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Bibliotheque Curieuse et Instructive de Divers - MENESTRIER Claude-François - 1704. 
1704 - MÉNESTRIER, Claude-François. Bibliotheque Curieuse et Instructive de Divers Ouvrages Anciens & Modernes, de Litterature & des Arts: Ouverte pour les Personnes qui Aiment des Lettres. Trevoux: Estienne Ganeau, 1704. Two volumes in one. 12mo, contemporary full brown speckled calf, raised bands, elaborate gilt-decorated spine, later marbled endpapers. $2200.First edition of this turn-of-the-18th-century annotated bibliography of suggested readings for a liberal education, with Ménestrier's famous chapter on the history of playing cards (Volume II, page 168ff.) and an original pen-and-ink drawing of the medal presented to Louis XIV in 1703 (tipped at Volume I, page 149).French Jesuit Claude-François Ménestrier was famous in his time as a specialist in organizing royal entries and fêtes, court ballets, and allegorical or spectacular events of many kinds. He was also the most widely known heraldist of his time, and today is perhaps best known as the first historian of the ballet, as well as the "father" of research on the history of playing cards. He conducted historical research on Trionfi cards, the origins of which he claimed to be the work of Gringonneur in 1392, and his short essay "Des Principes des Sciences & des Arts Disposez en Forme de Jeux" is published here for the first time. Ménestrier inherited a taste for antiquities from his great-uncle Claude, who had been employed by Cardinal Barberini as librarian charged with collecting art objects and medals. Resulting from this exposure, Claude-François became a recognized theorist of heraldry, producing a number of important publications on the origins of heraldic practices, emblems and mottoes. Having authored at least 83 separate titles, including a biography of Louis XIV"""the bibliography of Ménestrier's works is so considerable that it disconcerts bibliophiles" (Catholic Encyclopedia). With both engraved and letterpress title pages in both volumes. Text in French. Brunet III, 1627. Graesse IV, 448. Owner signature, occasional notations, and manuscript errata sheets.A near-fine copy, with only a faint dampstaining to the bottom margins of a few gatherings, expert repair to joints and spine ends. [Attributes: First Edition; Hard Cover]
[Bookseller: Bauman Rare Books]
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