A Paris, Claude Jombert, Jean et Joseph Barbou, n.d. [c. 1723-1732].
2 parts in 1 folio volume of (1) engraved title p., 75 pp., small hole p. 61, small tear in the margin of p. 69; 1 frontispiece and 31 engravings, some on double-page or folding. Illustration: 2 engraved title-pages, numerous illustrations, some on full-page in the first part and 31 engraved plates in the second part. Full brown granite calf, spine ribbed and decorated, granite edges. English contemporary binding.
439 x 282 mm.
Collective first edition of the utmost rarity of Pierre Le Muet’s great work, entirely copper-engraved.
Bal Riba 1820; cf. Fowler 176.
The Barbou Brothers having collaborated from 1723 to 1732, the present edition can be dated from this period.
« Falsamente questa si intitola egualmente ‘seconda edizione’, quantunque quattro almeno deggiono averla preceduta. Dopo il frontespizio è il ritratto dell’autore, e seguono poi le tavole d’altro intaglio unite al testo, parimente inciso in rame. Le tavole sono 106, e forse gli Editori intesero di dirla seconda edizione, in riguardo agli intagli, mentre in tutte le precedenti avevano servito le tavole originali ». (Cicognara 575).
The superb illustration is composed of two engraved titles, 75 copper-engraved pages double-sided in the first part including 49 full-page plates and 31 architectural engravings in the second part, some on double-page or folding.
The present edition “contained all the engraved plates used in the first edition of 1623, the second, expanded edition of 1647, the further enlarged edition of 1663-1664, as well as some new plates. Jombert, a publisher of architectural books, often bought up stocks of plates in order to reissue works. The present undated edition is scarce; the Barbou brothers worked together from 1723 until 1732.”
It is thus considered as the first collective edition, or as the second edition, because it is the first to gather together all the plates engraved for this collection.
“Pierre le Muet, French architect and engineer, born in Dijon in 1591, died in Paris in 1669. In his early stages he was commissioned by Mazarin to establish or repair the fortifications of several cities of Picardy, then distinguished himself by the construction of many houses and hotels in Paris and castles in the provinces. But he is best known for the completion of the Val-de-Grace, begun by Mansart; he built the cupola, the vaults, the façade and the pediment of this building. Later, he gave the plans of the Petits-Pères Church. We have from him, besides editions of Palladio and Vignole: the Manière de bien bâtir pour toutes sortes de personnes.”
Precious wide-margined copy preserved in its contemporary binding.