Livre de mariage d'apres les manuscrits de la Bibliothèque royale. Paris: Gruel, '1846' [colophon 1849].
8° (153 x 110mm). Chromolithographic title and 91 chromolithographic facsimile leaves incorporating one full-page frontispiece, one full-page part-title and 14 full-page illustrations by H. Moulin after Auguste Louis Charles Ledoux, printed in gold and colours throughout by Engelmann and Graf, mounted on guards. EXTRA-ILLUSTRATED with 5 additional leaves with chromolithographic borders enclosing a calligraphic manuscript of the wedding-service of Ferdinando, 1st Duke of Genoa,(1822-1855) and Elizabeth, Princess of Saxony, (1830-1912), in 1850; the borders with additional painted decoration incorporating their arms and monogram initials, and 6 hand-painted and gilt engraved plates of Saints Ferdinand, Elizabeth, John the Evangelist, Theresa, Amelia, and the Blessed Virgin Mary, with letterpress titles printed in gold beneath, one by André Féart, another by L. Butavand after A. Fries. Original green velvet [?by Gruel], upper board with applied silver gilt and enamel arms of Savoia and Saxony, silver gilt cornerpieces, and bosses, velvet fore-edge straps with silver gilt fittings, silver gilt spine-ends, gilt edges, yellow fabric endleaves, 6 joined silk markers with white silk and silver thread tassles (short splits on upper joint, short tear on one strap); silk-lined green roan box with gilt crest on cover. Provenance: Prince Ferdinando, Duke of Genoa and Princess Elizabeth of Saxony, inserted flyleaf with illuminated strapwork cartouche in a French renaissance style with the arms of Savoy and Saxony in gold and colours, binding.
A FINELY-BOUND FACSIMILE LIVRE DE MARIAGE DECORATED AND EXTRA-ILLUSTRATED TO COMMEMORATE THE ROYAL WEDDING OF PRINCE FERDINAND OF SAVOY AND PRINCESS ELIZABETH OF SAXONY. The basis of the volume is a chromolithographic livre de mariage printed for the binder and publisher Gruel by the company of Engelmann and Graf. Godefroy Engelmann I (1788-1839) had developed a pioneering, fully-automated process for colour lithography in 1836 and founded the company Société Engelmann, Père et Fils with his son Godefroy II (1814-1897) in 1837, which became Engelmann et Graf in 1842, and quickly established itself as the leading company in France for the printing of facsimiles of illuminated manuscripts. The binder Pierre Paul Gruel died in c. 1848, and his business was continued by his widow -- who married Godefroy Engelmann II in 1851 -- and his son Léon (1841-1923). The Livres de mariage produced by Engelmann et Graf were available in a variety of forms, and this example, based on manuscripts in the Bibliothèque royale (including the Grandes Heures of Anne of Brittany and Les très riches heures of Jean de France, duc de Berry), was prepared in a particularly luxurious form for the marriage of Prince Ferdinand, Duke of Genoa and Princess Elizabeth of Saxony on 22 April 1850. Five leaves bearing the calligraphic text of Ferdinand and Elizabeth's wedding service, decorated by hand with their arms and monogram and illuminated with painted initials and infills, have been inserted before the chromolithographic text, and heavily painted and gilt engravings of five Saints, including Ferdinand and Elizabeth, have been added, as has a preliminary painted armorial before the printed title. The binding is unsigned, but was probably executed by Gruel, and is richly ornamented with metal furnishings and an enamelled plaque bearing the arms of Savoy and Saxony.