Above I present another Padeloup binding that I have detailed on a previous page. I think you will see immediately what I am getting at when you add up all the similarities from this collection of Padeloup bindings. Obviously the eBay binding is the work of Padeloup even though this fact has escaped many experts including those at LIBRAIRIE BERTRAN who have been trying to sell this item for quite some time online before resorting to eBay. This is not that surprising because the main decoration of this binding in no way resembles the work of Padeloup. As I was sure this was a binding by Padeloup I was determined to try to win the auction, however as this binding is covering a rare and expensive publication by Louis Senault, bidding on this item was very risky and filled with apprehension. (See the actual eBay page by clicking on the picture at the top of this page). Granted the book itself was stained and missing a blank first page or two, good copies are selling online for up to 3000 USD, an impoverished collector may want to bid on this as it would be his only chance to get a copy at a reasonable price because of defects. This is all part of the thrill of eBay, finding something you really want and then being able to get it without it costing an arm and a leg.
I managed to get it for 278 euros, quite a bit less than what it was being offered for initially. The question is of course, what is such a binding worth? We often see references to Padeloup as one of the greatest, if not the greatest French binder of the 18th century. This alone should have placed this rare example into a different category, it could have been sold just as a binding, especially as it appears to be in reasonably good condition.
I will have to wait for it to arrive in the mail before I can go further in this analysis and present to our readers some high resolution images of the gold tooling, From there we have to try to discover if this is in fact a binding that was made and decorated initially by a different binder, to which Padeloup added the centerpieces.