1685 Louis XIV folio presentation binding. Notitia Ecclesiastica by Jean Cabassut.


Handsome Louis XIV presentation copy of Jean Cabassut's Notitia Ecclesiastica, with Louis' arms emblazoned on the front and rear of the cover, along with many Fleurs de Lys decorating the boards and spine of the relieur.

About the Author & Literature -
The author, Jean Cabassut, was born at Aix and entered the Oratory at the age of twenty-one. Though devoted to his labour he was always ready to interrupt even his most favourite study to assist the needy. He had taught canon law at Avignon for some time, when Cardinal Grimaldi, Archbishop of Aix, took him as companion to Rome, where Father Cabassut remained about eighteen months. Returning to Aix, where he spent the rest of his life, he became a distinguished writer on questions of ecclesiastical history, canon law, and moral theology. Saint Alphonsus considers him classical. He was a probabiliorist in his moral solutions. "Notitia Conciliorum" (Lyons, 1668) is noteworthy. Cardinal Grimaldi induced the writer to enlarge this work and publish it under the title, "Notitia ecclesiastica historiarum, conciliorum et canonum invicem collatorum", etc. – Catholic Encyclopedia

About the Provenance -
St. Andrews released a blog titled "Echoes From the Vault, Week 47 Presentation Binding Louis XIV" where they presented a (nearly) matching binding and concluded that due the lack of provenance it was likely a presentation copy to the college.

Cambridge Special Collections also released a blog titled "His Royal Favour..." where they too present a similar binding, with the same arms, that they state was "offered as prestigious gifts to foreign princes and ambassadors".

Our copy also has little provenance except a college, leading me to believe it is also a presentation binding. The ex libris college is Saint Charles Borromeo (Philadelphia), who recently expunged many of their antiquarian works.

Physical Attributes -

In folio, measuring 38 x 26 x 5.5 cm. Calf, many Fleurs de Lys and with central armorial of Louis XIV (front and rear). 6 raised ribs, over thick cords, on spine; 7 compartments with fleurs de lys, one with "Notitia Eccles." in gilt. Fore-edge retains hints of gilt edging. Pastedowns marbled. Pages - (2), xii leaves, 690 numbered pages (numbered v. and r.), Index of 34 leaves (RRrr2 to CCC3), CCC4 leaf blank, (2). Page 687 mis-numbered 187. 3300 grams.

Condition -

See pictures. Joints cracked. Edge wear to boards. Corners bumped an leather worn through. Boards have some scrapes and marks. Leather loss at top of spine, some chipping to spine, crazed, and with call number in paint at bottom. Top edge has some dust staining, but fore-edge still has hints of gilt edges. Pastedown has name of college and call numbers (written and in small plates). Same college name and call numbers on verso of flyleaf. 2" tear at fore-edge of blank unpaginated front endpaper. Endpapers foxed. Entire book has some toning and a little foxing (not excessive) and very occasional spots. Title page has 2 library numbers and college stamp (not touching text). Small number stamp on following page. Toning varies throughout text block. Occasional thumb mark, dog ear. p. 163 has very corner torn. Ink spot on p.295. Moisture spot on page 453 bottom margin. Moisture spot on 505 and 507 bottom margin. Index YYYY2 corner torn. Rear endpaper has chip from fore-edge. No annotations.

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