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The Bibliotheca Parisina

Milton McC. Gatch

The Library: The Transactions of the Bibliographical Society, Volume 12, Number 2, June 2011, pp. 89-118 (Article) Published by Oxford University Press

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The Bibliotheca Parisina

our decades ago in an article in T H E B O O K C O L L E C T O R , Arthur Rau unravelled some of the mysteries of a famous catalogue published in English and French editions in London and Paris for an auction of books acquired in France held in London in March 1791.1 The catalogue was titled Bibliotheca elegantissima, Parisina in French, and Bibliotheca Parisiana in English. Its author was the London dealer James Edwards (17561816), then at the beginning of a distinguished and lucrative career.2 Rau recounts Thomas Frognall Dibdins vignette of the sale itself, picturing the most notorious bibliomaniacs, with blood inflamed and fancies intoxicated, rushing toward the examination of the truly matchless volumes contained within this collection.3 The notoriety of the sale at the time is indicated, among other ways, by a copy of the English catalogue once in the earl of Gosfords library and now at the Grolier Club in New York. It is lavishly interleaved with contemporary notes and expertly drawn facsimiles from the books offered in it.4 The remarkable number of surviving copies of
J. Fernando Pea of the Grolier Club Library has given unstinting assistance in researching this paper; he and Eric Holzenberg, Director of the Club, have offered very useful advice. Consuelo Dutschke and Karen Green of the Columbia University Libraries, William P. Stoneman of the Houghton Library at Harvard University, and Daniel de Simone of the Library of Congress have been generous in their advice and assistance. Jonathan A. Hill gave encouragement to pursue this project and commented very helpfully on several drafts. Lectures based on earlier states of this paper were given in 2010 at the Grolier Club (January) and the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto (September). 1 Arthur Rau, Bibliotheca Parisina, The Book Collector, 18 (1969), 30717 (with four unnumbered pages of plates after p. 312). Most of Raus references to books in the Parisina catalogue are to printed materials; the present study is a byproduct of broader research on the market for manuscripts c. 17901830, and hence this article is focused more on the manuscripts in the sale. 2 See the notice by Page Life in ODNB. 3 Rau, ibid., p. 307, quoting Dibdin, Bibliomania: Or Book-Madness: A Bibliographical Romance, 2nd edn (London: Henry G. Bohn, 1842), pp. 40911. Rau omits Dibdins mocking contrast of this sale of foreign rarities with the copious and scholar-like collection of Michael Lort, D.D., held at the same time in London by Leigh & Sotheby. 4 Copy 1 of the English edition at the Grolier Club in New York [per Grolier online catalogue]: priced and annotated with buyers names in ink in a contemporary hand; from the Gosford library, interleaved with blank pages, most with manuscript notes and original sketches in water-color and pen and ink of initial letters, illuminations, borders, printers marks, title-pages, etc.; original water-color drawing bookplate by John Adey Repton on inside front board). A second copy of the English edition at Grolier has only occasional notes about purchasers. There are also two copies of the French in the Grolier collection: one with prices and buyers names in ink in old hand; the other, with occasional notes about buyers, was E. P. Goldschmidts copy. Initial research for this article made use of the Grolier
The Library, 7th series, vol. 12, no. 2 (June 2011)


The Bibliotheca Parisina

this auction catalogue testifies to the esteem in which it was held.5 One or the other version still appears on the market from time to time as an eminently collectible (if not extraordinarily rare) item. In 1972 A. N. L. Munby praised Edwards highly as a bookseller of a new kind, whom he compares in the twentieth century with Lionel and Philip Robinson: shrewd bookmen who succeeded handsomely and retired to country estates, surrounded by magnificent personal collections of books.6 Seymour de Ricci spoke of Edwards as one of the earliest of a new and more enlightened generation of booksellers, operating on a large scale and reaping handsome profits.7 Reading Raus paper again, however, one is struck by how much less laudatory of Edwards and his catalogue he is than Munby or Ricci. The purpose of this paper is to revisit Raus review of the Bibliotheca Parisina catalogues, amplifying or correcting his observations in several instances and incorporating the results of later scholarship, and to resolve the problem of the identity of the major consignor of books in the sale. Inevitably, this article will also reflect further on diverging evaluations that have been made of the quality of Edwardss catalogue. To begin with, it will be useful to present in full the texts of the title-pages of both editions in parallel:

Club copies; later, extensive use was made of the annotated ex-Astor Library copy of the English version at the New York Public Library [hereafter NYPL]), and the less fully annotated British Library copy of the French available in Eighteenth Century Collections Online. NYPL also has an interleaved copy that belonged to and was intermittently annotated by James Lenox (180080), whose library with Astors was a founding collection of NYPL. Among several copies at the Bodleian Library is one that belonged to and was annotated by Francis Douce (17571834), Douce C.167; in addition to the cancellandum, it has the cancel title, with a conjugate leaf detailing the order of sale, bound in after p. viii, the end of the introduction. Not all copies of the catalogue with notes concerning purchasers are in agreement. The Astor copy, for example, indicates that Douce purchased lots 142, 353, 369, 520, and perhaps 143 (noted both as Douce and Money [i.e. cash]), but Douces copy only records his name at lots 142, 369, and 370 (correspondence with Richard Ovenden, Bodleian Library, 27 September 2010). It seems likely that 369 in both lists is incorrect, Parisina, lot 370 being now Bodleian Library, Douce MS 196. Some copies list the purchaser of Parisina, lot 15 (now Douce MSS 21920) as Thompson; Douces and others record D of Newcastle Thompson being perhaps an agent for the duke at the sale.) 5 WorldCat lists more than twenty copies of the French and over thirty of the English version; but this count misses duplicates in several libraries (e.g. Bodleian; Houghton Library, Harvard has three), unlisted copies in libraries that do not report to WorldCat, and exemplars in private collections, or the market. All told, the rate of survival for an auction catalogue is remarkable. The names of buyers and prices per lot which were regarded as the highest ever up to 1791 are noted in many copies, suggesting that they may have been annotated for sale to bibliophiles after the event. 6 A. N. L. Munby, Connoisseurs and Medieval Miniatures 17501850 (Oxford, 1972), pp. 57. Munby (p. 5) recounts the famous instance of what one might regard as Edwardss eccentricity: at his death in 1816, his will directed that he be buried in a coffin made from his library shelves the books having been sold the preceding year. 7 English Collectors of Books & Manuscripts (15301930) and their Marks of Ownership (Cambridge, 1930), p. 89. In a footnote, however, Ricci, notes that the catalogue mentions a couple of books which never existed, described from lists sent to London before the books were shipped from France.

Milton McC. Gatch

BIBLIOTHECA ELEGANTISSIMA , PARISINA. CATALOGUE De livres choisis , provenants du cabinet dun amateur trs distingu par son bon got , et lardeur quil a eu de rassembler ce quil a trouv de plus beau , de plus rare et de plus curieux ; auxquels on a aussi joint un choix de la collection dun autre amateur. il contient Beaucoup de premieres ditions des auteurs classiques ; livres magnifiquement imprims sur vlin avec des peintures ; livres manuscrits avec de superbes miniatures ; livres dhistoire natu-relle coloris et avec dessins originaux ; et livres de la plus grande raret dans diffrentesclasses de littrature : le tout dune conservation parfaite et reli avec un luxe extraordinaire.


BIBLIOTHECA PARISIANA. a CATALOGUE of A COLLECTION OF BOOKS, formed by A GENTLEMAN IN FRANCE. Not les conpicuous for his Tate in ditinguihing, than for his Zeal in acquiring, whatever, of this Kind, was mot perfect, curious, or carce. it includes many rst editions of the classicks ; books magnicently printed on vellum, with illuminated paintings ; manuscripts on vellum, embellished with rich miniatures ; Books of natural history, with the subjects coloured in the best manner, or with the original drawings; and books of the greatest splendour and rareness in the different classes of literature. To thee are added, from another Grand Collection, elected Articles of high Value. The Whole are in the finet Condition, and in Bindings uperlatively rich. THEY WILL BE SOLD BY AUCTION, IN LONDON, on MONDAY the 26th of March, 1791, And the Five Days following, To be viewed the Week preceding-

La vente se fera Londres , au plus offrant , le lundi 28 mars 1791 , et les 5 jours suivants

A LONDRES, Catalogues to be had of Mr. Edwards, No. chez Edwards, libraire, no. 102, Pall Mall. 102, Pall Mall, London; of Mr. Laurent, A PARIS, Rue de la Harp, Paris ; and of the principal chez Laurent, libraire, rue de la Harpe, no. Bookellers throughout Europe. 18.


There are clear signs of haste in the preparation of the catalogue, the French version of which is taken to have been the earlier. Rau and others have noted the most striking problem with the title-page the disagreement as to the date of the opening of the sale. The French is correct. 28 March 1791 was a Monday. This error in the English version was only corrected with a cancel


