1748 L'Office de la Semaine Sainte, a l'usage de la Maison du Roy. Collombat, Paris


Beautiful gilt tooling, with the arms of King Louis XV, decorate this 1748 L'Office de la Semaine Saint, a l'usage de la Maison du Roy (for the use of the King's household), printed by Jacques Collombat, printer to the King.

This delightful prayer book is a devotional for Holy Week, and was immensely popular in France during the 18th century. This is a particularly fine example, with a beautiful royal binding, illustrations by the French artist Antoine Humblot (six, full-page), and on handsome laid paper. Also, there are typographical devices, like headpieces, and tailpieces that add well to the overall work.

Physical Attributes -

Measures approx. 20 x 12.5 x 5.25 cm, 8vo. Calf binding with gilt decoration. Boards with richly gilt outer-frame, with several gilt fillets and an inner roll of alternating fleur-de-lis and palm frond. Central arms of King Louis XV to both boards. Board edges, and turn-ins with a gilt roll design. Spine with five raised bands, five compartments with central gilt fleur-de-lis, framed in gilt, with corner fleur-de-lis and star decorations, and one compartment with the title in gilt. Alternating gilt roll of fleur-de-lis and palm frond decoration at top and bottom of spine.

All edges gilt (AEG).

Marbled endpapers.

Two frontis engravings after Humblot, with one showing the King and Queen in prayer.

Four other full-page engravings as section titles, after Humblot.

Pages - (1 - blank), ii - privilege plates, 672, (1 - blank).

Condition -

See pictures. Light edge and corner wear, and a few very light rubs. Mostly a very handsome binding. Just the slightest out-of-square. Light surface crazing of leather near joints and on spine, but surface only, joints remain solid. Bottom front corner of board bumped. Silk tie expired at top endband. A little darker along top-edge.

Old ownership name/address, and "Louis XV" on back (verso) of flyleaf and paper of blank endpaper stuck to flyleaf, causing light surface damage to the two when separated (looks like ex libris removal). The shield, on the second privilege page, has a tiny bit of blue coloring. "Louis XV" and library stamp at bottom of title page, in margin. Bottom corner of 39 missing, almost touches text. Pages 35-46 just slightly proud at fore-edge bottom. Fox/rust spots light but consistent. Occasional leaf more toned than others. Also, occasional thumb, more towards front. Despite notes, a very handsome and attractive book.

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