French Decorative Bookbinding - Eighteenth Century

Jean-Pierre Jubert - fl. 1771 - 1793?

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(click to enlarge).

135 description

The gold tooled portfolio shown above is item 135 in a 2008 Alde auction catalogue (25 November - Paris). In the enlarged detail shown below we can see that the imprints derive from the tools of Jean-Pierre Jubert. In the following diagram I have assembled some of the relevant imprint examples from the Jubert catalogue. However we can see that there are also some imprints found on this portfolio that I have not yet catalogued.

135 detail
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Below I have reproduced Thoinan's page on Jubert (click on this image to see an enlargement), he reproduces Jubert's étiquette, and this I have reproduced at a larger scale. Here Jubert advertises that he is a specialist doreur, manufacturing decorated bindings of all sorts and colors, using the best and most modern techniques. including portraits under glass (mica?) dentelles of all kinds in gold or silver, Decorations available include beautiful medallions, as well as arms and monogramme's, what ever you need he can make it, including inscriptions on portfolios... I have underlined this in red as I find it a truly fortunate coincidence that item 135 appears to be all that Jubert has promised. The experts at Alde, have attributed this piece to the workshop of Derome le jeune and give a date of circa 1760. However as we can see that this portfolio has been decorated by Jubert, a date of circa 1780 is more likely.

Here then is proof that Jubert was not just some unknown doreur in Dorome's workshop. I am tempted to guess that Derome sent his excess work to Jubert, along with a few tools, that would at least give a Derome touch to the work, which he could then sign. Let us not invent history though, for the moment we do not know what the arrangement was between Derome and Jubert, and the only case I want to make here is that Jubert was an active doreur with his own workshop and store. Further to this he produced many bindings the most part of which have been unjustly attributed to Derome. It may be that about half of the bindings being sold today as the work of Derome are actually the work of Jubert. This will become more obvious as we examine some of the more important examples incorrectly classified by experts in the past. I propose we start on the next page with an example that Dacier presents as a binding by Derome, due largely I suspect, to finding Derome's étiquette inside.

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Jubert etiquette

Jubert's etiquette as found in Thoinan; Les Relieurs franšais (1500-1800), page 318.

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