The Bibliotheca Parisina

title.8 The cancel, which has a new first line, reading, This day is publihed, Price 2s. 6d., also changes the notice at the foot of the earlier pages. Preview hours are added, and the French correspondent Laurent disappears: catalogues to be had of Mesers edwards, No 102, Pall Mall ; of Mr. robson, New Bond Street ; and at the Place of Sale. Laurent was clearly active at the sale itself, buying some eighty lots. He bought on commission, probably for the major consignor, Mr. P.***, and for one of the great collectors of the day, the Count MacCarthy Reagh (17441811), an Irishman who had been elevated to the French nobility; Laurent probably also bought books in for later sale.9 But his Christian name is nowhere given and none of the bookmen with the surname Laurent, listed in the inventory of the Bibliothque nationale de France, seem to correspond with him.10 The British Library catalogue lists a translation of Burkes Reflections on the Revolution in France co-published by Laurent in Paris and Edwards in London in 1790 and three other imprints of Laurent, probably printed between 1789 and 1792. A longer list of his imprints, many of them political (he seems to have been on the safe side of the Revolution), can be gleaned from the catalogue of the Bibliothque nationale de France. We know, then, that Edwardss associate Laurent was a libraire et imprimeur in Paris with premises on the Left Bank, but there is little or no further trace of his activities in the book trade. There is something odd about Edwardss association for this important sale with so shadowy a figure in revolutionary France. On the other hand, James Robson (17731806) is well-enough known: a London bookman who, like Edwards, traded in Continental, especially Italian, books and was sometimes associated with Edwards in offering books at auction.11 His association with
8 Rau reproduces the French title as Plate i; the cancelland is his Plate iia; iib is the cancel title from a copy then in the collection of A. R. A. Hobson. See further Rau, Bibliotheca Parisina, pp. 30809. Raus exemplar of the cancel is type-underlined throughout (double lines for capitalized words); there is no underlining in the copy in the stock of Jonathan A. Hill, Bookseller, New York (http://www., as of 11October 2010), so there are at least two variant settings of the cancel. 9 This count is based on the ex-Astor Library copy at NYPL. In several instances Laurent has been counted as the buyer where only the letter L. is recorded in the catalogue. The next most frequent buyer was the London dealer Thomas Payne (17521831), later of Payne & Foss, who acquired seventyfive lots. 10 Jean-Dominique Melot of the Bibliothque nationale de France confirms standard authorities are silent on Laurent and that the online Catalogue gnrale knows no forename for him, distinguishes him from a Mathieu Laurent, active 178592, and thinks he was active 17901791?. 11 See Jacopo Morelli, Bibliotheca Pinelliana: A catalogue of the magnificent and celebrated library of Maffei Pinelli, late of Venice: comprehending an unparalleled collection of the Greek, Roman, and Italian authors, from the origin of printing; with many of the earliest editions printed upon vellum, and finely illuminated ; a considerable number of curious Greek and Latin manuscripts . . . The whole library . . . will be sold by auction . . . March 2, 1789, and the twenty-two following days, (Sundays excepted); the sale afterwards to recommence . . . April 20, and continue the following thirty-six days (Sundays excepted) . . . an Edwardss sale with Robson again listed as a firm selling the catalogue and, according to Rau, Bibliotheca Parisina, pp. 31617, Edwards and Robson were probably partners in the Pinelli sale. Among sales conducted by Robson alone, one might cite, A Catalogue of the Library of Solomon Dayrolles, Esq., Many Years the British Resident at the Court of Brussells: Also of John Ellis, Esq., F.R.S., Author of the Essay on Corallines, Corals and Zoophytes, and Other Ingenious Publications, Both Lately Deceased . . . : Which Will Begin to be Sold Cheap, This Day, 1786 . . . by James Robson, Bookseller, in New Bond-Street . . . .

Milton McC. Gatch


the Parisiana sale was perhaps limited to the sale of catalogues but may also be related to the addition of books from Italy to the Parisina offering. In the lines above the beginning of the description of the contents of the sale in the French version, there is reference to additions to the catalogue of a selection from the holdings of another collector. The English omits this but, lower on the page, refers to additions from another grand collection [of] selected Articles of high Value. Both must refer to the additions from other sources to the catalogue (to be discussed below), but the language differs and the expression Articles of high Value does not seem equivalent or truly appropriate to describe (as the French states) a selection of items from another collection. There are also minor signs of haste in the composition and proofing of the French title: the superfluous hyphen in natur-elle and the running on of diffrentesclasses. The most striking divergence between the title-pages is the different forms given to the title of the library under offer, Bibliotheca Parisina in French but Parisiana in English. The chief consignor is disguised on the first page of the catalogue proper as M. P*** or Mr. P****, but on the last page of the introduction to the English the gentlemans anonymity is broken with a reference to Mr. Paris. Rau, probably rightly, has suggested that the title Parisina was intended as a Latin adjective based on the personal name of the consignor; Parisiana would refer to the French capital perhaps a misunderstanding on the part of the English translator of the catalogue. (In this article, Parisina will be used throughout.) The question of the identity of Mr. Paris will be discussed further below, but one must observe at the outset that the business of concealing the identity of the owner of most of the books in the catalogue is very curiously handled. Why a title that incorporates the personal name and then a refusal to identify him further? Why name him in the English version? Why (given the title) resort to M. or Mr. P***? Why have internal references to Mr. P and his enhancement of books in a few of the descriptions?12 The matter is either ineptly handled or Edwards is being arch: he wanted it known widely to those with some bibliographical knowledge whence the collection came, but there seems to be some reason not to be explicit. There are also marked differences between the prefaces to the French and English versions, as Rau has detailed.13 The French Avis au public gives high praise to the collection: le plus beau (pour le petit nombre) quon ait jamais offert au public. It invites royal, public, and individual libraries to
12 Lot 134 (M./Mr. P has bound paintings into a volume), lot 328 (English: Mr. P**** bought this 1514 Petrarch, supposedly decorated for a Medici princess, in Florence; French: the same formulation, but in first person as though from an internal note by the owner, ending P. ***), lot 479 (English refers to Mr. P as adding illumination; French has only P, which looks like a misprint), lot 486 (English specifies Mr. P was third owner; French only refers to unnamed third owner), lot 605 (both refer to new binding by de Rome; only English mentions Mr. P). 13 Rau, Bibliotheca Parisina, pp. 30910.


The Bibliotheca Parisina

participate in the sale and details means for settling purchases by foreigners through corresponding banks. Eschewing reference to particular lots, it points out that the bindings of many of the books by de Rome (i.e. the noted Nicolas-Denis Derome le jeune [173190])14 particularly enhance their attractiveness. The English preface covers much of the same ground, omitting suggestions about international monetary exchange. It is in connection with De Rome, however, that the English refers to Mr. Paris, who encouraged [the binder] to exert his utmost skill in adorning a library so exquisite and matchless. The other great divergence in the prefaces is the inclusion, in the English only, of a supposed provenance for some of the books. Among the very rich holdings, unimaginable save in the libraries of sovereigns, remarks Edwards, are the numbers remarked as belonging to the library of Claude dUrf, originally formed by the accomplished Diana of Poictiers; who availed herself of the devotion of two Kings of France, to enrich her own library with the choicest treasures of theirs. These are presumably some or all of the additions to the principal congsignors collection to which the title-pages refer. Rau notes that this must be a fabrication and that in [the preface of] the French version there is no reference to Claude dUrf, for obviously that story could not have gone down in Paris.15 Why and whether this is so will be addressed below. Some problems of the Parisina catalogues had been noticed long before Rau by such eminent contemporaries as the distinguished bibliographer and curator at the royal (later, national) library in Paris, J. B. B. van Praet (17541837).16 They are mostly related to the composite nature of the catalogue. Firstly, there were missing books and books that did not make it to London in time for the sale and were sold later in the year. Rau notes that some lots all Aldines may never have existed, as Gabriel Peignot in 1812 and the dealer Antoine Augustin Renouard in 1819 had discovered long before. He concludes that some lots described were indeed non-existent Aldines, others were Aldines that were sold shortly after the Parisina sale at the auction of books from the library of Sig. Santorio of Venice in May 1791.17 Rau also remarks that, although both catalogues are numbered
14 Derome le jeune, active 176090, was the scion of a family of Parisian bookbinders that flourished from the mid-seventeenth to the early-nineteenth century. See Mirjam M. Foot, The Henry Davis Gift: A Collection of Bookbindings, 3 vols (London, 19782010), i, 199201; iii, 21721 (nos. 17174); and iii, 23034 (nos. 18286). The Derome name, Foot observes (i, 200), was a selling point. The date of Deromes death has often been given as 1788, but is properly 28 February 1790 (Pascal Ract-Madoux, Essai de classement chronologique des tiquettes de Derome le Jeune, Bulletin du bibliophile (1989), 38391 [p. 383]). 15 Rau, Bibliotheca Parisina, p. 309. 16 ibid., pp. 30708. 17 At ibid., p. 308, Rau says he has not been able to find the catalogue, which is, in fact, specific about the connection of some lots with the Pris sale: Messers. Edwards, Bibliotheca Santoriana: A Catalogue of the Library of Signor Santorio, of Venice: Including Many Valuable Articles Iintended to have been Sold with the Paris Collection . . . Thursday May the 12th 1791 and the Two Following Days (London: Messers Edwards and Mr. Robson, 1791). There is a copy at the Grolier Club.

Milton McC. Gatch


1630, there are interpolated (bis) lots and supplements. The actual totals are 637 lots in the French and 661 in the English version.18 He does not specify the size of the group of lots not sold, whether because the books were not available at the time of sale or did not exist. Over one hundred lots were unsold (not counting lots that may have been bought in) or sixteen per cent of the total. Of these, over forty per cent (about forty-three lots) were Aldines treasured as highly at the time as incunabula or medieval manuscripts.19 Raus statement that the attribution of some of the materials in the Parisina collection to Claude dUrf is false needs some amplification and clarification. The dUrf attribution belongs to the major block of materials added (as the titles noted) to the books of Mr. Paris in the Parisina Catalogue. By referring to dUrf (150153), Edwards was tacitly claiming that these items came to the Parisina catalogue from the library of the duc de la Vallire, whose posthumous sale of 1783 was the most distinguished and famous auction in France at the end of the eighteenth century from which a considerable part of the Parisina collection had indeed come.20 The Duke had purchased much of the library of the heirs of Claude dUrf in 1776,21

