Bibliothèque Raphaël Esmerian, Georges Blaizot and Claude Guérin, Paris. 1972-74. 6 volumes,
Uniformly bound in pale blue-green cloth with gilt titles. Auction catalogues for the sale in Paris, with an indroduction by Jacques Guignard. Profusely illustrated, many tipped in plates. One of the most impressive collectons ever offered at auction:
(1) 1er Partie: Manuscits a peintures & Livres des XVe et XVIe siècles - Illuminated manuscripts and Books of the 15th & 16th centuries, some with the arms of Francois Ier, Henri II, Catherine of Medicis, Diane de Poitiers, Henri IV and others. 186pp, 126 lots + index.
(2) 2eme Partie: Reliures de quelques ateliers du XVII siècle & Livres en divers genres du XVIIe et XVIIIe siècle - Bindings from several workshops of the 17th c, and Books of divers types of the 17th & 18th c, some with arms of Anne d'Autriche, Louis XIII, Louis XIV, Louis XVI, Mme de Maintenon, Marie-Antoinette, Marquise de Pompadour, Duchesse de Polignac, Cardinal de Richelieu and other notables. 183pp 168 lots indexed.
(3) 2eme Partie-Annexe: 12 Tableaux symnoptiques sur la reliure au XVIIe siècle - 12 Analytic Tables on 17th c Bindings. A tabulation of the work of various bookbinding workshops and artists with their known production, marks, devices and stamps. Unpginated.
(4) 3eme Partie: Livres illustres du XVIIIe siècle - Illustrated books of the 18th c including unique examples of books with original drawings and extremely rare examples of etchings, proof impressions and collatoral editions, as well as beautiful bindings. Large number of tipped in plates based on the original drawings and etched or engraved reproductions. 105pp 107 lots indexed.
(5) 4eme Partie: Livres illustres du XIXe siècle, receuils de dessins origaux de David, Isabey; Goya; Faust de Delacroix, albums de lithographies par Daumier, Gavarni, Isabey & receuils de dessins de mode - Illustrated books of the 19th c., with original drawings by David, Isabey; Goya's Caprichos, Tauromachie & Proverbios; Redoubte's Roses; Goethe's Faust illustrated by Delacroix, Lithographs by Daumier, Gavarni, Isabet; Fashions of the time. 123pp 125 lots indexed.
(6) 5eme Partie: Livres illustres modernes (1874-1970), receuils de dessins originaux d'Erte, Garbier, Steinlen, Legrand, Lepere, Laboureur, etc., Livres de peintres de Braque, Bonnard, Chagall, Derain, Dufy, Denoyer de Segonzac, Laurencin, Maillol, Manet, Matisse, Miro, Picasso, Rouault, Signac, Toulouse Lautrec, Villon; et tres belles reliures. - Modern Illustrated books including some with original drawings; Livres d'artiste and beautiful bindings. 147pp 142 lots indexed.
RaphaŽl Esmerian was a Frenchman of Armenian descent, born†in 1903 in Paris. After two years at Cambridge, Esmerian†returned to Paris to apprentice to his father's lapidary†business. He then moved on to gem dealing, which became his†primary career. After a brief stint in the French Army in†1939, he and his wife fled occupied France in 1940 to†Portugal, and eventually made their way to New York City in†the fall of that year.
Esmerian began collecting rare books at the age of 15, and†by the 1950s had amassed what has been called the "single†most important collection of French bookbindings in the†United States." Esmerian's collection was chief among those†featured in a 1957 History of Bookbinding Exhibition at the†Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore. Esmerian followed that†exhibition with Bookbinding Styles During the Renaissance†in France, from the Collection of RaphaŽl Esmerian, an†exhibition held at The Grolier Club, where he was a member,†in 1966. In 1972, Esmerian produced a five volume sale†catalogue of his library, BibliothŤque RaphaŽl Esmerian,†notable as a fine reference work on the books in his†collection and included in the Library holdings of The†Grolier Club. His collection was sold at auction using the†catalogue he wrote in Paris over a decade in the 1970s.†RaphaŽl Esmerian passed away in 1976.
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