21 March 2005
GUIGARD, Joannis (1825-92). Armorial du bibliophile. Paris: Gauthier-Villars (Jules Bonaventure) for Antoine Bachelin-Deflorenne, 1870-73.
8o (258 x 162 mm), 4 parts in 2 volumes. Numerous illustrations of armorial stamps. (Paper browned.) FINELY BOUND BY BELZ-NIEDRéE FOR BARON BASTARD-SAINT-DENIS, Paris c. 1873: gold-tooled crimson crushed morocco, triple fillet, arms in the center of sides (Olivier 1695, not in Guigard), armorial charge at the angles, same charge and other small tools as well as lettering in the compartments of spines, roll-tooled turn-ins, signed inside front covers, gilt edges. Folding cloth box. Provenance: Jean-Marie-Arthur, baron de Bastard-Saint-Denis (1836-c.1878) -- Emile Levavasseur (bookplate).
EXTRA-ILLUSTRATED SET on Holland paper of a classic in binding literature, with seven photogravure plates of bookbindings inserted in vol. 1 from the same publisher's Album de reliures historiques (1869) and their periodical, Le Bibliophile français. Guigard, an expert in heraldry at the Bibliothèque nationale, had the simple but brilliant idea of assembling and reproducing the coats-of-arms found on French bindings from the 16th century onwards and giving succinct biographies of their owners. In its enlarged second edition of 1890 it remained the only reference work of its kind until the publication of Olivier's vast corpus (1924-38) and is still worth consulting.
Jean-Philippe Belz (1831-1917, retired 1880, his atelier taken over by Canape), a native of Frankfurt, was perhaps the most talented of the German binders to seek their fortune in Second Empire Paris. He married Jean-Edouard Niedrée's daughter, took over the shop from the widow in 1861 and added Niedrée's name to his own. B.H. Breslauer, The Uses of Bookbinding Literature p. 17. BBB Wittockiana 37.
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