GREGOIRE, Gaspard. Explication des cérémonies de la Fête-Dieu d’Aix-en-Provence, Ornée de figures du Lieutenant de Prince d’Amour (sic) ; du Roi & Bâtonniers de la Bazoche ; de l’Abbé de la Ville ; & des Jeux des Diables, des Razcassetos, des Apôtres, de la Reine de Saba, des Tirassons…


The Corpus Christi procession and celebrations in Aix en Provence printed in Aix in 1777.

First edition of this peculiar work on the celebrations instituted under the reign of King René.

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A Aix, chez Esprit David, 1777.

12mo [163 x 93 mm] of 1 portrait, 220 pp., ii pp., 13 folding plates.

Full straight-gained green morocoo, frames of gilt fillets and borders around the covers with gilt fleurs-de-lys in the corners, flat spine decorated with gilt fleurons, gilt edges. Binding from the very beginning of the 19th century.

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First edition of this peculiar work on the celebrations instituted under the reign of King René. Their origin dates back to 1462, they were the occasion of games, processions, battles, tournaments, etc.

E. Rouard, Notice sur la bibliothèque d’Aix dite de Méjanes, p. 53 ; G. Mourey, Le livre des fêtes françaises, 284, 286-8 ; Jacques Billiord, Le livre en Provence du XVIe au XVIIIe siècle, pp. 17, 103 ;

Vinet, 819 ; Cohen-De Ricci 367-368 ; Lipperheide Sl 20 ; Rümann 859.

Complete copy with the 12 folding etchings with the captions in Provençal language, these picturesque figures being drawn and engraved by P. and G. Grégoire (sons of the author) who invented the painting on velvet, with the engraved musical plate and as a frontispiece the portrait of the king René of Anjou by G. Grégoire, which makes a total of 14 engravings. (Barbier, II, col. 378).

“This work was executed by Gaspard Grégoire, who was born in Aix. The engravings were drawn by Paul Grégoire, one of his sons, and engraved by Gaspard, the brother of Paul. These two sons Grégoire invented the painting on velvet” (Barbier, anonymes, III, 378).

“Instituted by King René [titular King of Naples (1435-1480)], the Fête-Dieu is one of the most popular, most original, and most picturesque of all festivals in Provence; it is at Aix that it was always held, and was celebrated with the greatest enthusiasm and magnificence; its naive rites were always observed with the greatest respect. It was originally a tournament, opening on the Monday of Pentacost by the nomination of officers or knights of which the principal ones were the Lieutenant of the Prince of Love, the Abbot of the City, and the King of La Basoche ; it lasted until the Saturday after the Fête-Dieu” (Mour).

The interest of this book is such that a fac-simile was produced in Marseille in 1978.

Precious copy bound in decorated green morocco.

The NUC contains an entry for an edition of 1773 at the Detroit Institute of Arts and two other locations. Upon inspection, this has been found to be a ghost.

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GREGOIRE, Gaspard.