A Paris, chez Duflos le jeune, [1779-] 1780.
Folio [408 x 257 mm] of (3) ll. for the title, the dedication to King Louis XVI and the Foreword, 263 unnumbered plates (out of 264). Green half-morocco, marbled fawn calf covers, gilt border on the covers, flat spine richly decorated, gilt cipher of count Vilain XIIII at the bottom of the spine. Contemporary binding with cipher.
First edition and first issue of one of the most famous costumes and historical portraits compilation of the 18th century. It is one of the most precious since the beginning of Printing since the sole portrait of “Marie-Antoinette en costume de cour, d’après Touzé, s’est vendu seul 265 F or, vente Behague (Marie-Antoinette in her court costume was sold alone 265 gold F at the Behague auction)”. (Cohen, I, 334). Brunet II, 862; Lipperheide 38.
Illustrated with 263 full-page etchings by Duflos, enhanced by hand in contemporary coloring, this copy is the most complete one recorded in contemporary binding. Cohen mentions only one copy with 240 plates (ex. Sauvage, auction in 1880, n° 105). Colas mentions two copies in ancient binding: 1 020 fr. (254 col. plates), Baron de Bethmann’s auction in 1923 – 3 050 fr. (258 color pl.), auction 1928.
The copy of the vicomte de Jonghe, in modern binding, gathering all the 264 engravings coming from different copies, was lacking the title leaf that is here present. It was fin