(Paris: Gruel et Englemann, 1858). 162 x 95 mm. (6 3/8 x 3 3/4"). 703,  pp.
EXQUISITE TAN ELABORATELY INLAID MOSAIC MOROCCO BY CHAMBOLLE-DURU, GILDED BY MARIUS MICHEL [the elder] (with both binders' names stamp-signed on the front doublure, along with the date "1868"), COVERS WITH gilt-rule and dogtooth borders enclosing A FIELD OF DIAPERED INLAYS, each comprised of an ogival centerpiece of gilt-tooled black morocco with a four-petaled flower of red morocco; raised bands, spine compartments similarly gilt and inlaid, black morocco label, SCARLET MOROCCO DOUBLURES framed by a decorative gilt roll with a distinctive bird motif, heraldic device at center, marbled flyleaves, all edges gilt. In a (lightly rubbed) black morocco-trimmed slipcase. With printer's device, wood-engraved title page, full-page section headings, an elaborately historiated and compartmented border to each page, 33 engraved plates, and A GRACEFUL ORIGINAL WATERCOLOR OF THE CRUCIFIXION ON VELLUM. Except for a hint of darkening to the spine, A MAGNIFICENT COPY, entirely clean and fresh internally, and in an absolutely sparkling binding.
This is a splendid dated mosaic binding, a dazzling collaboration executed by three of the greatest 19th century French names in the field. A rough contemporary of, and certainly the equal in technique to, binders like Trautz, Lortic, and Cuzin, the elder Chambolle served his apprenticeship under Hippolyte Duru, and later formed a partnership with him. Duncan & De Bartha says that this collaboration began "at some point" and suggests that the partnership was formed after Chambolle established a premises at 20 rue de Savoie in 1873, but the date of our binding seems to indicate that the two binders had worked together, at least for a period, before that time. Chambolle's son continued the business when his father retired in 1898, and although the firm "showed a cautious recognition of the . . . preoccupation with Art Nouveau," classical work was always the mainstay of the Chambolle bindery. (Duncan & De Bartha) In "Modern Bookbindings," Sarah Prideaux says of her contemporary, "Chambolle most worthily continues the traditions associated with the name of his father. As an interpreter of the past, he has a place apart and almost untouched by the main revolutionary movement that has penetrated nearly every atelier in Paris, and modified, if not overturned, its inherited traditions. To him are confided the classics of former times, which he clothes in the styles appropriate to them, keeping to a simplicity of ornamentation which reveals great taste and feeling for composition." Gilder Jean Marius Michel (1821-90) came to Paris from Lyon in 1839 and went to work for Paul Gruel. In 1848, he began working independently as a gilder, collaborating with Capé, Duru, Cuzin, Chambolle, and Hardy. In 1876, he expanded his workshop to include all aspects of bookbinding, bringing his son Henri--who would become one of the most important French binders of the century--into the firm. Marius Michel père et fils were responsible for some of the most beautifully gilded French bindings produced between the 1850s and the early part of the 20th century. Our binding is a testament to the glory of Chambolle-Duru and a glimpse of Marius Michel the elder at the height of his powers. While the binding is the story here, the illustrations--especially the original watercolor on vellum and the page frames done in the style of late 15th and early 16th century printed Books of Hours--are a pleasing feature worth acknowledging. (ST12629g)
Add to Cart Price: $6,900.00
PJP Catalog: 73.137