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COMPARATIVE IMPLEMENTOLOGY

French Decorative Bookbinding - Eighteenth Century

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Almanach Royal, 1765.

Aux armes de Joly de Fleury

Pierre-Paul Dubuisson (fl 1746-1762) - Plaque Rahir 184 e

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The elaborate decoration of the binding shown above has not been accomplished by the application of many small individual tools, but rather has been accomplished by the use of a single large plate or 'plaque'. Gold tooling by plaque is thought to be the invention of Pierre-Paul Dubuisson and his father, Rene, who specialized in the binding of almanacs.

This example is found on Plate 37 of the 1910 Paris publication entitled LIVRES DANS DE RICHES RELIURES by Édouard Rahir.





The example shown below is found on Gallica (Gallica, biblioth╦que num╚rique de la Biblioth╦que nationale de France) which is the online digital section of the Biblioth╦que nationale de France. In the notes further below, I have roughly translated the Gallica text description of this work.

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Almanach royal, Paris, Le Breton, 1753.

Aux armes du marquis de Paulmy

Pierre-Paul Dubuisson (fl 1746-1762) - Plaque Rahir 184 e

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Une reliure à la plaque, par Pierre-Paul Dubuisson, aux armes du marquis de Paulmy

Auteur - Dubuisson, Pierre-Paul (17..-1...) [Relieur]
Titre - Reliure de Pierre-Paul Dubuisson.
Création / Publication - 1753
Description - Reliure : maroquin vert, à la plaque, aux armes du marquis de Paulmy. Décor à la dentelle. Les armes du marquis de Paulmy, au centre, sont peintes sous mica.

"Pierre-Paul Dubuisson, l'un des plus fameux relieurs de son temps, succède en 1758 à Antoine-Michel Padeloup comme relieur du roi. Dessinateur et peintre, il est l'auteur de plaques qui ont permis d'orner les plats de la volumineuse série de l'Almanach royal. La reliure de cet Almanach de 1753 est en maroquin vert avec un décor à la dentelle, et les armes du marquis de Paulmy, peintes sous mica, fine pellicule transparente. Bibliophile avisé, Antoine René de Voyer d'Argenson, marquis de Paulmy (1722-1787), fut grand maître de l'artillerie et le fondateur de la bibliothèque de l'Arsenal; il possédait de très belles reliures comme celle-ci. Le chiffre que l'on peut déchiffrer sur le plat inférieur laisserait penser que cette reliure a appartenu auparavant à Marc-Pierre, comte d'Argenson (1696-1764), oncle du marquis de Paulmy, à qui il légua sa propre bibliothèque."

here is a rough translation of the text above:

Pierre-Paul Dubuisson, one of the most famous bookbinders of his time, succeeded, in 1758, Antoine-Michel Padeloup as official bookbinder to the King, (Louis XV). Draughtsman and painter, he is the originator of the plaques which made it possible to decorate the bindings of the voluminous Royal Almanac series. The binding of this Almanac of 1753, is in green morocco with a d╚cor ř la dentelle, encompasing the coat of armes of the marquis of Paulmy, which has been painted under a fine transparent film of mica.

Passionate bibliophile, Antoine Rene de Voyer d' Argenson, marquis of Paulmy (1722-1787), was grand maËtre of the Artillery and the founder of the Arsenal library, which contained beautiful bindings like this one. An insignia found inside (on the front paste-down) appears to indicate that this binding once belonged to Marc-Pierre, count d' Argenson (1696-1764), an uncle of the marquis of Paulmy, to whom the marquis bequeathed his personal library.


click on this link to return to: The Dubuisson Plaque Inventory


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