1678 Office de la Semaine Sainte. Royal binding, Louis XIV, Atelier des Caumartin.


A stunning binding, with the crowned "L" indicating it's origins in the court of The Sun King, Louis XIV stamped in each compartment of the spine. The tools used to decorate the binding are unique to the late 17th century French bindery identified as "Caumartin", who did work that has been found in a variety of royal libraries.

Within is a wonderful printing of the Office de la Semaine Sainte, printed in 1678 by Petit, and illustrated with five illustrations, several of which are attributed to "Peter Paul Bouche". The book is dedicated to the Madame la Chancliere (Elisabeth Turpin), wife of Chancellor le Tellier.

Regarding the binding, the boards show heavy use of the drawer handle Caumartin tool labelled number 10, as well as the winged 17 (a and b), by Lawrence Miller. Esmerian first identified the binder, but Mr. Miller has continued his research.

Similar binding style to the 1690 L'Office de la Semaine Sainte that King Louis XIV gifted to James the II. This binding can be seen at the British Library Database of Bookbindings, shelfmark C67e7.

Also, similar binding style to the 1661 L'Office de la Semaine Saincte, sold by Christie's at their 8th November 2004 Paris sale.

Both examples can be viewed online.

OCLC #814527305

Physical Attributes -

Measures approx. 19.5 x 13.5 x 3.5 cm. Burgundy-red Morocco binding, richly tooled in gilt in a fanfare binding using a combination of shaped, fillet, and pointelle tools. Tools attributable to the binder Caumartin (see Lawrence A Miller's list of the the Caumartin tools; easy to identify). Five raised bands to the spine; six compartments with a central crowned "L" encircled surrounded by a waving flag-like design, and with several rolls at the bottom of the spine (and one at the top). Turn-ins rolled in gilt. Marbled endpapers. Gilt edges. Double-endbands, blue and white.

Pages - flyleaf, (2), xxxii, 629, 1 leaf with royal privilege, (1), flyleaf

Collation - (2), *4, Z8, Ss8, Tt4, (1).

Five illustrations: Frontis plate, on numbered page 192, and plates at 280, 364, and 472.

Condition -

See pictures. Beautiful, with subtle feeling leather. Binding has a little wear at edges, with the slightest rubbing to board gilt here and there. Top edge and enbands a little dusty. Tiny bit of cracking to surface of leather at joints. Mostly a beautiful binding. A little cracking at inner hinges, but binding is very solid.

Pencil "4" on 3rd blank. Fox spots, toning, tiny page edge tear, dog-eared page and thumb occasionally throughout; all only on occasion. Frontis mounted a little crooked, has a crease, and thumb mark. Thumb and tiny page edge tears to title page. There is a moisture mark that intrudes at the top edge for the first six leaves. 3 cm ink spot on page signature "x". 1 cm spot fore-edge margin pages 13-16. 3 cm. tear bottom of page 17. 2 cm chip at bottom edge of page 45. Occasional moisture mark at very edges, only on several leaves does it extend to the text.

I nitpicked, but it's truly a beautiful book; one of the most attractive I've owned.

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