En Haia por P. Gosse y A. Moetjens, 1744.
4 volumes 12mo [157 x 95 mm ] in full green morocco, triple gilt filet on the covers, gilt arms of the Princess of Lamballe in the center, spine ribbed and decorated, gilt inner border, gilt edges. Contemporary armorial binding.
“Don Quixote” especially bound for the Princess of Lamballe (1749-1792), Queen Marie Antoinette’s bosom friend, towards 1775, in green morocco with a selection of twenty figures after Coypel engraved by Folkema, Fukke and Tanje, ordinary copies are made of one portrait and 24 figures.
Don Quixote, a masterpiece of world literature, was probably written between 1598 and 1604.
Ten years later, in 1615, a second part was published that is in a way the illustration, the interpretation and the final conclusion of the first one.
According to what Cervantes declares himself in the Prologue of the Ist part, his goal was to write a chivalry novel, capable of distinguishing itself from all the others widely common at the time.
A precious copy preserved in its fresh green morocco bindings towards 1775 with the arms of the Princess of Lamballe, one of the most touching and rare provenances of the Ancien Régime.
Ernest Quentin-Bauchart (Les Femmes bibliophiles de France – Paris 1886) quotes only 6 works bound with the arms of this princess and insists on their very small number and their usual mediocre condition:
“Marie-Thérèse de Savoie-Carignan, princess of Lamballe, was born in Turin on September 8th 1749. She was the fourth daughter of Louis-Victor de Savoie-Carignan and Christine- Henriette de Hesse-Rhinfelds-Rothembourg, his wife, great aunt of the king of Sardinia.
Soon the tenderest friendship bound the queen to the princess.”
Madame de Lamballe was in Germany when she learnt the arrest of the royal family in Varennes. Listening to the inspirations of her heart, she went back to Paris on November 14th 1791, despite the pleas of the queen who was begging her to wait:
“No, once again I tell you, my dear Lamballe, don’t come back now; my friendship for you is too alarmed, affairs don’t seem to take a turn for the better despite the acceptance of the Constitution on which I was counting. Stay with the good Monsieur de Penthièvre who needs your care so much, if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be able to make such a sacrifice, because I feel each day my friendship for you increasing as much as my misfortunes; God wants time to pacify the minds, but the villains spread so many atrocious calumnies that I count more on my courage than on the events. So goodbye, my dear Lamballe, please know both far and near, I love you and I trust your friendship. Marie-Antoinette. ”
The princess, after sharing during a few days the captivity of the queen at the Temple, was abducted during the night and transferred to the Force Prison. It was her death sentence.
“Madame de Lamballe’s books are in very little number and their condition is mediocre.”
(Ernest Quentin Bauchart. Les femmes bibliophiles de France).
An exceptional copy, of the utmost rarity, of Madame de Lamballe’s Don Quixote preserved in its contemporary bright green morocco.