21 March 2005
PAILLET, Eugène (1829-1901) -- Henri BERALDI (1849-1931). 1865-1885. Bibliothèque d'un bibliophile. Lille: L. Danel, privately printed for the author and the Société des Amis des Livres, 1885.
8o (200 x 125 mm). LIMITED EDITION ("tirage à petit nombre"), printed on Holland paper. EXTRA-ILLUSTRATED with two impressions of the etched portrait of Paillet by E. Abot (one before letters), taken from the 1887 Morgand catalogue and here inserted as frontispiece.
BOUND BY EMILE MERCIER FOR VICOMTE DE LA CROIX LAVAL: contemporary gold-tooled red crushed morocco, multiple borders on sides, the La Croix Laval arms in the center, spine decorated in compartments, blue morocco doublures, multiple borders including one inlaid with black morocco surrounding an elaborate dentelle, signed "Mercier sr. de Cuzin" at foot of front doublure, gilt edges (partly uncut), original printed wrappers preserved, matching slipcase also signed by Mercier. Provenance: Francisque Cuzin, the binder (d. 1890), PRESENTATION COPY inscribed to him by the author on half-title -- Vicomte A. de La Croix Laval, who commissioned the binding from Cuzin's finisher and successor Emile Mercier and included it as no. 59 among his celebrated one-hundred: Mes Cent Reliures. Description de reliures modernes composant la collection du Vte de La Croix Laval (1888-1902), which were sold at auction in 1903 -- Claude Guérin.
Béraldi wrote this catalogue in homage to the much admired Paillet and his bibliophilic salon. "Ce catalogue amusant et humoristique donne bien la physionomie de la Bibliophilie de 1875 à 1885" (Escoffier 177). When Paillet sold his collection en-bloc two years later to the bookseller Damascène Morgand, Béraldi did not hesitate to acquire the books that had tempted him the most. ASSOCIATION COPY, combining four of the quintessential bibliophile figures in fin-de-siècle Paris: Béraldi, Cuzin, Mercier and La Croix Laval.
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