London, South Kensington
18 November 2003
SAINT-AUBIN, Charles Germain de (1721-1786). Premier [Second] recueil de chiffres, Paris: Ve. de F. Chereau, [c. 1775]. Parts I and II only (of 3), 2° (399 x 272mm). Engraved title and 12 plates by Clément-Pierre Marillier after Saint-Aubin. (Margin of title browned, few very light marginal spots.) 19th-century morocco-backed boards. Provenance: Edmond Fatio of Geneva (bookplate).
A collection of imaginative initial letters composed of flowers, ears of corn, rockwork, leaves etc., first published in 1766. "Although the Chiffres were intended to be patterns for embroidered initials, such entwined floriated monograms were also used on Sèvres porcelain just at the period when Charles-Germain de Saint-Aubin published his design" (Regency to Empire, French Printmaking 1715-1814, Baltimore, 1985, no. 70). Saint-Aubin worked mainly as an ornamental draughtsman and printmaker, producing, according to his won account, more than 40,000 designs for embroideres, textile weavers and lacemakers. Berlin Katalog 5297; Cohen-de-Ricci 684-5.
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