18 The French catalogue contains 630 consecutive lots, with two bis numbers and a supplement of five lots, numbered 1 to 5, making 637 lots in all; the English catalogue runs, in the main, almost identically, from 1 to 630 but with 25 bis numbers and a supplement of six lots numbered 631 to 636, making 661 lots in all. Four lots are common to the two supplements, but no. 3, Worlidge, of the French list has become lot 594 in the English catalogue, the original French 594 becoming 594 bis, whereas lots 633 and 636 of the English catalogue are actual additions. At the end of the French catalogue is a leaf of 25 errata, of which in the English catalogue eight are corrected and 13 are uncorrected (Rau, Bibliotheca Parisina, p. 309). 19 One of the major buyers at the sale (18 lots) was Lord Spencer, i.e. George John Spencer, 2nd Earl Spencer (17581834), a great collector of Aldines (collection now at The John Rylands University Library, University of Manchester, Manchester), who picked up some of the missing items at the Santorio sale (Rau, ibid., p. 308). Benjamin White, a dealer who may have acted for Spencer at the latter sale, was also a major buyer at the Parisina auction (29 lots). 20 Catalogue des livres de la bibliotheque de feu M. le duc de La Vallire. Premire partie, contenant les manuscrits, les premires ditions, les livres imprims sur vlin & sur grand papier, les livres rares & prcieux par leur belle conservation, les livres destampes, &c., dont la vente se fera dans les premiers jours du mois de dcembre, 1783 [actual dates of sale: 12 January through 5 May1784], 3 vols (Paris: Guillaume de Bure fils an, 1783); Michael North, Printed Catalogues of French Book Auctions and Sales by Private Treaty 16431850 in the Library of the Grolier Club (New York, 2004), no. 312 reprinted with a further catalogue in North, no. 313. Earlier Vallire sales are North, nos 190, 219, 254. For a brief but still-authoritative account of the Vallire sales, see Richard Copley Christie, The Catalogue of the Library of the Duc de la Vallire, in Selected Essays and Papers of Richard Copley Christie, ed. by W. A. Shaw (London, 1902), pp. 27990; repr. from Library Chronicle, 2 (1885), 15359. 21 On the dispersal of the dUrf library in the 1770s, see Andr Vernet, Les Manuscrits de Claude dUrf (150158) au chteau de La Bastie, Comptes-rendus des sances de lAcadmie des inscriptions et belles-lettres, 120 (1976), 8197 (pp. 8485). See also Dominique Coq, Le Paragon du bibliophile franais: le duc de la Vallire et sa collection, in Histoire des bibliothques franais, ed. by A. Vernet and C. Jolly (Paris, 1988) ii, pp. 31631 (pp. 32324). Claude Longeon, Catalogue des livres de la bibliothque de la maison dUrf, in his Documents sur la vie intellectuelle en Forez au XVIe sicle, Centre dtudes forziennes, Inventaires et documents, 1 ([Forez, 1973]), pp. 144157, is content to list the Urf manuscripts in Edwardss catalogue as genuine.


The Bibliotheca Parisina

and books with this double provenance survive in several collections.22 The combined Urf-Vallire provenance would appreciably have enhanced the value of lots in Parisina. Although dUrf is not mentioned in the Avis to the French catalogue, the descriptions of all but five of the printed books and manuscripts attributed to him in the English have the same attribution in the French. (One incunabulum is not attributed in either Parisina list.) Thus Rau perhaps overemphasizes the omission in the French preface of a story [that] could not have gone down in Paris.23 Edwards adds to this fantasy the further overstatement (if not falsehood) that dUrfs library was originally assembled by Diana of Poictiers. This claim, which is unlikely if not impossible, stands alone in the English catalogue; there is no further reference to Diane. The extent of Edwardss deception, especially in the English catalogue, is thus greater than Rau indicated; and the misstatements must almost certainly have been knowingly fabricated. A commentator on the real holdings of the dUrf library has referred accurately and succinctly to the introduction of dUrfs name in the Parisina Catalogue as cette fraude.24 But Rau, following van Praet and Ricci, did identify the real source of at least printed books with the claimed provenance from Claude dUrf in the Parisina Catalogue, and Pierre Gasnault in his important article of 1998 has shed further light on the case.25 These books had no connection whatever with dUrf but had been given to the Minims (Minimes or Ordo fratrum minimorum) in Tonnerre in 1611 by the founder of the monastery, CharlesHenri, Comte de Clermont et Tonnerre (15711640). Well documented in the interim, they had been purchased from the Minims at Tonnerre in 1788 by cardinal de Lomnie.26 Most of the books in this acquisition went from
22 Two examples from American libraries are a book of hours written for dUrf when he was ambassador to the Holy See in 1549 by F. Wydon: Vallire 1783 catalogue, lot 317, now Huntington Library HM 1102 (C. W. Dutschke and others, Guide to Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Huntington Library, [San Marino, CA, 1989]), ii, pp. 41416); and a French prose romance of Lancelot du Lac s. xiii, which Claude dUrf had inherited from his mother-in-law, Anne de Graville, herself a writer of romans: lot 4004, now Chicago, Newberry Library, f21 (Paul H. Saenger, Un Manuscrit de Claude dUrf retrouv la Newberry Library de Chicago, Bibliothque de lcole des Chartes, 139 [1981], 25052; Saenger, A Catalogue of the pre-1500 Western Manuscript Books at the Newberry Library ([Chicago, 1989], p. 37). 23 Rau, Bibliotheca Parisina, p. 309. 24 Vernet, Les Manuscrits de Claude dUrf, p. 88. But some have been willing to give Edwards the benefit of the doubt: Nous ne saurions dire toutefois si lerreur dattribution que renfereme le catalogue de la Bibliotheca Parisina fut volontaire ou non (Pierre Gasnault, Charles-Henri de Clermont-Tonnerre et la bibliothque du couvent des Minimes de Tonnerre, in Du Copiste au Collectionneur: Mlanges dhistoire des texts et des bibliothques en lhonneur d Andr Vernet, ed by Donatella Nebbiai-Dalla Guarda and Jean-Franois Genest, Bibliologia, 18 ([Turnhout, 1998]), pp. 585614 and two plates [p. 592]). 25 As cited in the preceding note. 26 Rau, Bibliotheca Parisina, p. 313, citing Joseph van Praet incompletely and not entirely correctly. In fact van Praet identifies all six of the books printed on vellum and attributed to dUrf in Parisina as in reality from the Comte de Clermont-Tonnerre and the Minims of Tonnerre via Lomnie: Catalogue des livres imprims sur vlin de la Bibliothque du roi, 6 vols in 5 (Paris: de Bure, 182228), iv, pp. 176, no. 238 (Parisina, lot 240), 24950, no. 377 (lot 375), 317, no. 477 (lot 523); v, pp. 90, no. 108 (lot 543), 160, no. 189 (lot 619); and Praet, Catalogue de livres imprims sur vlin, qui se

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Lomnie to Edwards within two years and, therefore, were not in the catalogues of his sale the year after the Parisina auction, although a few were still in the 1791 catalogue of the Cardinals library for the auction of 1792.27 A little dilation on the Cardinal may help to suggest a context in revolutionary France passed over by Gasnault for Edwardss obfuscation. tienne-Charles de Lomnie, Comte de Brienne (172794) was, among other ecclesiastical posts, Archbishop of Toulouse (from 1762) and of Sens (from 1788). A member of the Acadmie franaise with intellectual friends, he became the controller-general of finance in 178788 and was president of the Assembly of Notables in 1788. Despite efforts to satisfy the new regime, he fell from power in 1788 although at about the same time, he managed to be named Cardinal. After the Revolution, he took the constitutional oath in 1790. Rebuked by Rome, he resigned as Cardinal, was deposed, and ultimately renounced Catholicism. Mistrusted by the church for his disloyalty and reputed heterodoxy and by the revolutionary regime for his wealth and nobility, he was in retreat at Sens in 1791. Arrested in 1793, he died in prison the next year.28 The 1792 sale of books took place in Lomnies lifetime but during his disgrace; there was a further, posthumous sale in 1797 at his Paris residence.29 Whether the books had been confiscated or were sold voluntarily by the Cardinal before his death or (in 1797) by his heirs is an open question. The books that made their way from Cardinal Lomnie to the catalogue of the Bibliotheca Parisina in 1791 were of great value and very recently acquired, and an attempt was made to conceal their true provenance while making their earlier ownership seem extremely distinguished. It is
trouvent dans des bibliothques tant publiques que particulires, pour servir de suite au Catalogue des livres imprims sur vlin de la Bibliothque du roi, 4 vols (Paris: de Bure, 182429), ii, p. 187, no. 410 (lot 353). Praet is concerned only with incunabula that later entered French libraries, although he also has considerable information about copies that were abroad or in the market at the time of his writing. Gasnault surveys the whole of the Clermont-Tonnerre library including not only the manuscript and printed books described in Parisina but also a few other items that were included in the Lomnie sales, for which there are two catalogues: [tienne-Charles de Lomnie, Comte de Brienne, Cardinal], Index librorum ab inventa typographia ad annum 1500; chronologic dispositus cum notis historiam typographico-litterariam illustrantibus. Hunc disposuit Franc.-Xav. Laire, Sequano-Dolanus, variarum per Europam Academiarum socius . . . Prima [secunda] pars., 2 vols (Sens: apud viduam et filium P. Harduini Tarb, 1791); and Catalogue des livres de la bibliotheque de M*** [tienne-Charles de Lomnie, comte de Brienne, Cardinal], Faisant suite lIndex librorum ab inventa typographia ad annum 1500. Auct. Fr. Xav. Laire. Par Guillaume de Bure, lan. Dont la vente se fera le lundi 23 mars 1792, & jours suivans . . . Par M. Le Jeune, huissier-commissaire-priseur. Tome III . . . (Paris: G. de Bure, lan, libraire, 1792). See North, Printed Catalogues, nos 354, 355. The latter catalogue names the huissier-commissaire-priseur (bailiff and commissioner for the sale of public property), presumably an indicator that the library had been confiscated by the state. The author of the first volume, Franois Xavier Laire, who became Lomnies librarian in 1787, had been a member of the Minims at Tonnerre. (Gasnault, Charles-Henri de Clermont-Tonnerre, p. 591). 27 Gasnault, ibid., pp. 59798: lots 4, 29, and 35 in the Lomnie catalogue of 1791, by Laire, are also Tonnerre books. 28 Gasnault, ibid., pp. 59192, is silent on the political issues and the fate of the cardinal. 29 Catalogue dune partie des livres de la bibliothque du cardinal de Lomnie de Brienne, dont la vente se fera maison de Brienne, rue Saint-Dominique, prs de la rue de Bourgogne. Se trouve Paris, chez Mauger, libraire, rue Croix-des-Petits-Champs, No. 59. Lejeune, huissier-priseur . . . 3 vols (Paris, 1797); North, Printed Catalogues, no. 375.


