LABBÉ, Philippe (1607-67). Novae Bibliothecae manuscript. librorum tomus primus [secundus]. Paris: Sebastien and Gabriel Cramoisy, 1657.
Royal 2o (416 x 276 mm), 2 volumes. With half-titles, titles printed in red and black, with Cramoisy's woodcut device, engraved portrait of the dedicatee, Nicolas Foucquet, by Pailly after C. de Brun, engraved portrait of his recently deceased three-year old son, François Fouquet, by R. Lochon, engraved and woodcut head- and tail-pieces and initials, type-ornaments. (Some browning in places.)
CONTEMPORARY PARISIAN ARMORIAL PRESENTATION BINDINGS: gold-tooled red morocco, over thick pasteboard, panelled sides wih two frames of triple fillets, bold fleurons at the angles, large ARMS OF NICOLAS FOUQUET in the center (Olivier 1398 fer 1), six raised bands on spines, the compartments decorated with small tools, small Fouquet arms (Olivier fer 3) alternating with Fouquet's interlaced double phi (Olivier fer 4), roll-tooled border along turn-ins, marbled pastedowns, gilt edges, (minor repair to two joints, slight rubbing at extremities). Provenance: Nicolas Fouquet, marquis de Belle-Isle (1615-80), Louis XIV's brilliant minister of state for finance, builder of Vaux-le-Vicomte, one of France's most magnificent châteaux, one of the most powerful men in the mid-17th century, but who is best known for his spectacular fall from grace, his imprisonment from 1665 until his death, and the confiscation of his properties and treasures -- William, seventh Duke of Devonshire (bookplate), who inherited the library at Chatsworth in 1858 from his father, the sixth Duke, one of England's greatest bibliophiles; Christie's London, 1 October 1981, lot 248.
THE DEDICATION COPY, PRINTED ON LARGE PAPER and suitably bound for presentation to the richest man in France. The author composed his dedication from the Jesuit College of Clermont in Paris, the recipient of repeated benefactions from Fouquet. The binding was commissioned from the same atelier that worked for Sir Kenelm Digby, the English book collector who lived in Paris as a temporary political exile (see Breslauer catalogue 106, no. 69). Labbé was an indefatigable bibliographer and historian. In these two substantial volumes he publishes the contents of dozens of manuscripts found in institutional and private libraries, relating to history, Saints' lives, genealogy, and particularly to Aquitaine and Bourges. BBB Wittockiana 3.