Paris, Moutard, Libraire de la Reine, 1776.
8vo [194 x 123 mm] of xvi pp., 559 pp., (5) pp., 14 full-page plates out of pagination. Red morocco, triple gilt fillet around the covers, gilt-stamped arms in the center, spine ribbed and richly decorated, inner gilt border, gilt edges. Contemporary binding with arms.
First edition published on the occasion of the coronation ceremonies of Louis XVI.
Sander 138 ; Saffroy, I, 15227 ; Barbier, II, 755 ; Brunet, VI, 1310 ; Lipperheide 2479.
“Born in Saint-Hilaire near Orleans on November 4, 1738, Charles-Joseph Bévy, a Benedictine of the congregation of Saint-Maur and the house of Saint-Denis, had reached his thirty-eighth year when he published a work entitled: ‘Histoire des inaugurations des rois, des empereurs et des autres souverains de l’univers’ with engravings, 8vo. This book, to which the recent coronation of Louis XVI gave a special interest, attracted on the author the benevolent attention of the Count of Saint-Germain.”
The work was noticed and earned the Benedictine dom Bévy (1738-1830) the position of historiographer of France for Flanders and Hainaut.
“14 figures including 81 costumes, drawn by Michel Rieg, engraved by Ingouf and Trière. In red morocco, with the arms of the Countess of Provence, 300 fr. Bull. Morgand, 1899, n°35614.” (Cohen, 145).
“These 14 plates represent about 80 French costumes from the thirteenth to the eighteenth century”. (Colas, I, 320).
Superb copy cited by Cohen, bound specifically for Marie Josephine Louise de Savoie (1753-1810), countess of Provence, married on May 14, 1771 to Louis XVI’s brother and future king Louis XVIII.
Like her husband, this princess had a great taste for literature and owned an important library which included 1665 volumes that were dispersed during the Revolution.
“Animated by a very liberal spirit, Louise de Savoie had her moment of popular favour, by defending at the beginning of the Revolution, what she herself called, at the time, the rights of the nation, and the noise of the rather lively explanations she had on this subject, with Queen Marie-Antoinette, earned her more than once the applause of the crowd. But the excesses which followed the storming of the Bastille soon dissipated her illusions, and on 25 June 1791, the very day that the unfortunate Louis XVI was arrested at Varennes, she left France, which she was never to see again.
The Countess of Provence had, following the example of her husband, who was very interested in literature and cultivated the muses, a taste for letters and the arts. Her library, whose handwritten catalogue is in the Arsenal, had been composed with much intelligence, and included 1 665 volumes, which were dispersed during the Revolution. The municipalities of Versailles and Fontainebleau shared the most important ones, some cities of the departments received some of them, the rest were sold or stolen.
The books in this collection, more interesting than is generally believed, are, with very rare exceptions, uniformly covered with red morocco. Their binding is the work of a conscientious workman.”
Ernest Quentin Bauchart, Les Femmes bibliophiles de France, II, pp. 313-315.