THOU, Jacques-Auguste de (1553-1617) -- Ismael BOULIAU, Joseph QUESNEL and Dominique LEVESQUE, editors. Catalogus Bibliothecae Thouanae a ... Petro & Iacobo Puteanis, ordine alphabetico primum distributus, tum secundum scientias & artes ... nunc vero editus a Iosepho Quesnel ... cum indice alphabetico authorum. Paris: Dominique Levesque, 1679, sold March 1680.
2 volumes, 8o (181 x 115 mm). Engraved frontispiece in vol. 1, engraved head-piece of a library, both by Sébastien Leclerc (M. Priaud, 2996/7). Full brown morocco, edges gilt, by C. & C. McLeish for Wilfred Merton (see provenance below).
Provenance: Christie-Miller copy (sale, May, 1920, Books from the De Thou Library, lot 84), then in contemporary calf, with the arms of a an unidentified French or Italian Cardinal, sold to -- Wilfred Merton, who had the copy rebound by McLeish preserving 17th-century Cardinal arms from previous covers mounted now as bookplate in each volume (Wilfred Merton book label in each volume, dated 1920). With obituary notice of Charles McLeish (1887-1960) from "The Clique" and letter by George McLeish, 1960, laid in.
THE CHRISTIE-MILLER--WILFRED MERTON COPY
Next to Jean Grolier, the library of Jacques-Auguste de Thou is the most famous of French libraries formed by a private collector. It was continued by his sons, but the extent of their contribution has remained unclear. The catalogue of 1679, based on that in manuscript of the Brothers Dupuy, was designed both as a monument to the Thouana, and as a sale catalogue by the creditors of Jacques-Auguste II, but after the first day of the sale, at which Bishop Pierre-Daniel Huet, P.-D. Verthamon and Jean-Jacques Charron, Marquis de Minars, had been the principal buyers, the last-named acquired the remaining portion for 20,061 livres. As to the catalogue, it remains the most complete account of the Thouana, and is "the most celebrated and frequently consulted seventeenth-century private library catalogue... Most of the descriptions are by the well-known scientist Ismael Boulliau (1605-1694), who arranged them according to a bibliographical system which, with slight variations...was one of the most frequently adopted in France and became known as the 'Système des Libraires de Paris'" (Breslauer & Folter). Blechet, p.63; not in Blogie. See Antoine Coron's investigation into the complicated history of the Thouana in "Histoire des bibliothèques françaises", Vol. II (1988), and in the Bulletin du Bibliophile (1982). (2)