21 March 2005
MEUNIER, Charles (1866-1940). Cent reliures de la Bibliothèque nationale. Paris: Société Typographique de Chateaudun for the Société des amis du livre moderne, 1914.
4o (240 x 190 mm). Frontispiece of François Flameng's painting of Grolier visiting Aldus in his Venice shop, commissioned by the Grolier Club (and still preserved there), and 100 reproductions of historical bookbindings.
FINELY BOUND BY CHARLES MEUNIER, signed and dated 1918: crushed red morocco, narrow inlaid border of brown and green marbled calf in center of the front cover framing A BRONZE PLAQUE SIGNED M. FAVRE of a woman binder sewing a book, inscribed on verso: "Aux Amis de la Maison du Livre/1900/Ch. Meunier" (visible through cut-out rectangle in pastedown), four double raised bands on spine, gilt lettered and tooled in compartments, multiple gilt fillet on turn-ins, original front wrapper preserved. Slipcase. Provenance: Colonel (later General) Jacques Willems (Brussels collector), with autograph letter signed by the author/binder, on "Cercle Grolier Fondation Charles Meunier" letterhead, dated 11th May 1923, offering the book in gratitude for his and Mme Willems' hospitality, and with a full-page inserted autograph description of an armorial binding for Cardinal Séguier (reproduced pl. 85): "Note inédite ajoutée pour l'exemplaire du Colonel J. Willems."
PRESENTATION COPY, in a most unusual binding by the author, of a binder's views on historical bookbindings, given as a lecture at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes Sociales on 18th February 1914, finely printed and extensively illustrated. Meunier was not only one of France's most prominent binders and an enthusiast of historical bookbindings, but also published new books for bibliophile societies and founded the Cercle Grolier in 1923.
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