The Bibliotheca Parisina

Fig. 1

A Tonnerre velvet binding (upper board of New York, The Pierpont Morgan Library, PML 36390; Parisina Catalogue, lot 375)

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likely they were being slipped out of France ahead of the confiscation of Lomnie de Briennes property. Why the obfuscation of provenance was deemed necessary for the preface of the French catalogue but not for the English version is a mystery, nevertheless, especially since the provenance is repeatedly asserted in the descriptions of both catalogues. But the motivation seems to have to do with the exigencies of the deeply unsettled times in France, and Edwards was known for his ability to exploit the troubles to import books during this tumultuous period from France to England. Rau relied entirely for his dismissal of the dUrf mystification on the great catalogues of books printed on vellum by Joseph van Praet, in which are described the incunables that Edwards had claimed to descend from dUrf. There is no reference, however, to the twenty manuscripts ascribed to the dUrf library in the Parisina catalogues; but, taking into account the descriptions of the manuscripts in the catalogue and Gasnaults recent publication, it is possible to make some further generalizations about the books attributed by Edwards to dUrf.30 First, Edwards himself recorded strong evidence, not picked up by Rau, that all of these books and manuscripts had a common source: they are uniformly bound in velvet green (as Fig. 1), purple, or red. Not noted by Edwards is a further common denominator of the bindings, save a few that have been rebound since 1791: they have gilt brass (cuivre dor) reinforcements at the four corners of the upper and lower boards, as well as clasps or signs that there were once clasps, and often marks indicating that there had also been heraldic bosses at the centre of the upper and lower boards, as well as an engraved metal title plaque on the upper. (Fig. 2 illustrates a corner boss with a variant design.)31 It is worth mentioning that some of the books of Claude dUrf, which later belonged to his grandson, Honor (15681625), author of a Roman dAstre and more closely contemporary with the Comte de Clermont, are bound like Clermonts in velvet with metal furnishings.32 Most of the texts,
Gasnault, ibid., p. 592. All of this is detailed in Gasnaults inventory of the Tonnerre manuscripts and incunables, pp. 599610. Fig. 1 illustrates vol. iii of an incunable Histoire de la vie . . . de Merlin (Paris: Antoine Vrard, 1498) with a nearly complete set of furniture: corner pieces, clasps, title-plaque, and clear marks from a now-lost central heraldic boss (Parisina, lot 375, Gasnault, ibid., p. 610, no. 6; New York, The Pierpont Morgan Library, PML 36390; vols i and ii are not traced). The upper board of this volume measures 320 x 218 mm; the corner brasses measure 55 mm on the outer sides, 80 mm on the diagonal. The corner brasses on a Tonnerre manuscript at the Morgan Library (Giles of Rome, Livre du gouvernement des rois et des princes, Morgan MS, M 122 (Parisina, lot 80, Gasnault, ibid., p. 602, no. 10 [with incorrect signature], covered in purple velvet) are of the same design but smaller (48 x 65 mm diagonal). Fig. 2 illustrates a variant design for corner brasses, these measuring 59 x 84 mm diagonal: Cambridge, MA, Harvard University, Houghton Library, MS Richardson 31 (Bocaccio, Dcameron; Parisina, lot 414; Gasnault, ibid., p. 600, no. 3). As Gasnault reports, pp. 58687, the uniform binding style for the entire group of books is explicitly confirmed by a visitor to Tonnerre in 1646 (Franois-Nicolas Baudot, called Dubuisson-Aubenay in Paris, Bibliothque Mazarine, MS 4405, pp. 1112), who believed the binding had been done at the order of the Comte de Clermont-Tonnerre. 32 Gasnault, ibid., p. 592, notes that the similarity of bindings used by both the dUrf and ClermontTonnerre families could lead to confusion. For an illustration of a dUrf binding not velvet, but green morocco, see Vernet, Les Manuscrits de Claude dUrf, p. 87.
31 30


The Bibliotheca Parisina

Fig. 2

A variant Tonnerre corner boss (Houghton Library, MS Richardson 31; Parisina Catalogue, lot 414)

furthermore, are French: translations of devotional works, chronicles, or romans. It is possible on the basis of binding and language to make more precise the list of books from the dUrf source: that is, Charles-Henri, Comte de Clermont-Tonnerre. In the Parisina catalogues, there are fiftyeight or so manuscripts (amongst more than 637 lots). Of these, twenty claim descent from dUrf: lots 25, 80, 235, 241, 349, 365, 367, 368, 369, 370, 371, 372, 373, 376, 414, 464, 496, 497, 520, 545. The French catalogue omits the dUrf provenance for lots 241, 369, and 496; and neither mentions dUrf in connection with lot 391, the provenance of which is betrayed by its velvet binding. Four printed books are given a dUrf provenance in both catalogues: lots 240, 375, 523, and 543; lot 619 is tagged dUrf only in the English version, lot 353 in neither. In total, then, there are twenty-seven titles and (given that four titles have two volumes each and another four, three voumes) thirty-nine volumes from the Clermont-Tonnerre library acquired by Lomnie from the Minims of Tonnerre and added by Edwards to the Parisina catalogue.33 One final note on Edwards introduction of the name of Diane de Poitiers into the dUrf deception: Charles-Henri, Comte de Clermont-Tonnerre was in fact both a great-grandson and grand-nephew of Diane (14991566), the mistress of Henry II, and he may have inherited some of her books. There is a tradition that he got his books from the Chteau dAnet, the seat of the Poitiers family, where presumably some of her belongings had remained, but none of the books from Clermont-Tonnerre in the Parisina catalogues
33 Gasnault bases his analysis primarily on the French catalogue and misses the discrepancies between the French and English in this regard.

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bear any marks of books known to have belonged to Diane.34 The Count, Gasnault concludes, was a collector who took great care of his books, as witness the uniform style of binding, which would make it more difficult to associate them with Diane.35 Had Edwards, in constructing his fiction about Claude d Urf, wanted to give him a distinguished feminine source for his books, he might almost better have turned to a woman from whom he had in fact received some of his books: his mother-in-law, Anne de Graville, a member of the courts of Louis XII and Francis I and herself the author of courtly romances and a collector of books.36 In his article Arthur Rau did not comment on the quality of the descriptions of the lots in the Parisina Catalogues. Many of the descriptions are very brief. The bare-bones descriptions tend to be of books that had not been described in the 1783 la Vallire catalogue, many of which are imprints of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries more recent, albeit rare and valuable. To give an example of one of the shorter descriptions, the entry for a French translation of the work of the German mystic Henry Suso may be quoted in full: 241. Laurologe de apience; in fol. purple velvet. manuscript on vellum, of the 14th century. It formerly belonged to Claude dUrf.37 Often (as at the preceding lot 240, a printed collection of the verse of Alain Chartier) the Parisina Catalogues expatiate somewhat more on the decoration of the books. The case is rather different when an item had been described in the la Vallire catalogue, for Edwards freely adapted this earlier and magisterial catalogue. To get a sense of the quality of Edwardss work and the differences between the French and English versions, it is instructive to compare the descriptions of several manuscripts in the French and English editions of the Parisina Catalogue with the entries for the same manuscripts in la Vallire. The Duc de la Vallires heir and the auctioneer, Guillaume de Bure fils an (17341820), engaged J. B. B. van Praet later the distinguished bibliographer of books printed on vellum in French collections and curator at the
34 On books of Diane de Poitiers, see Jean Porcher, Les Livres de Diane de Poitiers, Trsors des bibliothques de France: manuscrits, incunables, livres rares . . . , 7, fasc. 21 (1942/1946), 78 89 (p. 88). Less precise and authoritative is George H. Bushness, The Library of Diane de Poitiers, The Library, iv, 7 (1926), 283302 (p. 290); Coq, Le Paragon du bibliophile franais, p. 324. Gasnault, Un Nouveau Manmuscrit ayant appartenu Charles-Henri de Clermont-Tonnerre (St-Petersbourg Fr. F.v.XV) Scriptorium, 53 (1999), 33942 (p. 341), points to several books from Diane in the library of the count and shows that not all his books went to the Minims. (See also Gasnaults resume of a presentation: Un Amateur de manuscrits mdivaux: Charles Henri de Clermon-Tonnerre (15711640), Bulletin de la Socit nationale des antiquaires de France, (1998), pp. 7072. 35 Gasnault, Charles-Henri de Clermont-Tonnerre, p. 613. 36 See n. 22 above for citations of a manuscript that came to dUrf from the Graville collections. 37 Gasnault, ibid., p. 603, suggests it may now be in the Beinecke Library, MS Marston 145.


The Bibliotheca Parisina

French national library to write descriptions of manuscripts for the sale catalogue.38 Although van Praets descriptions do not satisfy todays standards for scholarly bibliographical description, particularly for the physical description of books, they give close attention, in particular, to decoration, binding, provenance, and (often) hands. For auction catalogues of any period, they are remarkably complete and informative.39 In preparing the French edition of the Parisina Catalogue, Edwards relied heavily on the 1783 la Vallire catalogue and for the English, he adapted his own French version. The result was an auction catalogue of unparalleled depth and richness for England at the time in certain respects, but uneven and by no means equal to its model. Lot 324 in the la Vallire sale, a de luxe but uncompleted book of hours executed for Francis I of France (14941547), became lot 13 in Edwardss Parisina Catalogue.40 The description occupies two full pages of the la Vallire catalogue and nearly three in the French Parisina, which is smaller in format. The latter is virtually a transcription of van Praets text with minor changes, mostly of punctuation and sentence structure. By comparison, the English description is somewhat reduced. The count of 100 folios becomes 200 pages; lettres rondes, Roman characters. Passages of both French versions extolling details of decoration and giving the measurement of the twelve full-page paintings are omitted in English, as is discussion of additions to the decoration made by the owner in the seventeenth century. Before translating the French list of the major illuminations, the English expresses a sentiment typical of the times, that the drawing is more correct, and the tints more varied than could be expected at that period [the time of Francis I], so that it has been supposed the book being unfinished, they may have been executed by some great artist of the last [seventeenth] century, The French versions are clearer, although they do not directly state that Francis Is project was not completed, that only one of its paintings was contemporary an Annunciation, fourth in the list of miniatures, judged by van Praet to be moins belle que les autres and that the others had been added by a later owner, whose arms appear as the second of the listed illuminations.
38 The name de Bure often appears as Debure. For a charming account of the de Bure family in 1821, see Thomas Frognall Dibdin, A Bibliographical, Antiquarian, and Picturesque Tour in France and Germany, 2nd edn, 3 vols (London: R. Jennings & J. Major, 1829), ii, 21923; van Praet also appears at ii, 61, 27577. 39 Christies assessment (The Catalogue of the Library of the Duc de la Vallire, in Selected Essays and Papers of Richard Copley Christie, pp. 28488) is a good summary, if perhaps slightly overenthusiastic. Coqs (Le Paragon du bibliophile franais, pp. 32829) is more measured in the contemporary way. 40 At the la Vallire sale, the manuscript brought 3012 livres; in 1791 it was bought by Laurent at Paris for 109 4s., according to the priced copies at the Grolier Club. Edwardss catalogues note the price as 3000 livres (125 sterling). From Laurent, the volume passed to another dealer and through several hands (one being Christie 25 April 1804, lot 301, where it sold for 115 10s.) before being purchased by the British Museum in 1852; it is now London, British Library, Add. MS.18853 (Janet Backhouse, Two Books of Hours of Francis I, The British Museum Quarterly, 31 [196667], 9096 and plates XXVIIIXXXI [pp. 9495]).

