(Paris: [Printed by Jules Didot l'ainé for] Chez Janet et Cotelle, 1824). 235 x 150 mm. (9 1/4 x 5 7/8"). 2 p.l., xxxii, 458 pp.
SUPERB CONTEMPORARY PURPLE STRAIGHT-GRAIN MOROCCO BY VOGEL (stamp-signed in gilt at foot of spine), COVERS WITH ELABORATE GILT AND ONLAID FRAME IN VARIOUS BRIGHT COLORS IN THE ROMANTIC STYLE featuring decoration in red, green, and citron morocco, flat spine with elongated central compartments with large floral onlay, four smaller compartments, two with lettering, two with onlaid quatrefoils, gilt-ruled turn-ins, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. With frontispiece portrait. A Large Paper Copy. Front pastedown with morocco ex-libris of Dominique Courvoisier. ◆Trivial rubbing to extremities, preliminary leaves and frontispieces with a little spotting, occasional negligible spots elsewhere, but A VERY FINE COPY, the text clean, fresh, and bright with vast margins, and the binding almost like new.
This collection of verse by the father of French classical poetry comes in a brilliantly multi-colored and perfectly preserved binding by an excellent 19th century Parisian workshop. Although François de Malherbe (1555-1628) described himself modestly as "an excellent arranger of syllables," Britannica tells us his "insistence upon strict form, restraint, and purity of diction prepared the way for French Classicism," the rules of which would exert great influence on French verse for two hundred years. The binding here is clearly exuberant, but it is as precise in its execution as Malherbe's poetry. According to Flety, Vogel worked in Paris in the first half of the 19th century (ca. 1815-49), and in 1823 exhibited "des reliures bien confectionées" ["some finely made bindings"]. That would seem to be faint praise, judging by our volume. The animated decoration here is beautifully designed and very expertly finished. Our volume is especially well preserved: it is rare to see 200-year-old purple morocco that has not faded to brown, and there are virtually no signs of use. It is clearly a copy for connoisseurs, like former owner Dominique Courvoisier, a binding expert at the Bibliothèque nationale de France. (ST17819)