21 March 2005
VIGEANT, Arsène (b. 1844). La bibliographie de l'escrime ancienne et moderne. Paris: privately printed by Motteroz for the author, 1882.
8o (198 x 124 mm). Wood-engraved vignettes.
BRILLIANTLY FINISHED RETROSPECTIVE BINDING BY JEAN MARIUS MICHEL FOR THE AUTHOR: gold-tooled red morocco, 17th-century "fanfare" design on sides formed by straight and curved fillets, with pointillé tools, author's initials incorporating crossed swords in the corners, spine decorated in compartments with drawer-handle, rapier and floral tools, red morocco doublures with dense pointillé tooling, visored helmet and swords in the center, marbled endpapers, gilt edges. Provenance: Arsène Vigeant (fencing master and historian), author's designated copy on special paper certified by the printer, signed by Vigeant on flyleaf, with a dozen autograph additional entries -- Henri Béraldi (bookplate, 1935 Paris sale, part V, lot 419) -- Nicolau Lunardelli (1959 London sale, lot 355).
FIRST EDITION OF THE FIRST BIBLIOGRAPHY OF FENCING AND DUELLING BOOKS. Limited edition of 480 copies, of which this is THE UNIQUE COPY ON HOLLAND PAPER, printed for the author with an extra suite of the wood-engravings pulled on papier de Chine. Any number of early to mid-17th-century Parisian "fanfare" bindings with pointillé tooling could have inspired Marius Michel the elder for this binding, but in his Wittockiana exhibition catalogue B.H. Breslauer suggests two specific bindings in the Bibliothèque nationale de France (covers) and the Bibliothèque Mazarine (doublures), with references to reproductions. IN THE BRIGHTEST POSSIBLE CONDITION. BBB Wittockiana 42.
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