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Among other omissions in the English version is that the page with the third illumination, St Nicholas with the three children, has been augmented with a prayer in the hand of the famous seventeenth-century calligrapher Nicolas Jarry (ob. 1666): it is unsigned, states van Praet and the French Parisina, mais les belles proportions des caracteres dclent la main de cet habile Artiste. Edwards may simply be tailoring his English version to Anglophone audience, but he has suppressed details of bibliographical importance. In his day, a connection with Jarry would have enhanced the value of the book. Today many would agree with Janet Backhouse that The colours are garish and the whole effect thoroughly baroque. Backhouse confirms van Praets description of the manuscript so far as it goes, but she dates the binding c. 1645 and believes the manuscript was completed, if not by Jarry himself, then within his circle and perhaps for the young Louis XIV .41 Lot 318 in the la Vallire sale, Parisinas lot 14, is a French Heures de Notre-Dame written in its entirety by Nicolas Jarry in 1647 for FranoisHonorat de Beauvilliers, Duc de Saint-Aignan (160787).42 There is again a long and laudatory description by van Praet in the la Vallire catalogue, which was taken over with only minor modification in the French version of Parisina. Both French versions state that the painter of the miniatures for these Heures is unknown but must be one of the notable painters in the time of Louis XIV who worked with Jarry. Edwardss English version, however, says the miniatures [are] supposed to be painted by Petitot, i.e. Jean Petitot (160791), a painter best known as an enamellist who worked for Louis XIV and with Jarry, but who is not otherwise claimed as a contributor to this manuscript. The English also (rather exceptionally) adds measurements for the miniatures and claims for them a beauty superior to the finest engraving. Perhaps an English bookman conversant with Jarrys work and with Petitot had suggested some refinement of the description. The English version is clearer than the French ones in pointing out that the second miniature is a portrait of de Beauvilliers. In this instance, then, the English catalogue adds a detail about the painter of the miniataures in this Hours of the Virgin that (if verifiable) would enhance its value and clarifies a point where both French versions are unclear. Finally, to set out the full texts of a briefer description in each of the three catalogues, one can turn to a French translation of Dantes Paradiso in la
41 Backhouse, ibid., pp. 9293. According to Backhouse, n. 14, the manuscript contains notes by Paris at fol. 103 and others giving its provenance: it seems to have remained in the royal family into the eighteenth century, then passed to Gaignat and, thence, to la Vallire. 42 Sold for 1601 livres in 1783, it passed to Thomas Payne (171999), the English dealer, for 73 10s. in 1791. It was in the library of the de Bure family from 1825 until 1854, when it was purchased by the Duc dAumale, in whose library at Chantilly it remains (Bibliothque du Chteau de Chantilly, MS 88). It is indicative of the high regard of eighteenth-century connoisseurs for his work that the highest price at the la Vallire sale was realized for Jarrys chef doeuvre, the Guirlande de Julie (with paintings by Nicolas Robert) of 1641, lot 3247, at 14510 livres (now Bibliothque nationale de France, nouv. acq. fr. 19735).


The Bibliotheca Parisina

Vallire (lot 3571) and the French and English versions of Parisina (lot 300). The little Renaissance manuscript in question is one of two surviving copies of a translation commissioned in 1524 from a royal tutor by Claude (14991524), Queen of Francis I.43 3571 Cy commence la tierce partie de la Comdie de Dantes, appelle Paradis, (en vers) in 4. m. r.44 Beau Manuscrit sur vlin du XVI siecle, contenant 51 feuillets crits en letters rondes, longues lignes. Il est enrichi de capitales peintes en couleurs, rechauffs dor & de 8 trs jolies miniatures qui ont 6 pouces et demi de hauteur, sur 4 pouces de largeur. Cette traduction de Paradis de Dante est dedie par son Auteur Franois Bergaigne, Guillaume Gouffier, Amiral de France, dont les armes dcorent la premier Feuillet. Ce Seigneur, plus connu sous le nom de lAmiral de Bonnivet, fut lev ce grade minent par Franois I en 1517. Les vers du Traducteur franois sont de dix & onze syllabes. Leurs rimes se croisent & nobservent pas lalternative de masculines & fminines. Chaque chapitre est accompagn dun argument & dune explication en prose.
300 Paradis de Dante, traduction franoise avec les commentaires; in-8o. mar. r. Manuscrit sur Vlin, en letters rondes, ddi lillustre Guillaume Gouffier, avec ses armes au commencement du volume, et orn de 8 superbes miniatures de la grandeur des pages. 300 Paradis de Dante, traduction franoise avec les commentaires; in 4to. red Morocco. manuscript on vellum in Roman characters, dedicated to the illustrious Guillaume Gouffier, with his arms in the beginning of the volume, and ornamented with eight beautiful paintings the size of the page.

Edwards clearly depended upon the original 1783 catalogue, but he omits the folio count, introduces disagreement as to the format of the volume between his French and English versions, omits the identification of the translator, drops details of identification for Admiral Gouffier (who was hardly widely known to the English), and ignores the remarks on prosody. Whereas in the other two examples, the French version of Parisina closely followed van Praets la Vallire catalogue, the description of the Dante translation for the London catalogue in both its French and English versions is derived from, but distinctly less informative than, the source.
43 Since the late nineteenth century, it has been BnF, nouv. acq. fr. 4530: see Myra D. Orth, French Renaissance Manuscripts and lHistoire du Livre, Viator, 32 (2001), 24578 (pp. 25556). The manuscript fetched 180 livres in the sale of 1784 but only 7 in 1791 when purchased by Barrow (presumably an English dealer). 44 i.e. quarto. red morocco.

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Fig. 3

Title-page of the Pris de Meyzieu auction catalogue of 1779 (New York, The Grolier Club)


The Bibliotheca Parisina

For his descriptions of items in the Parisina Catalogue that had been written up by van Praet for the Vallire sale, John Edwards relied heavily on the earlier catalogue. Often he stayed very close to the original for the French catalogue, making only minor alterations of orthography and punctuation, but in the English version there were occasional omissions of details and blurring of subtleties that seem to be intended as simplification. Not infrequently, indeed, the omissions and deletions oversimplify the English version by omitting formal details or references to French personages. One could perhaps even infer a certain disdain for the level of sophistication in his English audience the audience to whom James Edwards is often credited for bringing new treasures from Continental sources, encouraging the development of a new period of English bibliophily. And then again one finds occasional learned additions unique to the English version of the catalogue, which suggest the intervention of a sophisticated advisor or client who had read the French and suggested improvement. On the whole, though, the English catalogue is a diminution of its French forbears. And one must remember that, when there was no earlier detailed description of a book, Edwardss description did not attempt to fill that void but was content with bare bones. The chief matter left unsolved by Arthur Rau is the identity of the consignor of the core of the books in the Bibliotheca Parisina the Mr. Paris of the English catalogue. Seymour de Ricci in an article published in 1915 stated that, contrary to a tradition that the books in the Bibliotheca Parisina had belonged to Paris de Meyzieu, they had been the collection of Paris dIllins.45 Seymour de Ricci repeated this assertion in 1930, but with a variant spelling, Paris dIllens.46 In both instances he provided no documentation for his assertion of provenance, although his scholarly credibility led to acceptance of the identification. Unfortunately the later spelling Illens was adopted by Arthur Rau, cataloguers at the Grolier Club and elsewhere, and others.47 Rau, who does not seem to have known Riccis article of 1915, recognized that Pris de Meyzieu had died before the time of his sale in 1779 as the title clearly states (Fig 3). He accepted that Ricci was correct in recognizing that there must have been another consignor of the books. He noted that Brunet and van Praet had claimed that the owner of the Parisina library was a nephew of Pris de Meyzieu. The only person I have been able
45 Bibliothques franaises en Angleterre, Le Journal des Savans, (1915), 41723 (p. 420). Two catalogues of Joseph Baer & Co. (Frankfurt am Main), Lagerkatalog 516 (1905), nos 1229 and 580 (1910), no. 3528, list Bibliotheca Parisiana catalogue under the name Paris dHillins, antedating Riccis identification (Roland Folter kindly drew attention to these entries.). 46 Ricci, English Collectors, p. 89. 47 Rau, Bibliotheca Parisina, p. 307, citing Ricci, as in the preceding note. Followed by the Grolier Club cataloguers, citing Rau. The New York dealer Jonathan Hill, offering a copy of the English version somewhat more cautiously states, We are not sure who formed the library was it Pris de Meyzieu or Pris dIllens nor are we sure who consigned the books (, as of 20 October 2009).

