Toulouse, R. Colomiés, 1622.
Small 8vo [167 x 110 mm] of (6) ll., 146 pp., (1) l. of Notice to the reader. Slight waterstain on the title. Limp ivory vellum binding, flat spine with the handwritten title. Contemporary binding.
Extremely rare first and unique edition of the relation of the sumptuous celebration offered by the city of Toulouse in November 1621 to Louis XIII, with the accurate description of the mottos and arcs of triumph.
The copy is complete with the ultimate leaf of Notice to the reader that is sometimes missing; the author thanks there “Mr de Boissière, who besides the part he has in the intention of this entry, is particularly the author of what you have seen of the mottos”.
“Chalette’s decorative masterpiece and his title of glory, if not the most serious, at least the most popular, has been the first entry of Louis XIII in Toulouse, in November 1621 […] This entry occurred after the raising of the siege of Montauban, and in the middle of very sad political circumstances that didn’t seem very right for enthusiasm. The hospitals in Toulouse were crowded with injured people, evacuated by the royal ambulance of Piquecos, and the town, exhausted by the expenses of the war and by a long and painful epidemic, was forced to borrow in order to provide for the expenses of its official pomps. The king, consulted on the nature of the reception he was expecting, asked to be welcomed with the same ceremonial as Charles IX in 1565 […] The imagination of the four doctors, to whom the municipal magistrates of Toulouse had given the invention of the entry project, as well as the redaction of the polyglot mottos in prose and verse, Charles de Catel, Jean d’Allard, Jean Dufour and François de Boissière, anticipated the adulation of the Great Century and the famous hyperbole of the Sun King, by inviting the sidereal universe, planets and constellations, to sing Louis XII’s praises […]. No drawing of all these light architectures were kept, whereas it was planned, in the Town Council, to publish the plates; but the description that was officially printed in 1622, thanks to the Parliament and the municipal magistrates, allows to have a pretty complete idea and reveals a great analogy with the entry of Louis XIII in Paris. All these splendors were very successful among the crowd of strangers the Royal entry had attracted in Toulouse. The official chronicler of the ceremony, Mr. Allard, ends his description with these lines: ‘Mr Chalette deserves a stroke of a pen for the excellent brush strokes he gave to the Paintings from which this entry was adorned; he is so lucky and perfect in his art that his works seem worthy of being confessed from Nature’” (Revue de Toulouse, 1869, pp. 243-249)
“Mr. Allard gives to the public this work, where he says that most of the verses were from Mr. de Catel & himself; the emblems by Mr. Dufour & the paintings by the famous Chalet”.
A superb copy, very pure, preserved in its first contemporary limp vellum binding.
The work is very rare. (Brunet, Supp., I, 18: “quite rare volume” – Catalogue Ruggieri, 1873, n° 423, for a copy in modern binding: “Rare and curious book”). We haven’t located any other copy on the public market since the beginning of the reports.