Catalogue raisonné des Tableaux, Groupes et Figures de Bronze, qui composent le Cabinet de feu Monsieur Gaignat, ancien Secrétaire du Roi, & Receveur des Consignations. Par Pierre Rémy. Et celui des Porcelaines rares & anciennes, tant du Japon que de la Chine, de Saxe & de France Effets de Laques, Meubles précieux & Bijoux, Par S. Ph. Poirier, Marchand
by (AUCTION CATALOGUE: GAIGNAT, Louis Jean)
Engraved frontis. xii, 92,  pp. of ads. Small 8vo, attractive antique calf-backed paste-paper boards, red morocco lettering piece on spine. Paris: Vente, 1768. The catalogue of artworks in the collection of Gaignat (1697-1768), secretary of the Cabinet du Roi under Louis XV and famed book and art collector. Blessed with a massive fortune and little responsibility, he formed both an art collection and library considered amongst the grandest of the 18th century. This catalogue's preface, written by the expert Pierre Rémy, begins with the usual eulogy of the deceased and his superb taste, but suddenly Rémy shifts to a passionate defense of his attributions and characteristically short descriptions - unlike this one (in trans.): "If I had not feared that one might suspect me of charlatanry, and if otherwise I had been able, as I would have wanted, to explain all that I see and that I feel about the praise that every Piece deserves, my observations certainly would have been much longer. Perhaps it would have been favorable if I had found in all of the Collections of Paintings of which I have made catalogues, pieces which had not been purchased for what they were, and seen as such by those interested in these inheritances; badly-intentioned people would not have so easily insinuated to various Curieux, prejudices against what insight I might have in the connoisseurship of Paintings...they claim that in examining my Catalogues de Ventes, that there are a number of uncertainties about objects even which a Connoisseur has to decide on from first sight...I can tell them that on all of these counts I have only done exactly what they would have done in my place" (pp. viii-ix). Rémy mentions that his detractors have highlighted the description of a lot in the Jullienne sale which attributes the work to Raphael, when in fact it is very likely a copy. Rémy then cites his longevity as an art dealer and the trust which the great collectors of previous decades had in him. After a detailed biographical sketch of Gaignat, the catalogue begins with a supposed Mona Lisa ("Joconde"), which Rémy claims was once in the collection of Charles I as supported by the presence of a stamp on the rear of the painting. The sale of pictures, which counted works by Berchem, Dow, Breughel, Teniers, Miel, Rembrandt, Wouwerman, Metsu, van Ostade, van Dyck, etc., totaled 208,000 livres. Sculptures, bronzes, porcelain, jewels, and other objets d'art are also described, for a total of 241 lots. The catalogue is priced throughout in a contemporary hand with some additional annotations. Fine copy. Concludes with a list of 34 recent auction catalogues by Rémy. ❧ Blanc, Trésor de la Curiosité..., Vol. I, pp. 147-51. Lugt 1734. N.B.G., Vol. 20, cols. 170-71. Lugt Les Marques de Collections online resource "Remy, Pierre" (in trans.): "He was, in the second half of the 18th century, the most employed expert of Paris; as a dealer he excelled in the formation of collections.".
(Inventory #: 6021)
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