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to trace with a name resembling [Pris dIllens] was Raoul Pris dIllins (sic), 180274, at one time mayor of Villers-sur-Mer, whose dates might well make him a son (or perhaps once more a nephew) of our man, concludes Rau.48 Recent French scholarship more concerned with the dUrf/Tonnerre issue has been content to leave the attribution to Pris de Meyzieu unchallenged.49 Rau, however, was climbing up the correct genealogical tree in his search for the real Mr. Paris but is unsure of the correct branch, although he happens to have been edging towards the right one. Further research now make it possible to resolve the matter. The powerful and prominent family named Pris (or Paris)50 were important figures in French fiscal and military administration in the eighteenth century (see Genealogical Table). They were originally rooted at Moirans in the Dauphin (now dpartement du Val dIsre), but they were also much in the capital, mostly quartered in the Marais, where several baptisms and funerals are recorded at the church of St Paul. In part because they appended the names of their estates to the patronym Pris they are difficult to trace. The four sons of Jean Pris la Masse were Antoine Pris (known as the elder Pris or le Grand Pris), Comte de Sampigny (16681773); Claude Pris la Montagne (16701744), among whose estates were the chteaux of Meyzieu and Illins; Joseph Pris Duverney (16841770); and Jean Pris de Monmartel, Marquis de Brunoy (16901766), among whose estates was a chteau at Villers-sur-Mer in the dpartement of Calvados in Normandy.51 Claude Pris la Montagne has long been considered the first collector of books in the family. In a holograph will of 1741, he bequeathed his books and manuscripts to Joseph Louis Pris de Surieux (171444), who died only a few months after his father. His elder brother, Jean Baptiste Pris de Meyzieu (171878), then inherited the library and is the member of the
Rau, ibid., p. 316. Even the otherwise expert Gasnault, Charles-Henri de Clermont-Tonnerre, p. 592. 50 Jean-Luc Cartannaz remarks on the neverending story of whether or not to use the circumflex in the name. It was not used by early members of the family, he says, but is sometimes now used. Its use helps to distinguish the name and its pronunciation (sounding the final as in Parisse) from the city. The circumflex was already used, however, on the title-page for the 1779 sale of the books of Pris de Meyzieu (Fig. 3). 51 There is no up-to-date French biographical dictionary, but the Nouvelle biographie gnrale (Paris, 185366), s.v. Paris, treats the four brothers under the same heading and adds a note on Pris de Meyzieu. The quest for information about the family led, among other sites, to lists of Napoleonic generals (where the name of Antoine Marie Pris dIllins surfaced). The most recent publication on the brothers is by a collateral descendant, Bernard Pris de Bollardire, Joseph Pris Duverney et ses frres: financiers dauphinois la cour de Louis XV (Toulon [2006]). See also the brochure, Le chteau de la Grille Moirans by Jean-Luc Cartannaz for the organization Moirans de Tout Temps (Moirans, 2007). The chief resource for information about the familys genealogy, hidden in an edition of a work by Beaumarchais, who was a close friend and associate of Pris Duverney, is Annexe 3. bauche gnalogique de la descendance des quatre frres Pris et de leur sur Marthe in Beaumarchais: Le Tartare la Lgion, ed. by Marc Cheynet de Beaupr, Les Inatteudus, 39 (Bordeaux, 1998), pp. 14964. The latter work is my source for biographical information about the Pris family unless another source is specifically cited, but I have also consulted the genealogical materials in Pris de Bollardire, ibid., pp. 15360.
49 48


The Bibliotheca Parisina

family most widely remembered by bibliophiles.52 Pris de Meyzieu had been given the name of one of his fathers estates, and so too had his elder brother, Antoine Pris dIllins (171277), father of Antoine Marie Pris dIllins (17461809). The younger Pris dIllins inherited the chteau at Villers-sur-Mer from his cousin Armand-Louis-Joseph Pris de Monmartel in 178153 whence Raus discovery of his second son, Raoul Pris dIllins, a longtime mayor of Villers-sur-Mer. Antoine Marie Pris dIllins, a military man, was forced to emigrate in 1792, at the same time as the Marquis de Lafayettes exile and imprisonment because of conflicts with the Revolution. Repatriated by Napoleon, he died as a general of the infantry during the Spanish campaign at Ocana in 1809.54 It is this Pris dIllins, a nephew of Pris de Meyzieu, who is the obvious candidate to be the Mr. Paris or M. P*** of the Bibliotheca Parisina or Parisiana, but there is no direct evidence of how he became a collector or why he would have sold his books in mid-life.55 The persistence in France of the tradition that the Parisina library was a collection belonging to Pris de Meyzieu has already been decisively dismissed by Ricci, Rau, and others. The sale of the Pris de Meyzieu library had taken place over a decade earlier in 1779 (Fig. 3). The catalogue is not
52 Jean-Luc Cartannaz informs me that Joseph, the son did not predecease his father as had been thought. The tradition that the library of Pris de Meyzieu was the one sold in 1791, long after his death, found in the Nouvelle biographie gnrale, is repeated by Cheynet de Beaupr in Beaumarchais, p. 152: sa riche bibliothque, dont linventaire a t imprim Paris en 1779 in 8o, fut vendue aux enchres Londres en 1791 [. . .]; le catalogue, publi sous le titre Bibliotheca elegantissima parisiana [sic], est trs recherch des amateurs; and by Gasnault, Charles-Henri de Clermont-Tonnerre, p. 592. Pris de Meyzieu was closely associated with his uncle Joseph Pris Duverney, the intendant of the cole militaire (forerunner to Napoleons Saint-Cyr), whom he succeeded in that office. Gerard Liot and Jean-Luc Cartannaz also confirm the information from Cheynet de Beaupr on the descendants of Claude Pris la Montagne. 53 Armand was the son of Jean Pris de Monmartel by his third marriage. There had been an older half-brother, Amad-Victor by Jeans second wife, his niece Antoinette Justine Pris, daughter of Antoine Pris le Grand. 54 In addition to online lists of Napoleonic officers, the chief notice of Antoine Marie Pris dIllins before Cheynet de Beaupr, Beaumarchais is in Georges Six, Dictionnaire biographique des gnraux et amiraux franais de la rvolution et de lempire, 2 vols (Paris, 1934), ii, 287. After this article had been drafted, a note identifying the future general as the Parisina person on the basis of the entry by Six came to light in Roger Middleton, Manuscripts of the Lancelot-Grail Cycle in England and Wales: Some Books and their Owners, in A Companion to the Lancelot-Grail Cycle, ed. by Carol Dover, Arthurian Studies, 54 (Cambridge, 2003), pp. 21936 (p. 226, n. 23): Almost everything about this sale has given rise to confusion, most of it unnecessary a rather lofty overstatement. Professor Middleton is also the source for a long note identifying Antoine-Marie Pris dIllins as the Parisina consignor in A Catalogue of Books Printed in the Fifteenth Century now in the Bodleian Library, ed. by Alan Coates and others, 6 vols (Oxford, 2005), vi, 2833 (specific books cited as Bodleian s. xv, with catalogue number only). There remains some confusion in this note: the oldest surviving son of Antoine-Marie Pris dIllins was Raoul, the mayor of Villiers-sur-Mer; although Middleton is correct in saying that Antoine and his descendants were the only descendants of Jean Pris la Masse with the surname Pris living after 1781, Jean-Luc Cartannaz informs me that there are still today collateral branches of the Pris name. Finally, Middleton is unaware of the Pris sale of books in 1889 (see below and Fig. 4). Another recent recognition of the identity Pris dIllins is found in Danielle Muzerelle, Cet Esclabart avait une belle main, Revue de la Bibliothque nationale de France, 13 (2003), 5055 (p. 52). 55 The assertion of William Clarke, Repertorium Bibliographicum, 2 vols (London, 1819), ii, 486, that the collection was sold by [M. Pariss] executors to M. Laurent, Paris, and Mr. James Edwards, London, booksellers is, of course, impossible.

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an inventory but a sale catalogue, and there are records of the purchasers.56 It is conceivable that Antoine inherited some residue of books from his uncles library, but there was, as Rau stated, very little overlap between the catalogues of the Pris de Meyzieu and Parisina sales. There is, nevertheless, some evidence that a nephew of Pris de Meyzieu had bought at least one important incunabulum that had been in the 1779 sale and was later in Parisina: the dedication copy to Sixtus IV of Fichetus, Rhetorica, on vellum (Paris 1471). Antoine Marie Pris dIllins acquired it from the sale of an intermediary owner.57 Another intersection of the collections of Pris de Meyzieu and Pris dIllins, also noted by Rau, is also mentioned by Edwards, and proves once more that the Parisina was not the library of Pris de Meyzieu. This is lot 486, a collection of the celebrated series of Voyages of Theodor de Bry (152898), continued by his sons and Matthus Merian (15931650), and issued over a long period from 1590 to 1634. Rich in engraved illustrations, it is the most elaborately described item in the Parisina collection.58 The collection (according to the English catalogue) was begun by Abb Rothelin (16911744),59 then sold to M. Paris de Meyzieu, who, during twenty years, got every thing he could find to add to its perfection; but it was reserved to M. P****, the third proprietor, to complete its distinction. The French version is a bit more circumspect but clear enough that the consignor was, if unnamed, an owner after Pris de Meyzieu. It is, in fact, possible to trace the provenance of this set (now in the New York Public Library)60 backward from ParisdIllins to the Abb by specific references in a series of catalogues: Pris dIllins (as a note in his own hand in the first volume of the set attests) bought it at the Gouttard sale in 1780 (lots 104041);61 Gouttards catalogue, which has by far the most elaborate description of the de Bry collection, states that he had it from the Pris de Meyzieu sale in 1779 (lot 1878); Pris de Meyzieus catalogue names his source as the de Boze sale in 1753 (lot 1513);62 Abb Rothelins role in the history of the collection is mentioned not
56 Catalogue des livres de la bibliothque de feu M. Pris de Meyzieu, ancien conseiller du Parlement, & ancien intendant de lEcole royale militaire. Dont la vente se fera au plus offrant & dernier enchrisseur, le lundi 15 mars 1779 & jours suivans . . . htel de Joyeuse . . . . (Paris: Moutard, libraireimprimeur); North, Printed Catalogues, no. 276. The dates of the sale (1531 March) are confirmed by an affiche bound in the Grolier Club copy. 57 Rau, Bibliotheca Parisina, p. 311. The volume was lot 1138 in 1779 and lot 167 in 1791 (to Cacherode, now British Library). 58 English: pp. 10613; French: 12232, 59 For a biographical note on the Abb, Charles dOrleans de Rothelin, see Nouvelle biographie gnrale. Edwards misspells the name as Rotelin at p. 106, but has it correctly at p. 113 60 The NYPL copy was purchased by James Lenox from the firm Jacques Techener in Paris in 1855; it is not catalogued. No Techner catalogue listing the de Bry has been found, but the purchase was recorded and the collection described in Bulletin du bibliophile (1885), 3841. 61 Guillaume de Bure, Catalogue des livres rares et prcieux de feu M. Gouttard (Paris: de Bure, 1880), (North, Printed Catalogues, no. 91). The manuscript note is quoted at p. 113 below. 62 G. Martin, and others, Catalogue des livres du cabinet de M. [Claude-Gabriel Gros] de Boze . . . (Paris: Martinand others, 1753) (North, ibid., no. 112).


