(Paris: A. Quantin, 1882). 206 x 140 mm. (8 1/8 x 5 1/2"). xxxii, 247 pp.,  leaf (colophon).With a bio-bibliographical notice by Fernand Drujon. UNIQUE COPY ON VELLUM, printed for M. A. Werlé.
Pleasing burgundy Jansenist crushed morocco by Canape et Corriez (stamp-signed in gilt on front turn-in, dated 1930 on rear turn-in), raised bands, turn-ins richly gilt, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt on the rough. Decorative head- and tail-pieces throughout and eight engraved plates, comprised of a frontispiece portrait in four states (one on vellum, three on paper) and an allegorical vignette, also in four states. Verso of front free endpaper with ex-libris of Jean Furstenberg. Two small dark spots to upper cover, a couple of leaves with naturally occurring minor discoloration to vellum, but A FINE COPY--especially clean, fresh, and bright internally, and in a lustrous, unworn binding.
Given its illustrious provenance and its singular status as the only copy printed on vellum, this is a quintessentially bibliophilic copy of the poems of French cleric and diplomat Cardinal François-Joachim de Pierre de Bernis (1715-94). Admired as a witty epigrammist at the court of Louis XV, where Madame de Pompadour presided, Bernis composed poems on such conventional themes as love and the natural world, but also verses contemplating manners and mores, fashion, independence, and love of country. Since none of his poems was published before his death, he was not widely known as a poet during his lifetime, but, in another sphere, he performed important service to his country as France's ambassador to Rome. He provided shelter and succour there for refugees from the French Revolution, earning the papal epithet "Protector of the Church of France." The present work was printed for Count Alfred Werlé, whose father had inherited the Veuve Clicquot Champagne house from the Widow Clicquot. Alfred took over the operation in 1884 and greatly expanded the Veuve Clicquot-Ponsardin vineyards. The volume subsequently passed into the library of the great collector Jean (or Hans) Furstenberg (1890-1982), who put together one of the finest collections of 18th century books ever assembled. In 1974 the Furstenberg collection was sold en bloc to Dr. Otto Schäfer, whose marvelous library had already become distinguished for its fine and historic bindings. (ST12705)
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PJP Catalog: 75.264