Paris, Jehan Dallier, 1549.
That is 2 works bound in 1 4to volume [225 x 155 mm] of: I/ 41 ll. (wrongly numbered 37) and (1) bl.l. between the ll. 28 and 29, 9 full-page engravings in the text including 1 folding one and 2 engravings out of pagination including 1 folding one, (1) bl.l.; II/ 11 ll. Library stamp on the title l. Bond in full red Jansenist morocco, spine ribbed, large inner gilt border, gilt over marbled edges. Binding signed Cuzin.
Rare and precious first edition of the “most beautiful Entry book of kings of France ever published” (Ruggieri, 245).
Rahir Ventes, Partie 5, n°1345; Fairfax Murray, French, I, n°150 ; Harvard, French, n°202; Du Colombier, Jean Goujon (1949) p.67-71, planche LVI-LVII ; Vinet 471 ; Picot Rothschild IV, 3114.
“This is a real piece of art.” (Vinet, n°470).
Relations of the solemn entry into Paris of Henry II and Catherine de’ Medici in 1549, two years after the king’s accession after the death of Francis I, his father, in 1547.
The first work describes the Entry ceremony, the second recounts the Queen’s coronation, six days before, in Saint-Denis. By pointing the settling of Francis I’s succession, the event took on a considerable political importance.
The city of Paris gave it a particular solemnity, by sparing no effort to highlight its majestic nature: the decors and the buildings were designed and constructed under the direction of the greatest artists, probably Jean Cousin, Jean Goujon and Philibert de l’Orme. The habit of solemn entries of kings into a city, and mainly into a capital, goes back to time immemorial and has been followed in almost every period. Almost without exception, it is only from 1515, when Charles V entered into Bruges, that they are supposed to have generated illustrated printed relations (von Arnim, Fünf Jahrhunderte Buchillustration, p.91).
This beautiful and rare illustrated book keeps the memory of the most beautiful architectural decorations of the 16th century and describes the magnificence of this royal Entry.
The text, attributed to Hardouyn Chauveau thanks to an ancient note in the Soleinne copy, is supposed to be credited, according to V.L. Saulnier (Les Fêtes de la Renaissance, I, pp. 31-59), to the translator of Serlio, Vitruve and of the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, the writer Jean Martin, assisted, for the inscriptions on the monuments, by the poet Thomas Sebillet.
The eleven woodcuts, out of and in the text, decorating the work, partly signed with a cross of Lorraine, have been attributed to the greatest artists, by the perfection of their engraving and the elegance of their drawing, perfect examples of the Henry II style in its most refined Parisian expression; they are one of the master-pieces of the 16th century French illustration. The question remains obviously open as to know if these engravings translate the drawings used to rise the monuments of the reception or if they only translate the aspect.
« Au titre, belle marque de Roffet ; f.4, la Porte Saint-Denis ; f.5, la Fontaine du Ponceau ; f.9, l’Arc de triomphe de Saint-Jacques ; f.11, un rhinocéros portant un obélisque ; f.13, Portique du Chatelet ; f.15, Arc du pont Notre-Dame ; f.16, décoration du Pont Notre-Dame ; f.19, le Capitaine à cheval, figure remarquable considérée comme un chef-d’œuvre de la gravure sur bois ; entre les ff. 27 et 28, Arc de triomphe du Palais ; f.38, Arc triomphal en forme de H ; en hors-texte, la tribune des joutes. Cette illustration peut être attribuée avec certitude à Jean Goujon, mais la gravure décèle plusieurs mains. » (Brun, Le livre français illustré de la Renaissance, p. 179).
The decor of these plates enclose, at least twice, in the Notre-Dame bridge and in the construction flanking the beautreillis, Diane de Poitiers’ monogram; her emblem, the crescent, which could pass for a decorative pattern, appears in several other places, but on these two constructions his cipher is complacently placed next to, even instead of, the king’s; the text mentions the H monograms of the king but remains silent about his mistress’, aged fifty, who was in the Queen’s retinue under her new title of duchess of Valentinois.
The relation describing the Queen’s coronation in Saint-Denis specially mentions the duchess of Valentinois who received, after the ceremony, un cierge auquel estoyent attachés les dicts treize pieces d’or (an altar candle to which were attached the thirteen pieces of gold).
The stylistic influence of this illustration raises several questions: we notice the apparition, in the décor of the obelisk with the rhinoceros, French hieroglyphs that we will only see again seven years later in the Orus Apollo; we also wanted to see in the ornament of breastplate of the guard’s captain one of the origins of the bindings’ “à la fanfare” pattern (cf. A. Hobson, Reliures « à la fanfare », 6 and Michon, La Reliure française, p.78).
The work is illustrated with 11 full-page engravings attributed to Geoffroy Tory by Fairfax Murray and to Jean Goujon by Brun (Le livre français illustré de la Renaissance, pages 179-180). The fourt last ones are marked with the cross of Lorraine but Geoffroy Tory was dead in 1533. Bernard (G. Tory p.303) gives an excellent description of these woodcuts and quotes Renouvier that attributes the drawing to Jean Cousin and considers this book as “The master piece of French woodcutting”.
On the title, a beautiful stamp by Roffet, nicknamed the reaper; the crescents and the HD monogram, present in most of the great figures refer to Diane de Poitiers, Henry II’s favorite.
“Jacques Roffet, printed in 1549 a very precious piece entitled: C’est l’ordre qui a été tenu a la nouvelle et joyeuse entree que… le roy tres chrestien Henry deuxiesme de ce nom a faicte en sa bonne ville et cité de Paris le seziesme iour de iuing M.D.XLIX. The engravings have been attributed to Geoffroy Tory and the drawing is worthy of him or rather Jean Cousin” (A.F. Didot. Essai sur la gravure sur bois. Paris 1863, Column 168).
Here is the list of these famous woodcuts:
– Leaf 4: The Porte Saint Denis with the Gallic Hercules
– Leaf 5: The Fountain du Ponceau with Jupiter
– Leaf 9: The Saint Jacques Triumphal Arc with the royal arms
– Leaf 11: A rhinoceros bearing an obelisk which end is printed on a folding part
– Leaf 13: Portico of the Chatelet
– Leaf 15: Arc of the Notre Dame Bridge
– Leaf 16: Very interesting engraving picturing the Notre Dame Bridge decorated and entirely closed
– Leaf 19: The very famous figure of the horseback Captain considered as a master piece of woodcutting.
– Triumphal Arc of the Palace
– H shaped triumphal arc
– Out of pagination, the joust stands.
“Two other prints were given the same year, one addressed to Jehan Dallier with Roffet’s emblem, the other one bearing J. Dallier’s address and his mark.”
Our copy of Jehan Dallier’s print bears indeed Roffet’s emblem on the title.
A copy of the J. Dallier print was knocked down for 115 000 FF (18 000 €) at the Harth auction on November 20th, 1985 (n°64) 30 years ago.
The James de Rothschild copy belonged to this J. Dallier print with his mark on the title.
The plates are intact and in a beautiful print; the obelisk one is complete with its upper part.
Beautiful copy, complete, finely bound by Cuzin.
From the Tribunat, Paris’ collection with its stamp; from the Otto Schäfer (OS 617, Sotheby’s London, June 27th, 1995, n°55).