The Bibliotheca Parisina

only in Parisina but also in Gouttard.63 Laurent, buying in for Pris or for the French market, is recorded as the purchaser of the de Bry in 1791. Another item with an even longer history in the Pris family, which clearly belonged to Antoine Marie Pris dIllins in 1791, is lot 521 in Parisina, an edition of Livy printed in Milan in 1480.64 It belonged to Antoine Pris le Grand, great-uncle of Antoine Marie Pris dIllins and bears the elder Antoines armorial bookplate with the coronet of the Comte de Sampigny.65 It seems to have passed to Pris de Monmartel, who had become Comte de Sampigny and was also Marquis de Brunoy. His ownership is marked by a marginal P under the coronet of a marquis. The book next appears as lot 4856 in the 1783 sale of the Duc de la Vallire. Thus the Livy came to the sale of 1791 not as a family heirloom but as the consignors own acquisition, albeit with distinctive marks of earlier Pris ownership. In three instances and there may be others the chain of ownership of books between earlier generations of the Pris family and Antoine Marie Pris dIllins was always broken. He seems to have been a collector, but not an inheritor, of books. Despite Edwardss additions and a number of misleading assertions, a large majority of the books in the Bibliotheca Parisina catalogue had, in fact, been the property of Antoine Marie Pris dIllins. The reason a man in his mid-forties would sell his library in 1791 is not difficult to imagine. The Pris family had been closely associated with the finances and the military of the ancien rgime. Antoine was an officer, later a general who would die in Napoleons army in Spain in 1809. He was apparently forced to emigrate in 1792 with the Marquis de Lafayette (who spent the later years of the revolutionary period in prison in Austria). His marriage was dissolved in 1793 pour cause dmigration, and he reunited with his wife, Cungonde Brillon de Jouy, in 1801 after his rehabilitation and return to France.66 It seems very likely that he recognized the danger in which he stood by 1790 and needed not only to raise cash but also to avoid the confiscation of his books and other property. One account of sales of books because of difficulties in the Revolution (closely related to the Parisina auction) has already been reported in this article: Cardinal Lomnie de Brienne had been brought down by the Revolution, and the most valuable parts of his library were sold in 179192,
63 NYPL has a copy of Rothelins Observations et details sur la Collection des grands & des petits voyages ([Paris] 1742), the earliest attempt at the bibliographical history, with annotations by the author. It may have been in the collection earlier, but it may also be an addition by Pris dIllins. It is, at any rate, mentioned at the end of the Parisina description. 64 Bodleian s. xv, L-119. This book was one of several purchased in 1791 by a bookseller, Peter Elmsley (17741825), probably on commission for the Bodleian. The incunabula, in addition to L-119, were C-004 (Parisina 516), H-054 (Parisina 507), T-004 (Parisina 524), and T-030 (Parisina 190). 65 Pris de Bollardire, Joseph Pris Duverney et ses frres, p. 148 reproduces a similar ex libris of Joseph Pris Duvernay with the same family arms. 66 His elder son, Adolphe Pris dIllins, born in the first phase of the marriage, died with Napoleons armies in Poland in 1806. Raoul Pris dIllins, mentioned by Rau, is the son of the reunited couple. He lived and died at his fathers former seigneurie Villers-sur-Mer, where he served as mayor for twentyeight years.

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probably after confiscation. A. N. L. Munby praised James Edwards, the auctioneer of the Bibliotheca Parisina, as
a bookseller of a new kind [whose] success lay in using his mastery of the French language to exploit to the full the unsettled state of Europe, and in importing whole libraries of the finest books and manuscripts, among them [. . .] the Bibliotheca Parisina.67

It is in the context of the revolutionary disruptions and the exigencies faced by chevalier and cardinal alike that Edwards was able to acquire the books of Antoine Marie Pris dIllins for export and sale in London. Whatever the reasons for the Parisina sale of 1791, it did not include all of the books owned by Antoine Marie Pris dIllins. In 1889 there was a sale in Paris of books of M. P***, claimed in the preface to be property of M. Marie-Antoine P***, owner of the Bibliotheca elegantissima, Parisina, who avait conserv un certain nombre de beaux livres figures du xviiie sicle, une collection de receuils et pices rares relatives lHistoire de France, que nous livrons aujourdhui aux enchres publiques [. . .] (Fig. 4).68 The veracity of this claim is supported by the further assertion one also made in the French and English prefaces to the Parisina catalogue that the bindings were by de Rome (1791) or Derome jeune (1889). The materials in the later Parisina sale were all or mostly printed, a few (for example, an English Works of Milton, 1794) postdate the earlier sale. Antoine Marie Pris dIllinss son Raoul had four children. One of the grandchildren died young; Marie (18261879) married Thophile Gosset but died without children in 1879; Suzanne (18281908) did not marry; Alix (18301903) married Louis-Alfred Legrand des Cloizeux and had four children, some of whose descendants still own the chteau at Villers-sur-Mer.69 Clearly it was a decision of the survivors in 1889 that bought this last group of Pris books to the market. Now that Antoine Pris dIllins has been firmly identified as the consignor or earlier owner of the majority of the items offered in the catalogue, Bibliotheca elegantissima, Parisina, it is possible to offer a few observations about him as a connoisseur. He was in many ways typical of French aristocratic collectors of the eighteenth century: he favoured above all elegant editions often printed on vellum and with illumination, frequently written in French of romans and prayer books. His manuscripts were for the most part late medieval or early modern, elegant and illuminated. The elegant books of the comte de Clermont-Tonnerre were not out of place among his.
Munby, Connoisseurs, p. 5. Bibliothque de M. P***. Catalogue dun beau choix de Livres Anciens rares et curieux . . . dont la vente aura lieu Les Lundi 27, Mardi 28 et Mercredi 29 Mai 1889 . . . (Paris: Antonin Chossonnery, libraire). Save that there is no reference to dIllins, one might suppose that Ricci based his attribution of the Parisina sale on this catalogue. 69 On Raouls descendants see Cheynet de Beaupr, Beaumarchais, pp. 15354. Information about later descendants at Villers-sur-Mer provided by Gerard Liot and Jean-Luc Cartannaz.
68 67


The Bibliotheca Parisina

Fig. 4

Title-page of the Pris dIllins auction catalogue of 1889 (New York, The Grolier Club)

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He seems to have given personal attention to his collecting and to have taken pride in his greatest acquisitions. Edwardss note in the English catalogue on lot 328, the second edition of the Aldine imprint of the works of Petrarch on vellum with lavish illuminations, claimed (in the English version only) that the artist was the noted miniaturist Julio [sc. Giulio] Clovio (14981578) and in the French used the first person to claim its provenance. He is, in fact, quoting a manuscript note in the volume by Pris, who claims to have bought the volume himself in Florence. He claims Giulio Clovio as the illuminator and then asserts an extraordinary provenance: Le dit exemplaire a jadis apparetnu la bibliothque fonde par les Medicis, et quil passait pour constant Florence quil avoit t jadis embelli pour une jeune Princesse de cette meme maison de Medici.70 Another recorded instance of the collectors pride is a note, signed P., on the verso of the front flyleaf of the first volume of the De Bry Voyages:
Pour donner une ide de la difficult de reunir ces parties latines imprimes en diffrents temps et en diffrents lieux, je dirai seulement que mon xemplaire devenu plus que complet par les sacrifices que je lui ai fait a t commenc par lAbb de Rothelin Batard du Rgent, continu aprs lui par Mr. Pris de Meyzieu mon Oncle et complett [sic] seulement par moy a la mort du Medecin Coutard. Jajouterai que Louis XVI na p sen procurer un qua la vente de la Bibliotheque de Soubize. Quand au mrite de louvrage, cest au veritable amateur a savoir [?] lapprcier./.

P. Here, Pris is remarkably specific about provenance: he bought the De Bry, which had once belonged to his uncle, from the sale in 1780 of the library of a M. Gouttard, whose name he mangles as Medecin Coutard.71 He also confuses the Abb Rothelins parentage: he descended from a bastard line in the dOrlans family in the sixteenth century, not from the Duke dOrlans, who was regent for Louis XV, 171523.72 But, more importantly, he gives information that dates the note itself he gloats that Louis XVI was only able to come by a set of the Voyages at the sale of the books of Charles de Rohan, Prince de Soubise (171587), which was held in 1789. And by so dating the note, M. Pris provides irrefutable evidence of his own identity: Antoine Pris dIllins was the only direct male descendant of the brothers Pris or nephew of Pris de Meyzieu living after 1781. He also took pride in the binding of his books, as Edwards reported. Many of his books seem to be in the bindings in which they came to him,
70 Quoted in Catalogue of the Library at Chatsworth, vol. iii (London: Chiswick Press, 1879). The volume was purchased by the Earl Spencer for his sister Georgianna, Duchess of Devonshire (17571806). 71 Gouttard was a fairly obscure collector with a library of 1604 lots. His Christian name is not recorded. See North, Printed Catalogues, no. 291. He seems to have edited classical texts and not to have been a physician. The introductory note to the catalogue was by a friend, M. de Maucune whose name might have been mangled by Pris along with the consignors patronym. 72 Nouvelle biographie gnrale.


The Bibliotheca Parisina

Fig. 5 Armorial binding by Derome (Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Douce 220, lower board and spine; Parisina Catalogue, lot 15)

the Livy that had once belonged to his great uncles and the Duc de la Vallire, for instance. The de Bry collection, Parisina, lot 486, seems to follow the colour scheme established by Gouttard, who is said to have added two volumes to those he had bought at the Pris de Meyzieu sale.73 But Pris seems to have added considerably to the scope of the collection and must have rebound it or have bound his additions in accordance with Gouttards scheme. At least as left by Pris, the collection binds first editions of the American Voyages in blue (or violet) morocco. Later editions of the
73 The progress of the collection is indicated in the catalogues reports on binding. De Bry, lot 1513, is in-fol 6 voll. m. vt. Pris de Meyzieu, lot 1878 is enlarged to 10 vol. in-fol. mar. Gouttard, lot 1040 is 9 vol. in fol. M. viol & m. r. and lot 1041, 3 vol. in fol. M. cit. Parisina, lot 486, French: 60 tom. relis en 24 vol. mar. cit, bleu et rouge; English: 60 vol. bound in 24 in yellow, blue, and red Morocco.

