RIVE, Jean Joseph (1730-1791), Abbé. La chasse aux bibliographes et antiquaires mal-avisés. London [i.e. Aix-en-Provence]: "N. Aphobe" [=Fearless], 1789.
2 volumes, 8o (209 x 135 mm). Woodcut printer's devices on title-pages, head-pieces. Divisional title to part I inserted. (Small marginal repair on a1 in vol. 2.) Contemporary French red half morocco, red glazed boards, gilt-tooled smooth spines, fore-edges untrimmed. Provenance: William Beckford (Hamilton Palace sale, sale, 1883, lot 1370); Earl of Rosebery (sale Sotheby's London, 28 October 1975, lot 332); Major Adrian L. McLaughlin (bookplate, his sale Sotheby Parke Bernet Monaco, 7 October 1980, lot 1487).
A FINE COPY OF THE FIRST EDITION, ONE OF 50 ON HOLLAND, ruled in red. For thirteen years, Abbé Rive served as librarian to the Duc de la Vallière, who had formed the most important collection of books of the 18th century. After the latter's death it was given preference to Guillaume Debure, van Praet for the redaction of the library catalogue (1783). "Six years later, in 1789, the Abbé repeated and amplified his attacks in La chasse aux bibliographes, in which he rakes together everything that the most vindictive spite can suggest, not only concerning the two bibliographers Debure and van Praet and their catalogue, but concerning his late patron, the Duc de la Vallière, and, indeed, all others whom he deemed his enemies, who had any part in the slight which he conceived had been put upon him. Undoubtedly, in spite of all its vindictive bitterness, or perhaps, partly owing to this, it is a book full of interest to all bibliophiles and bibliographers, as well as of no little use for elucidating some obscure points in literary history" (R.C. Christie, "The Catalogues of the Library of the Duc de la Vallière," in Library Chronicle, II, 1885, pp. 153-159).
Abbé Rive became librarian at Aix-en-Provence where the present work was printed. On p. LII of the preface in the second part he explains that his work was printed in 250 copies on ordinary paper and 50 copies on "papier d'Hollande"; and on p. ILV he states that the "papier d'Hollande" ran out during the printing of the second part. See Alfred Serrai, "'La Chase au Bibliographes,'" in: Libri Tipografi, Biblioteche. Ricerche storiche dedicate a Luigi Balsamo, Florence, 1997, II, pp. 463-472. Bigmore & Wyman II, 260; Brunet IV:1321; Cioranescu 53419. (2)