Oxford, n.n., 1760.
3 12mo volumes [160 x 96 mm] of: I/ (4) ll. and 384 pp.; II/ (2) ll. and 382 pp., (1) f.; III/ (2) ll. and 557 pp. Small repair and small waterstain on the lower corner of the half-title of part 1 not affecting the text. Bound in olive morocco, triple gilt fillet on the covers, gilt-stamped coat of arms on the center, flat spines richly decorated, red morocco lettering pieces, inner gilt border, gilt over marbled edges. Contemporary binding.
Nice edition of Pierre and Thomas Corneille’s “Masterpieces”.
It encloses Le Cid, Horace, Cinna, Polyeucte, La Mort de Pompée, Rodogune, Heraclius and Othon by Pierre Corneille and Ariane, Le Comte d’Essex, Le Menteur, Le Baron d’Albikrac, Le Festin de Pierre, La Comtesse d’orgueil and L’Inconnu by Thomas Corneille.
A precious copy especially bound in contemporary olive morocco with the arms of Béatrix de Choiseul-Stainville (1730-1794), duchess of Gramont, sister of the duke of Choiseul, Louis XV’s minister of foreign affairs. “She exercised by her virile courage and energy a very important influence on his brother the minister duke of Choiseul. She married on August 16th, 1759, Antoine-Antonin, duke of Gramont, peer of France, governor of Navarre and Bearn, of whom she was the second wife. She died on the scaffold on April 17th 1794. The duchess of Gramont had gathered a considerable book collection bound in red or green morocco.” (Olivier, pl. 2160). “The duchess of Gramont’s books are mostly recommended for the exceptional quality of the morocco whose color resisted the incisive action of time. The care with which has been executed the ‘body of the work’ justifies the enthusiasm they receive from bibliophiles and the prices sometimes high they get in public auctions”. (E. Quentin-Bauchart, Les Femmes Bibliophiles de France, II, pp. 108-110).
Editions of our great classics preserved in emblazoned bindings from such a prestigious provenance are quite rare.