Catalogue illustré des Livres Précieux, Manuscrits et Imprimés, faisant Partie de la Bibliothèque de M. Ambroise Firmin-Didot...
by (AUCTION CATALOGUE: FIRMIN-DIDOT, A.).
[Compiled by G. Pawlowski]. 195 plates & facsimiles (some in color & some double-page). Six vols. Large thick 4to, cont. green half-morocco & marbled boards, t.e.g., other edges uncut. Paris: 1878-79-81-82-83-84. A magnificent set in matching bindings of the rare illustrated issue, limited to 500 numbered sets and printed on special and large paper, of one of the most magnificent collections of early French books, manuscripts, and fine bindings ever assembled. This is the only issue to contain the very fine reproductions in lithography, photogravure, and chromolithography, of illuminated MSS. and bindings. The Firmin-Didot sale marked the apotheosis of "classical" French bibliophily; it was the finest collection formed, and eventually dispersed, in 19th-century France. This set, "no. 60" was reserved for F.S. Ellis, the London bookseller, most likely for his greatest client, Sir Thomas Brooke (with his bookplate in the first five volumes). It was Brooke, of course, who owned the celebrated Pillone library. This set comes from the library of A.R.A. Hobson and, I believe, his father, G.D. Hobson. Laid-in are a number of rubbings of bindings and the occasional note concerning the whereabouts of various books from the library. A really fine and handsome set. Volumes 1, 2, and 5 have been ruled in red with prices in a contemporary hand. The final volume is numbered "197." . (Inventory #: HillBibl-5033)
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