Paris, Galliot du Pré, 1529.
Small 8vo [138 x 88 mm] of: (12) ll., 360 ll. numbered ccclxvi (a-z8, &8, A-X8), 8 woodcuts in the text. Tiny wormhole in the white margin of ll. 300 till the end, tiny worm gallery from ll. cccxxx to cccxlii. Red morocco, triple gilt fillet on the covers, flat spine decorated, green morocco lettering piece, inner border, gilt edges. Binding from the 18th century.
“First collective edition under the title of Works.” Rahir.
Among the 16th century editions, this one is the most desirable.
“Highly sought-after edition” Tchemerzine.
First edition in round letters and last edition given in the sixteenth century of Chartier’s Works.
“It is very sought-after as all the volumes from the small poetic collection published by the bookseller Galliot du Pré towards 1530, mentions J.P. Barbier. These books are often excessively trimmed and are found in bad condition, since being used copies”.
Alain Chartier, born in Bayeux in 1385, lawyer and king’s secretary, faithfully served the Dauphin, either in the Court of Bourges, or in the embassies in Germany, and in Venice (1425), or in Scotland (1428). The Dauphin awarded him with among others, the cure of Saint-Lambert-des-Levées in the diocese of Angers, a canonry in Paris, and another one in Tours.
The first emotion that made him a poet was the battle of Agincourt (1415).
“In the 15th century, there is no greater literary repute than the one of Alain Chartier. No French poet until Ronsard has been more admired by his contemporaries. If the excess of this glory surprises us, we must admit that Alain Chartier left far behind him all his predecessors from the 14th century.
He is linked to their tradition, but gives to this tradition a different significance and a new brilliance.”
(Larousse – Histoire de la littérature française.)
The illustration is composed of 8 woodcuts.
“The images are charming, each of them placed in a fine frame”. (Jean-Paul Barbier, Ma bibliothèque poétique.)
The volume ends with a colophon indicating that Alain Chartier’s Works have been printed by Master Pierre Vidoue for Galliot du Pré « lan mil cccc xxix » in Paris.
This edition of the Works by Chartiers is no longer found in contemporary vellum nor in a 16th century binding. The most beautiful morocco copies are from the 18th century.
Superb wide-margined copy (138 mm high against 136 mm Jean-Paul Barbier’s copy bound in red morocco by Derome and described as “very beautiful wide-margined copy”) bound in fine 18th century morocco from the collections of the Duc de Valentinois, Honoré III de Monaco (1720-1795) with his calligraphed ex‑libris on the title page; Lord Gosford with ex-libris (Paris, 1882, n° 159); Sir Abdy with ex-libris; Marquis de la Grange with ex-libris. The last copy bound in identical red morocco, with shorter margins, was catalogued and sold for 23 000 € (Ref: Manuscrits et Livres précieux, Cat xxxvi – 2007, n° 12).