MÉRARD DE SAINT-JUST, Simon-Pierre (1749-1812) -- Oeuvres de M. de Mérard-Saint-Just. Paris: chez l'Auteur, 1786. -- [Second title:] Catalogue des livres en très petit nombre qui composent la bibliothèque de M. Mérard de S. Just. Paris: Imprimerie de [François-Ambroise] Didot l'Ainé, 1783.
12o (140 x 80 mm). Bound for Comte de La Bédoyère by Antoine Bauzonnet in mid 19th- century half dark blue straight-grained morocco, spine gilt, uncut (joints slightly rubbed). Provenance: Comte Noël-François-Henri Huchet de La Bédoyère (bookplate, binding); Jean Furstenberg (bookplate); an unidentified engraving of a donkey.
ONE OF 25 COPIES, printed by Didot in his new types on "Papier superfin de Matthieu Johannot d'Annonay." The choice, if small, collection of Mérard de Saint-Just, at one time in the service of the Comte de Provence, the future Louix XVIII, and later on connected with the Comte d'Artois, later Charles X. The preface includes some unusual views on book collectors, and in his concluding remarks on pp. 161-163, he sets out his main interests, foremost among them fine bindings, listing eight binders whose works he had acquired or himself commissioned: Padeloup, Laferti, Derome le Jeune, Chamean, Chaumont, Roger Payne and Baumgarten; he enumerates sixteen sales at which he acquired books, including those of the Pompadour, Boze, Gaignat, Gouttard, and "Mylord Keri" (i.e. Ker, Duke of Roxburghe) collections. His catalogue is the first in which the binders of the books, whenever known, are mentioned. He also gives the cost prices of every book. The last five pages, present in this copy though missing in others, are printed on slightly smaller paper and describe in detail the first book printed by F.-A. Didot, "Des Pierres Précieuses" by Dutens. Unrecorded are the first two leaves in this copy, half title and title of "Oeuvres," with the date 1782, probably for a reprint of all his writings which was never executed, and to which the "Catalogue" might have served as introduction.