATED 18TH-CENTURY FRENCH PRIVATE-LIBRARY MANUSCRIPT CATALOGUE, grander and more lavish in its execution than most noble or royal catalogues. The elder Gayot was successively Administrator-General of the Royal armies and member of the Council of Alsace, and served in the Department of War under the Duc de Choiseul. In 1906 C.N. Dublanchy based his Une intendance d'armée au XVIIIe siècle on Gayot's papers. The library, however, is not strong in military subjects. It excels in first editions of the classics, poetry, history, Aldines and Elzeviers. BBB Harvard 22.