Paris, Nicolas Buon, 1609.
Large folio [424 x 279 mm] of (8) ll. including the engraved title, 1215 pp., (13), 132, (4). Some handwritten notes in the margins, a few browned ll. Bound in full contemporary stiff vellum, spine ribbed and decorated with the gilt title, gilt edges. Contemporary binding.
“Important edition, mentioned in the Manuel (Brunet), decorated with the famous engraved frontispiece”. (Jean-Paul Barbier, Ronsard, n°61).
First edition of the Recueil des Sonnets, Odes, Hymnes, élégies… composed of 132 pages and 2 table leaves and eleventh original collective edition.
“The title is decorated with the magnificent border, engraved by Léonard Gaultier, with the bust of Ronsard crowned by Homer and Virgil and at the bottom, Mars and Venus. This plate (whose original drawing is in the Louvre Museum), is here in first state, before a lock of hair had come to hide the goddess’ nakedness.” (Catalogue d’une collection unique des Editions originales de Ronsard par Seymour de Ricci).
“With the abundance of this work, the variety of his themes, the mastery of the most various rhythms, Ronsard is indeed the main star of this Pleiad that he created with his master Dorat, his friends Baïf, Du Bellay, Belleau, Jodelle and Tyard. There was never an official poet (he was one from 1558) who better represented the art of his country, nor who was more revolutionary in his time.” C. Bonnefoy.
Beautiful copies of this so important edition are rare. Tchemerzine mentions several defective copies: the De Backer and F. Didot copy, missing 2 leaves; a copy with a modern binding with the frontispiece re-margined; the Errault de Chemans copy with renewed endleaves and 14 leaves added. The Huillard copy with the doubled title and the Jean-Paul Barbier one about which the catalog ‘Ma Bibliothèque poétique. Deuxième partie – n°61’, dedicates six full pages had “a few foxing, consolidated joints and renewed endleaves”. This latter copy, though in a contemporary binding, was 360 mm high that is 64 mm less than ours.
Brunet and Tchemerzine only mention a single copy printed on very large paper. Since the beginning of the reports, in the 18th century, only one copy is listed: “The very fine copy of Thou, in very large paper bound in green morocco bought by the baron Pichon, 1,250 fr. at the sale Double, was paid in 1869 1,160 fr. by M. Giraud; this noble book had been paid 600 fr. at Renouard; M. Potier had bought it 861 fr. at Solar, and resold it 1,000 fr. at M. Double”. Whereas this copy was sold 1 250 F at the Double sale, the Huillard copy, on regular paper, was sold 72 F, that is a difference of about 1 to 20.
The Bookshop Sourget also listed in a catalogue in 2008 (catalogue n°37) a copy on large paper (the copy of the marquis de Mailly et d’Haucourt, height: 422 mm).
Precious copy, the third one listed on very large paper, measuring 424 mm against 350 to 360 mm for copies of the regular print.
Copy exceptionnaly wide-margined, preserved in its first contemporary vellum binding.
Provenance: J. R. Rey with ex libris.