MONCORNET, Balthasar. Les vrais pourtraicts des Roys de France tirez de ce qui nous reste de leurs Monumens, Sceaux, Medailles, ou autres Effigies, conservées dans les plus rares et curieux Cabinets du Royaume, depuis Pharamond jusques a Louis 14e a present regnant.

Price : 6.000,00 

Superb collection of 100 portraits of French monarchs and European personalities from the 17th century copper-engraved by Balthasar Moncornet.

 Precious copy preserved in its contemporary limp vellum binding.

1 in stock

Et se vendent à Paris, chez B. Moncornet, rue S. Jacques, n.d. [circa 1650].

– [Followed by] : Portraits, Noms et Qualitez des Ambassadeurs assemblez tant a Munster qu’Osnabruk, pour le Traité et Conclusion de la Paix Generalle.

Et se vendent à Paris chez B. Moncornet, rue S. Jacques, n.d.

Thus 2 works bound in 1 volume 4to [264 x 198 mm] of: I/ (1) title l. and 65 portraits, small angular repair on 1 pl. not touching the portrait, pale waterstain on the upper part of 5 plates; II/ 1 title and 35 plates, small minor tear on 1 pl. not touching the engraving, small waterstain in the corner of 5 pl.

Contemporary limp vellum, flat spine, a few stains. Contemporary binding.

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First edition and first issue of these two superb and extremely rare suites of engraved portraits of the kings of France and personalities from 17th century Europe.

Balthasar Moncornet [Montcornet], born around 1600 in Brussels, died August 11, 1668, is an engraver and engravings seller of Walloon origin who arrived in Paris in 1602.He is the author of portraits of numerous personalities from the 17th century.

Balthasar was placed as an apprentice by his father on October 31, 1612 for 3 years and a half at Carel van Boeckel’s, the husband of Anne Moncornet, probably his brother-in-law, for 150 lt. He is housed, feed, warmed, and enlightened by his master. During this time his father and him live together rue des Gobelins.

Once established, Balthasar takes several apprentices: Linen Antens for 5 years on January 10, 1626, Pierre Davoot for 6 years on March 18, 1638, Jean Sanné for 4 years on May 15, 1648, and finally Balthasar Vaudresse for 6 years on August 2, 1650.

From December 1645, Balthasar moves his shop and his engravings workshop rue Saint-Jacques (Paris) at the Belle Croix shop, in front of the Saint-Yves Church, in a house rented by the convent of Mathurins. He buys on June 15, 1650 all the tools and engraver tools having belonged to the widow of Michel Wanot, engraver of the King, for 3000 lt. On January 10, 1662, he signs a partnership contract with J. Sauvé.

After 1668, his widow perpetuates the activity of her husband, both for publishing and for business. Balthasar’s production is rich, in particular, of several hundreds of engraved portraits of small size, edited separately or gathered in collections, an activity of which he is a precursor.

The portraits of the first suite present the monarchs that succeeded on the throne from Pharamond (370-428?), considered the first King of France, to Louis XIV (1643-1715).

The second suite is dedicated to the ambassadors gathered in Munster as well as Osnabruck for the signature of the General peace treaty.

Three Treatises signed in Munster in 1648 put an end to the Thirty Years’ War, which ravaged the Empire since the beginning of the 17th century, and which included France, Sweden, Spain and the United Provinces. We must put aside the first. The two other treaties that were signed on October 24 are also known under the general name of the Westphalian Treaties. One concerned the restoration of peace between Sweden, the ally of France, and the Empire: it was the result of negotiations that took place in Osnabruck, and the name of ‘treaty of Osnabruck’ is often given to it by mistake. The other one established peace between France and the Empire.

Moncornet represents 35 personalities who took part in this meeting and in the signing of this Treaty in 1648: Henry d’Orléans, Gaspard count of Pignoranda Plenipotentiary of Spain, François de Andrada Plenipotentiary of Portugal, Axelius Oxesteren Chancellor of Sweden, Mathias de Crachan Plenipotentiary of Poland, Claude Chabot Marquis de St Mauric Plenipotentiary of Savoy, Godard de Reede Plenipotentiary of the United Provinces, etc.

Very good proofs of these so expressive 100 portraits engraved on copper.

Precious copy with very wide margins preserved in its contemporary limp vellum binding.

These two suites are extremely rare when complete.

Ours researches allowed us to locate 3 complete copies only of the first suite in the French public Institutions: Libraries of Amiens, Guéret and B.n.F.

Only one complete copy of the second suite located in France: B.n.F.

Many handwritten notes of provenance on the first leaf.

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MONCORNET, Balthasar.