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Petit Sommaire de la Vie, Actes et Faits.



[MATTHIEU (Pierre)].

Petit Sommaire de la Vie, Actes et Faits de Tres-heureuse memoire Henry IIII. Roy de France, & de Navarre.

First Edition. Small 8vo inlaid to 4to. [286 x 224 x 20 mm]. [1]f, 14pp. Early 19th century binding by Charles Lewis (signed in gilt on the front doublure) of straight-grained olive goatskin, the covers tooled in gilt with an outer border composed of repeated impressions of two flower tools interspersed with stars and small flower-heads, with a third flower tool in the corners, within double fillets, an inner border of repeated palm fronds and another branch, with a flower in the corners, within double fillets, and a large central panel filled with repeated impressions of six flower tools, within laurel branches, with two smaller flowers and sprigs and stars etc in the spaces between and at the centre an oval cartouche, lettered "Vie Et Mort De Henry IV" on the front and with Pietro Duodo's arms on the rear. Smooth spine tooled in gilt with the six flowers within laurel branches and lettered "Henry IV" in a cartouche and with the date at the foot, the edges of the boards tooled with a gilt triple fillet, the turn-ins and matching inside joints tooled with gilt fillets and an arabesque tool, red goatskin doublures panelled with a series of single and triple fillets, with a lozenge-shaped central panel, with arabesque and other ornamental tools at the corners and centres, red glazed paper free endleaves. Contained in the original calf pull-off case, with a green goatskin spine with false-bands and lettered in gilt. (The case a little worn).
Paris: Pierre Ramier, 1610.

The issue without the dedication or privilege, but with the acrostic sonnet "A la Reine" (Marie de Medicis), signed F. Jolly Saintongeois.

Bound with:

Sommaire Discours de la Naissance, du Progres de la Vie Heroïque & du Lamentable Trespas de Henry IIII. Roy de France & de Navarre.

Folded broadside [534 x 398 mm] with a border of type ornament, the text printed in three columns, with a large engraved portrait of Henri IV on horseback.
Paris: Jean le Clerc, 1610.

[MORILLON (Claude)]. Pompe Funebre du Tres-Chrestien, Tres-Puissant et Tres-victorieux Prince, Henry le Grand, Roy de France & de Navarre: Faicte à Paris & à S. Denys, les 29. & 30. jours du mois de Juin, & le 1. de Juillet, 1610. Recueillie par C[laude]. M[orillon]. I.D.M.L. D.D.M.

First Edition. Small 8vo inlaid to 4to. 32pp.
Lyons: Claude Morillon, 1610.

Brief Discours des Pompes, Ceremonies, & Obseques Funebres d'Henry le Grand.

Folded broadside [532 x 395 mm], the text printed in three columns (with a printed signature at the end I.D.F.), with a large engraving of Henri IV on his deathbed.

The four works are bound together and are extra-illustrated with six engraved portraits, four of them of Henri IV by de Leu, de Marcenay and Firens and after Goltzius, one of Marie de Medicis by de Leu, and one of the Duc de Sully by de Marcenay. They have all been inlaid to size and there is a manuscript and a printed note concerning the plates at the front ("This volume may justly be termed unique, both with respect to the brilliancy of the portraits contained in it, and its exquisite binding"... "The whole of the Portraits are of great rarity"... "Particular care should be taken in unfolding the large prints"). The binding has been bulked out with 33 blank leaves at the end.

The binding is almost as good as new and is perhaps the largest and most elaborate of Charles Lewis's "Duodo" style bindings. It is from the Stowe House library of Richard Temple-Nugent-Brydges-Chandos-Grenville (1776-1839) first Duke of Buckingham, and may have been commissioned by him. It consciously imitates the Parisian bindings for Pietro Duodo (1554-1611), the Venetian ambassador to France from 1594 to 1597. Duodo's library appears to have been kept intact until the French Revolution, when it was brought to England and dispersed. The arrival of these bindings on the market evidently inspired a demand for copies, and Charles Lewis was probably the first to meet it. The naturalistic flower tools which festoon the covers are accurate copies of the original tools and include, if the botanical identifications are correct, the Carline thistle, forget-me-not, knapweed, clover, lily, and globe flower.

Other examples of Lewis's "Duodo" bindings are illustrated by Barber and Rogers in The Bodleian Library Record, vol.VIII, no.3, February 1969; and by Ramsden, in London Bookbinders 1780-1840, plate XVIII. Dibdin commissioned such a binding from Lewis for his presentation copy of Brunet's Manuel du Libraire (1814), which is now in the British Library. An example by Charles Smith was item 214 in Maggs Bros. catalogue 1212 and Riviere was still producing them at the end of the nineteenth century. Charles Lewis was born in London in 1786, the son of a Hanoverian immigrant, Johann Ludwig. He was apprenticed to Henry Walther at the age of fourteen, and obtained his freedom in 1807. He set up a shop in Scotland Yard, he was at 4 Salisbury Street, the Strand at some point, and also at Denmark Court, the Strand and in 1817 he established himself in Duke Street, St. James's. By 1823 he was empoying 21 journeymen, a number of whom are illustrated in a watercolour of the bindery reproduced in Middleton, A History of English Craft Bookbinding Technique (1996), p.349. Lewis was patronized by all the great collectors of the day, including William Beckford, who favoured him above all others. In a letter to the bookseller George Clarke written in 1831 Beckford declared: "Lewis was, and is, and I hope will continue to be, the first artist in this line that Europe can boast of". He died in 1836, and for the next five years the business was managed by Francis Bedford.

Stock no. ebc2602

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Price: £15,000