1767 · Paris
by (ORNAMENTAL MONOGRAMS AND SYMBOLS). POUGET, JEAN-HENRI-PROSPER
Paris: N. M. Tilliard, 1767. FIRST EDITION. 257 x 185 mm. (10 1/8 x 7 1/4"). 5 p.l., 60, cxiv,  leaf followed by plates. Very attractive dark green crushed morocco by Lortic Frères (stamp-signed on front turn-in), covers with gilt French fillet border, raised bands, spines gilt in compartments with filigree lozenge centerpiece and lacy cornerpieces, gilt titling, densely gilt turn-ins, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. With engraved allegorical frontispiece, large engraved vignette on dedication page, a double-page chart, nine engraved plates of scripts, and 240 engraved plates of monograms, decorative alphabets, and heraldic symbols, 13 of these hand colored. Front pastedown with morocco bookplate of Baron Raimondo Franchetti (1889-1935). Brunet IV, 848; Bonacini 1466. Minor signs of wear to the leather, front board with patches of white residue from preservative; text lightly washed and pressed, in keeping with bibliophilic fashion at the time of binding, occasional tiny rust spots or small marginal stains, otherwise a fine copy, clean and smooth internally, with rich hand coloring, in a lustrous binding. This is an exhaustive work on ciphers, monograms, decorative alphabets, and heraldic ornaments by a noted French jeweller and designer, offered here in a binding by a preeminent French firm. Pouget (d. 1769) begins with an historical analysis of the 24 letters of the alphabet (combining I / J and U / V), and illustrated directions on forming them; looks at historically important scribes and calligraphers; discusses the creation of ciphers; and gives directions for writing Greek, Roman, and modern (Arabic) numbers. The work concludes with a bewildering array of ciphers, monograms, and decorative alphabets of varying complexity, culminating in the hand-colored historiated alphabet adorned with putti and mythological figures. The final plates identify and illustrate the various coronets and helmets used in heraldry. Our binding is the work of brothers Marcellin and Paul Lortic, who inherited the highly respected bindery of their father Pierre in 1884 and ran it together until 1891, when Paul left the business. Marcellin was both a binder and a gilder, and did much of the work with his own hands, furnishing bindings for some of the most discerning bibliophiles of the day, and maintaining the fine reputation of the name Lortic. ABPC and RBH find no other copies at auction since 1975.
(Inventory #: ST14371)