TOULOUSE, Louis-Alexandre de Bourbon, Comte de Toulouse (1678-1737) -- Gabriel MARTIN, compiler. Catalogue de la bibliothèque du Chasteleau de Rambouillet, appartenant è son altesse sérénissime Monsieur le Comte de Toulouse. Paris: Gabriel Martin (by the Imprimerie Royale?), 1726. -- Supplément du Catalogue de la bibliothèque du Château de Rambouillet, appartenant ... (au) Comte de Toulouse. Np [Paris, Imprimerie Royale?], 1734.
Two works in one, 8o (190 x 121 mm). Large metalcut royal arms
surrounded by numerous objects such as laurels, trident, violin, etc., signed "VLS Inf."; head- and tail-pieces, one signed "VLS." Quarter
calf gilt antique. Provenance: possibly the compiler's own copy, with his? numerous annotations on several inserted leaves and other margins (see below).
THE FIRST PRIVATELY PRINTED CATALOGUE OF A PERSONAL LIBRARY: "il était dessiné qu'au service de la bibliothèque et il n'a pas été vandu. Il fut rédigé avec soin et avec beaucoup de détail par Gabriel Martin, le libraire le plus instruit de l'époque" (G. Brunet). As he explains in his preface, Martin wanted to make the library at Rambouillet, "that redoubt of the muses", as accessible as possible to the Prince and the Princess and their guests, by various means in grouping books together and by printing in the margins the shelf mark and exact position of each volume. Martin also compiled the Supplement of 1734.
The Comte de Toulouse was the natural, legitimized son of Louis XIV and Madame de Montespan; after his marriage in 1723 to Marie-Sophie-Victoire de Noailles, he retired to his Château de Rambouillet, where he lived in great splendor, rivalling the court at Versailles.
This possibly unique copy contains some additional printed leaves of additions as follows: (First Part) between pages 62 & 63 are inserted two leaves (the first signed "62*"), containing 3½ pages of printed additions, and between 152 & 153 is another inserted leaf (signed "152*") with further printed additions; in addition bound in are eight inserted blank leaves with manuscript additions; other manuscript additions appear in other blank spaces. The Supplement includes an additional leaf (signed "68*"), with further printed additions, along with some manuscript additions in blank spaces of pages.
The catalogue and its supplement were apparently printed by the printer of the Etienne Hallée Catalogue (1730; see next lot), identified with the Imprimerie Royale: both catalogues share several of the ornamental head- and tail-pieces. Bléchet mistakenly listed the Toulouse catalogue among the French sale catalogues (see pp. 78 & 90), most likely due to the presence of Martin's name in the imprint (Martin was also the outstanding auctioneer of his day). The collations she gives do not include the inserted leaves of printed additions, which supports the possibility that these may have been added to only the copies at Rambouillet and Martin's own copy. This copy is accompanied by a photocopy of the "Table" that was originally added to the catalogue, but appears to have been discarded in most copies. The Duc de Lendôme-Bedoyer copy had it, but it lacked the 140-page Supplément.