French Decorative Bookbinding - Eighteenth Century

Pierre-Paul Dubuisson (fl 1746-1762) - Decorative Tools

click on the link below to see a 150dpi enlargement
Poésies sacrées de Monsieur L* F*
Paris, Chaubert, 1751.

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The Dubuisson binding shown above is found on Plate 35 of Édouard Rahir's 1910 Catalogue, LIVRES DANS DE RICHES RELIURES. This is item number 200 and it is described on page 57.

Item 200 text

We can now proceed to extract the tools from this binding, and thanks to the important 'key' binding, Davis 541, we can also calibrate the scale of these the imprints very precisely. Add to this the great luxury of such a high quality reproduction, and the results speak for themselves.

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Comparative Diagram 1 - Extracted imprints from item No 200 (Rahir Catalogue 1910)

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pd-2 imprints

Comparative Diagram 2 - Extracted imprint pd-2 from item No 200 (Rahir Catalogue 1910)
vs a davis541 example and Rahir 232 example.

enlarged to 150dpi

Comparative Diagram 3 - Extracted imprint pd-10 from item No 200 (Rahir Catalogue 1910)
vs davis541 example.

In Comparative Diagram 3 you will perhaps notice that both of these fleurons appear to be perched upon a small gold sphere or dot. They are not however perfectly centered upon it. This unusual lack of symmetry in both examples assures one that they are in fact twin imprints from the same tool.

enlarged to 300dpi

Comparative Diagram 4 - Extracted imprint pd-11 from item No 200 (Rahir Catalogue 1910)
vs davis541 example, (scale = 1cm)

Comparative Diagram 4, in which both examples are shown at 300dpi, reveals the fine detail of these imprints. Obviously they derive from the same tool. In style and design these tools appear to imitate the azured tools that were so popular two centuries earlier.

If you have followed this research and investigation of Dubuisson's tools, you will be ready for the next page, which I should call the Dubuisson Conspiracy. I have discovered slowly but surely an ever increasing number of associated tools. I call them Dubuisson's tools because many appear on bindings on which we also find his plaques... once you start looking at all the tools, you discover an enormous can of worms!

click on this link to go to the next page: Dubuisson - the conspiracy!

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

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