Paris: Abbé de la Chau and Abbé Le Blond, 1780 and 1784. Hardcover. These two sumptuous French volumes describe the Duc of Orléans's magnificent collection of pierre gravées - "engraved stones or gems" - that was acquired over the years. This was the collection of Louis Philippe (1725-1785) that was inherited by his son Louis Philippe II (1747-1798), The son had the collection for two years but it was sold to Catherine, Empress of Russia in 1787. The volumes include descriptions of every stone included along with beautiful and intricate engravings of each. Most of the subjects are the Greek and Roman divinities. There are also a number of vignettes and cul de lampes throughout the text. There is also an engraving of the Duc designed by the artist Charles-Nicolas Cochin. The two folio volumes are bound in brown speckled calf skin, with gilt rulings to edges of covers, and gilt titling and ornaments to spine compartments. Leather is scuffed and mottled, and gilt has faded in places, with a skillfully rebacked spine in both volumes. Marbled paper endpapers. All edges gilt. Interior pages are in very good to near fine condition. Volume I, published in 1780, is 303 pages; Volume II, published in 1784, is 215 pages. Small folios measuring 8 x 12.5 inches. ART/122820. Very Good.
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[The Hague] a la Haye: Pierre de Hondt, 1758-1759. Hardcover. This remarkable "Historical Dictionary," offers critical and literary memoirs about the life and works of various distinguished persons, particularly in the republic of letters, This book was done as a complementary work to the famous early 18th century dictionary of Pierre Bayle. Prosper Marchand (1678-1756) was a Huguenot refugee who became a bookseller, bibliographer, and publisher in the Netherlands. Marchand died before the manuscript was complete, but he had commissioned his friend and executor, Jean Nicolas Sebastien Allamand, to review and publish it. Allamand spent four years putting Marchand's notes in order. They were mostly written on confused and scattered scraps of paper. In his introduction, Allamand describes all the pains he had to take to restore these notes and to supplement the omissions of Marchand. The result is this monumental bound folio with two painstakingly printed volumes on on seemingly everyone and everything literary. Printed in double columns with numerous shoulder footnotes on most pages. At the end of Volume II are an alphabetical list of articles, a table of subjects, and a catalog of books published by Pierre de Hondt. Bound in three quarter brown leather with decorated brown paper boards. Six raised bands to spine with brown leather title label in second compartment. Chipping and small tears to leather as well as to paper covers. Interior pages show light aging but are otherwise clean and bright. Offsetting on free endpapers from leather borders on pastedowns. Previous owner bookplate to front pastedowns and small stamp on title page of volume I "Holstein-Holsteinborg." In very good condition. Volume I: 330 pages plus publisher catalog; Volume II: 328 pages plus lists and publisher catalog. FRE/042415. Very Good.
New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1891. Hardcover. A worn but attractive set bound in three quarter tan leather over marbled paper covered boards. Red title and black author labels to the spines of all volumes. One volume (about Marie Antoinette) is cocked and the rear hinge has been repaired. Minor wear and rubbing to leather on spines, hinges, labels, and corners. Small chips to edges of some labels and pull to leather on some volumes. The interiors are bright and clean overall; however, one volume has damp staining to the first few pages and another has a very small, light dampstain to the top edges of a few pages. Each volume has a frontispiece portrait. Top edges gilt and marbled endpapers. Each volume has an index. FRE/111319. Very Good.