DIODORUS Siculus (fl. 60-30 B.C.). L'Histoire des successeurs de Alexandre le Grand. Edited and translated into French by Claude de Seyssel (1450-1520). Paris: Josse Bade, 2 May 1530.
2° (303 x 205mm). Woodcut title border, woodcut criblé and ornamental initials. Pages ruled lightly in lead. (One minor marginal repair.)
BINDING: bound by Louis Hagué-Coutin, probably at Brussels, c.1885; gold-tooled olive morocco over pasteboard, interlace design of black morocco on-lays, some open tools painted grey, author and title tooled at centre of upper cover with Grolier's 'et amicorum' ownership formula at foot, his motto at centre of lower cover, edges gilt gauffered and painted, 'missing' two fore-edge ties (a little rubbed at joints and corners).
PROVENANCE: John Blacker (not in his sale Sotheby's, 11 November 1897, but in Quaritch's manuscript inventory of the Blacker library. Christie's is grateful to Messieurs Quartich for this information.) -- Michael Tomkinson, Franche Hall, Worcestershire (bookplate).
The most renowned of binding forgers, Hagué learned his art restoring Renaissance and later fine bindings before going on to produce forgeries, typically bearing the arms or motto of a famous book collector such as Grolier (as the present example), Catherine de' Medicis (see lot 57), Mahieu, Cardinal Granvelle, François I, Charles IX, Popes Julius II and III, and Leo X. One collector, a South American merchant John Blacker (d. 1896), acquired over 100 Hagué bindings, including the present one, believing them - at least until close to his death - to be genuine. See H.M. Nixon in Transactions of the VIth International Congress of Bibliophiles 1969 (Vienna: 1971), pp. 69-81; and M.M. Foot, 'Double agent: M. Caulin and M. Hagué', The Book Collector, 1997, pp. 139-150. .
FIRST EDITION IN FRENCH OF ANY WORK BY DIODORUS. It comprises an abridged version of Diodorus on the successors of Alexander the Great, augmented by excerpts from Plutarch. Claude de Seyssel attributes the Latin translation from which he worked to a Jehan Lascary (?Johannes Lascaris). Adams D-477; Hoffman I, p. 562; Renouard, Bade, II, p. 404:2.