21 March 2005
RENOUARD, Antoine-Augustin (1765-1853). Catalogue de la bibliothèque d'un amateur. Paris: Crapelet for the author, 1819.
8o (209 x 122 mm), 4 volumes. With all half-titles and tables, errata-leaf at the end vol. 4. (Minor foxing.) Contemporary scarlet quarter calf gilt, dark-blue lettering pieces, marbled paper sides, marbled edges, (spines faded).
Bound with vol. 4: [Renouard.] Petit supplément au catalogue d'une bibliothèque. [Paris: not before 1822]. 12o (185 x 110 mm). 6 leaves. Drop-title. Uncut.
The celebrated private-library catalogue of the leading French libraire-expert (with Debure) of his generation, whose bibliography of the Aldine Press remains indispensable to this day. Particularly relevant to the Breslauer Collection is the extensive section on bibliography, and catalogues, many in association copies or finely bound. Thus, Renouard describes his copy of Abbé Rive's La Chasse aux bibliographes as having "beaucoup de notes manuscrites de l'abbé de Saint-Léger, l'une des personnes les plus insultées dans cette indécente diatribe." His note on the Harleian Library is also worth quoting and well justified: "Bibliothèque extrêmement riche, dont le catalogue seroit d'un grand usage s'il étoit fait un peu plus dans le genre des nôtres." Renouard's identification of anonymous owners and professional notes on the auction sales are especially valuable.
The Breslauer set has Augustin de Saint-Aubin's engraved portrait of the Renouard family, dated 1800, inserted as a frontspiece to volume 1. Even rarer is the anonymous supplement to the catalogue, published a few years later, which seems to have escaped the notice of all bibliographers and is unmentioned in the catalogue of the posthumous Renouard sale (1854). Taylor p. 199.
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