Milton McC. Gatch


American Voyages are bound in yellow, and the Oriental Voyages in red. There is no binders signature, but the style is uniform: boards covered in morocco with French (triple) fillets around the edges and floral stamp at the corner intersections; spines with seven bands, the second and third panels with inscriptions and the rest with gilt tooling, inside gilt dentelles, marbled endpapers.74 The employment of Nicolas-Denis Derome le jeune often considered the greatest binder of his day75 is, as advertised by Edwards, amply in evidence. Some of the Derome bindings are signed. For example Parisina, lot 507, a translation of Herodotus Historiarum by Lorenzo Valla, published in Venice by I. Rubens in 1474, has a Derome ticket that can be dated 178589.76 This is one of Deromes famous dentelle bindings, and it has his customary silk pastedowns. Even more impressive are the armorial bindings executed by Derome for Pris dIllins. Rau published a photograph from an example in Chatsworth Library as his Plate iv. Here Derome, who has attached a ticket datable to 178589, has used a characteristic dentelle border, and in the center of the corners of the dentelle has placed his well-known sitting bird stamp, in this case looking to the left.77 Another Derome armorial binding for Pris dIllins is for a two-volume Hours of the Virgin, now Douce, MSS 21920 in the Bodleian Library (Fig. 5); the bird stamp in this instance is looking right. The dentelle and arms appear on the upper and lower boards of both volumes, but are not repeated on the morocco slipcases. The bindings of Douce 21920 can probably be dated 178085.78 The arms on the boards require some comment.79 It has already been mentioned that these arms appear on the bookplate of the first Antoine Pris (le Grand) in Parisina,

74 The boards of the first volume measure 347 x 237 mm. A large square book-plate seems to have been removed inside the upper boards. 75 Giles Barber, From Baroque to Neoclassicism: French Eighteenth-Century Bindings at Oxford, in Bookbindings & Other Bibliophily: Essays in Honour of Anthony Hobson, ed. by D. E. Rhodes (Verona, [1994]), pp. 3364 (p. 35). 76 Bodleian s. xv, H-054, one of the volumes purchased in 1791 by Elmesley for the Bodleian. Barber, ibid., p. 53, n. 35. The ticket is Ract-Madous K4 (see Essai de classement chronologique des tiquettes de Derome le Jeune, Bulletin du bibliophile, [1989], 38391), and is placed at the top left of the verso of the upper flyleaf. The Bodleian stamp has been added to the upper board. 77 On the sitting bird stamps (looking right and looking left) used by Derome le jeune and his father, Jacques-Antoine (c. 16961760) see Foot, The Henry Davis Gift, i, 199200, and for illustrations: iii, 22021 (no. 173 [looking right, probably by the father]); 23133 (nos 184 [Derome jeune, looking right] and 185 [Derome jeune, looking left]). For further illustrations, see British Library, Database of Bookbindings ( The Derome ticket is Ract-Madoux, ibid., p. 390, group G (for which I am grateful to Andrew Peppitt, archivist at Chatsworth House). 78 Pascal Ract-Madoux informs me: je ne crois pas quil soit possible dtre plus prcis dans ce cas. 79 Oval shield: or on a fess azure, an apple slipped with stem and green leaves (dor la fasce dazur, charge dune pomme dor, tige et feuille de sinople). See Henri Jougla de Morenas, Grand armorial de France, 6 vols ([Paris, 2004]), v, 215 (which erroneously reads pomme de pin for pomme dor), surmounted by the coronet of a count (ibid., i, 15) and supported by lions rampant regardant. JeanLuc Cartannaz informs me that the apple refers to the golden apple awarded to Aphrodite by Paris of Troy in exchange for the promise of Helen.


The Bibliotheca Parisina

lot 521 and were similarly used by Joseph Paris Duverney. They are, in fact, the arms of the family not of an individual, and the coronet derives from the title of comte de Sampigny. Whether Antoine Marie Pris dIllins ever styled himself comte is unknown, but family members all regarded themselves as noble and displayed the coronet.80 Furthermore, as Rau noted, an armorial binding appears on Parisina, lot 316, a two-volume edition of Il Pastor fido, printed in Paris in 1782 after the death and sale of Pris de Meyzieu, when only Pris dIllins can have commissioned it.81 Something of the character of Antoine Marie Pris dIllins comes through on a re-examination of the Parisina catalogues. He seems an eager amateur (in a sense of the word more common in English than in French): collecting distinguished books, binding them handsomely, proud of them, not always quite accurate with facts about his collection a cultivated aristocratic collector. Even so, there are moments when one does not know whether Edwards and Laurent may have introduced some material into the collection of M. Pris so that it is not clear whether one is dealing with the collectors collection or something slipped in. In the Parisina catalogue, lots 5, 6, 348, 465, and 466 mention a calligrapher, Leclabart, to which may be added lot 252 and perhaps lot 374.82 These manuscripts were copied by a calligrapher of some note, Jacques Fucien Lclabart, from early printed books, some with drawings after the woodcuts (sometimes coloured). These kinds of facsimiles satisfied an interest in early printed books that were not often accessible by collectors, and they stimulated a kind of wonder at the ability of the calligrapher to imitate letterforms and drawings with remarkable accuracy. The Lclabart manuscripts in the Parisina collection made early enough to have belonged to Pris, and the descriptions of their bindings in the French Parisina, suggest Derome.83 The problem is that the calligrapher seems to have died around 1786, when a sale of his belongings was held; a further sale of his library took place on 12 July 1790, and six or seven of his copies from books listed in that catalogue were also in the Parisina catalogues of 1791. Danielle Muzerelle, in an article on Lclabart, asks whether Pris dIllins
80 Rau, Bibliotheca Parisina, p. 316, was aware of this and mentions that even the Marquis de Brunoy, Jean Pris de Monmartel used these arms, which were impaled on the dexter of the arms of his third wife. Roger Middleton erroneously confuses the coronet with that of a marquis (i.e. Monmartel): Bodleian s. xv, vi, p. 2833 81 Rau, ibid., p. 31516. 82 Danielle Muzerelle, Cet Esclabart avait une belle main, Revue de la Bibliothque nationale de France, 13 (2003), 5055 (p. 52) suggests the latter two items. Parisina, lot 6 (copy of a 1471 printed Speculum humanae salvationis) is now NYPL yet another Leclabart copy of the Speculum is British Library, MS Add. 24014; lot 465 is Douce MS 206 (despite the disclaimer in A Summary Catalogue of Western Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library at Oxford, ed. by Falconer Madan, (Oxford: Clarendon, 1897), iv, pp. 55455 (SC 21780). Leclabart is indexed in the French Parisina catalogue but not the English; English twice breaks the name, Le Clabart. The name appears in several forms including Esclabart and Lesclabart; Muzerelle prefers Lclabart. 83 e.g., lot 6 (petit in-fol. Mar. r., dentelles), lot 465 (reli en mar. dentelle)

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could have added these items to his library so close to the time it was offered for sale.84 In view of the fact that Pris did not go into exile with Lafayette until 16 August 1792, however, it is possible that he was still building his library in the months before giving it over for sale at auction in London.85 Arthur Rau notes that a French book dealer, Antoine Augustin Renouard (17651853) as early as 1819 castigated the Bibliotheca Parisina Catalogue as bien le plus fautif de tous les catalogues. On y estropie les titres, on y cre des ditions qui jamais nexistaient.86 The shortcomings of the catalogue were greater and more complicated than Renouard knew or said and must be understood in the context of the situation in revolutionary France, but Renouard was not far from the mark. One does not excuse Edwards, but it is to be hoped that the backgrounds of this very curious catalogue can now be better understood. Despite the excitement caused in London by the sale of these books and their undoubted distinction the marketing of the Bibliotheca elegantissima, Parisina is not a distinguished moment in the long and sometimes chequered history of the book trade. Yet from fresh study of the Parisina Catalogue emerges a picture of an interesting, and hitherto unrecognized, French book collector of the late-eighteenth century. New York City

Muzerelle, Cet Esclabart avait une belle main, pp. 5053 Cheynet de Beaupr, Beaumarchais, p. 153. Derome had died on 28 February 1790, but members of the family carried on his work for some time. 86 Catalogue de la bibliothque dun amateur: avec notes bibliographiques, critiques, et littraires . . . , 4 vols (Paris, 1819) iv, 25859. Rau, Bibliotheca Parisina, p. 307 (the faultiest of catalogues. Titles are garbled, editions that never existed are created).



Jean Pris la Masse m. 1665 Justine Trnonay la Montagne Claude Pris la Montagne (seigneur: Meyzieu, Illins, Serpaize, Moirans) (16701744) Joseph Pris Duverney (16841770) (without issue, save a natural daughter) Jean Pris de Monmartel marquis de Brunoy comte de Sampigny (seigneur: Villers-sur-Mer) (16901766) [by 3rd marriage] Armand-Louis-Joseph Pris de Monmartel Marquis de Brunoy (seigneur: Villerssur-Mer) (17481781) (without issue)

Antoine Pris (lan; le Grand; comte de Sampigny) (16681733)

Antoinette Justine Pris (17121739) [2nd wife of her uncle Jean Pris de Monmartel]

Antoine Pris dIllins (17121777)

Jean Baptiste Pris de Meyzieu (17181778) (without issue)

Joseph Louis Pris de Surieux2 (17191744) (without issue)

[by 2nd marriage] Amade-Victor Pris de Monmartel (17271745) (without issue)

Antoine Marie Pris dIllins (seigneur: Villers-sur-Mer) 17461809) Raoul Pris dIllins (18021874) Marie Pris dIllins Gosset (18261879) (without issue) Suzanne Pris dIllins (18291908) (without issue) Alix Pris dIllins Legrand des Cloizeaux (18301903) descendants still at chteau Villers-sur-Mer

Adolphe Pris dIllins (17881806) (without issue)

1 Based on Annexe 3, bauche gnalogique de la descendance des quatre frres Pris et de leur sur Marthe, in Beaumarchais: Le Tartare la Lgion, ed. by Marc Cheynet de Beaupr, Les Inatteudus, 39 (Bordeaux, 1998), pp. 14964. Only persons and seigneuries that relate to the problem of the library are listed in this chart. Jean-Luc Cartannaz has provided useful suggestions on genealogical details. 2 After 1737 styled Franois Joseph Pris de Moirans.