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MEMOIRS OF COUNT GRAMMONT
London and Edinburgh: Printed by Ballantyne, Hanson and Co, 1889. No. 101 OF 780 COPIES, extended to two volumes and extra-illustrated with portraits, views, etc. by John C. Runkle n. Hardcover. 292 x 191 mm (11 1/2 x 7 1/2"). Two volumes. Notes by Sir Walter Scott. No. 101 OF 780 COPIES, extended to two volumes and extra-illustrated with portraits, views, etc. by John C. Runkle. VERY FINE CONTEMPORARY SCARLET MOROCCO, ELABORATELY GILT, BY MARIUS MICHEL (stamp-signed on front doublures), covers featuring concentric French fillet panels with intricate cornerpieces between them, raised bands, gilt-ruled spine compartments with elegant foliate curls and complex central lozenge composed of several fleurons, FOREST GREEN MOROCCO DOUBLURES with large central panel formed by lobed French fillets, gilt-tooled inner and outer cornerpieces and sidepieces, gilt-decorated turn-ins, marbled endpapers. With 33 etchings (20 as head- or tailpieces, 13 as plates), as issued, by L. Boisson from original compositions by C. Delort, along WITH 167 ENGRAVED EXTRA-ILLUSTRATIONS, for a total of 200 images. A Large Paper Copy. Color of spines just a shade different from the covers, isolated vague spotting of no consequence in the text, inserted plates occasionally with minor foxing, but AN ESPECIALLY ATTRACTIVE SET IN FINE CONDITION, the text clean and fresh, the margins vast, and the bindings lustrous and unworn. As a book of persisting interest since its original appearance in 1714, this is an item of special interest for its text, its luxury format, its added illustration, and particularly for its beautiful bindings. Working at first by himself and then later with his son, Jean Marius Michel (also called Marius Michel the elder, 1821-90) produced distinguished work in the prevailing historical style for two decades, beginning in Paris in 1849, and he published important books on the history of binding as well. The firm came to even greater prominence when the son, Henri Fran├žois Marius Michel (1846-1923) began producing bindings in a completely new and original style. The present binding is in the classical mode of Marius Michel the elder and perhaps by him, although, given the date of publication, he would have had to do this binding in the final year of his life. Whoever performed the work, it is characterized, like other bindings from the firm, by a remarkable elegance of design as well as the highest level of technical execution. Given the fact that the text records an insider's history of the courts of Louis XIV and Charles II, royal households which encompassed a great many important and colorful characters, it is an appropriate text to be used as a vehicle for extra-illustration. In our volumes, the extra-illustration is done in a very thorough manner by John C. Runkle (1836-83), whose eye for art is in service to the text. Philibert, Comte de Gramont, was a libertine and gambler who resided at the courts of Louis XIV of France (from which he was banished) and Charles II of England. His memoirs, written in an entertaining and ironic style, were either dictated to, or composed by, his brother-in-law, Anthony Hamilton (1646?-1720). Although historically unreliable they paint a vivid portrait of the character and scandals of the court, as seen by an insider. Runknle, of New York and Paris, was a successful coffee and tea trader, and an art collector of renown.
      [Bookseller: Phillip J. Pirages Fine Books and Mediev]
Last Found On: 2015-10-05           Check availability:      Biblio    

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