PÉRÉFIXE, Hardouin de Beaumont de (1605-1671, Archbishop of Paris). Histoire du Roy Henri le Grand ... nouvelle édition, enrichie d'une notice sur Henri IV, par M. [François] Andrieux (1759-1833). Paris: l'Imprimerie de Rignoux for Étienne Ledoux, 1822.
Large 8° (235 x 152mm). Half-title. Engraved frontispiece portrait by Dequevauviller after Frans Pourbus the younger [?in proof state, with open-letter title]. (Scattered light spotting, title and portrait spotted.) CONTEMPORARY GOLD-TOOLED MOSAIC BINDING BY RENé SIMIER, fine purple morocco covers with recessed green morocco panels with central gilt purple and citron morocco inlays surrounded by red morocco strapwork inlays enclosing gilt purple inlays, borders formed by green morocco bands with oval purple, citron and red morocco oval inlays, the bands terminated by green and red morocco scallop inlays, gilt board edges, gilt turn-ins with gilt red and green morocco inlays, the flat spine gilt and lettered at the head and foot within green morocco onlaid frames, the central section of the spine with a raised frame decorated with red, green and citron morocco inlays, the frame enclosing a green morocco panel decorated with quatrefoils formed of red, purple and citron inlays, gilt-lined free endpapers, gilt edges, (small scuff mark on spine), crushed green morocco box, lettered in gilt on the back. Provenance: 'EXPOSITION , DE 1823.' (gilt black morocco ticket pasted onto front free endpaper) -- Marie-Caroline-Ferdinande-Louise de Bourbon Sicile, duchesse de Berry (1798-1870, her sale, Evans, 21 March 1831, lot 596, describing the portrait as 'proof impression') -- Beriah Botfield, bought from Payne & Foss for £8.12.6 (P. & F. Acquisitions, p.70).
THE DUCHESSE DE BERRY'S LARGE-PAPER COPY ON PAPIER VéLIN, IN A PRIZE-WINNING EXHIBITION BINDING BY SIMIER. One of the most celebrated and versatile early 19th-century French binders, René Simier (fl.1798-1826) counted the King and Queen of France, the Empress Marie Louise, and the duchesse de Berry amongst his clients. As Ramsden states, 'His variety and technique were superb; he had no superior and few rivals during his career' (French Bookbinders 1789-1848, London: 1950, p.190). Simier exhibited at the Exposition des produits de l'industrie française in 1819, and was awarded an honourable mention for his work (cf. P. Culot Relieurs et reliures décorées en France à l'époque romantique, Brussels: 1995, no. 1, for a copy of C. Marot's Oeuvres, The Hague: 1700, 2 volumes, bound by Simier and bearing a similar exhibition ticket to the present work, dated 1819). In 1823 Simier and his son Alphonse Simier (1795-1859) were jointly awarded a silver medal at the Exposition des produits de l'industrie française (cf. Culot, op. cit., p.552) for work including the present binding. Brunet IV, 491.