Paris, Le Mercier, 1740.
Large folio of (1) bl. l., (1) l. of title, 22 pp., (1) bl. l. and 13 engravings including 8 on double-page. Full red morocco, covers decorated with a fleur-de-lys roll-stamp with fleur-de-lys on the corners, large coat of arms on the center, spine ribbed and decorated with fleur-de-lys and stars, light brown morocco lettering piece, inner gilt border, gilt edges. Contemporary binding.
625 x 480 mm.
First issue of one of the most beautiful festival books of the 18th century, published for the wedding of Madame Elisabeth of France with the Infante of Spain.
“Important Parisian festival book” (Bull. Morgand et Fatout, 11011).
The engraved plates by J.-Fr. Blondel represent: the flat map of the part of the Seine where the celebrations were given; le temple de l’Hymen [the temple of the Hymen], setting of the fire work placed on the platform of the Pont-Neuf; élévation géométrale du trône [flat elevation of the throne] built so Their Majesties would see the celebration, executed after Gabriel’s drawings; le plan et l’élévation géométrale du salon de musique [the map and flat elevation of the music room] built in the middle of the river between the Pont-Neuf and the Pont-Royal ; les bateaux illuminés [the illuminated boats]. Plate 8 gives the élévation géométrale de la terrasse du bord de l’eau [flat elevation of the terraces along the water] where the tents were located for the retinue of their Majesties. Plate 9 gives us a vue générale de cette fête sur la Seine [general view of the celebration on the Seine] with all its settings, illuminations and fireworks.
Beside these thirteen plates, the edition is illustrated with a fleuron drawn by Bouchardon and engraved by Soubeyran, and with a large vignette, used as letterhead, drawn and engraved by J. Rigaud, representing a joust on the Seine.
These luxury works were covered more or less sumptuously. The sovereign and the princes of his family used to receive copies covered with dentelle morocco, ministers, morocco less richly decorated and the mere bishops, volumes modestly bound with calf – all of them bearing though in the center of the covers the arms of the city that had financed the enterprise.
A superb copy bound with a contemporary morocco binding with the arms of the city of Paris.
Provenance: from Léon Gruel’s collection with engraved ex libris on the second paste-down.