French Decorative Bookbinding - Eighteenth Century

Pierre-Paul Dubuisson - dentelles à l'oiseau.

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Comparative Diagram 1 - Dubuisson dentelles à l'oiseau. - eBay specimen vs item No. 121, (from Esmerian's 1972 catalogue, volume two).

On the previous page we looked at some important Dubuisson imprints from a binding found in a recent eBay auction, we can continue now by comparing imprints and imprint layout with a very interesting parallel Dubuisson binding that is found in volume 2 of Raphaël Esmerian's 1972 auction catalogue, item No. 121, that Esmerian has incorrectly attributed to Derome. Please see my page on this.

imprint arrangement

Comparative Diagram 2 - Dubuisson - imprint arrangements - eBay specimen vs item No. 121 (inverted) from Esmerian's 1972 catalogue (volume two).

imprint layout

Comparative Diagram 3 - Dubuisson - imprint layouts - eBay specimen vs item No. 121 (from Esmerian's 1972 catalogue , volume two).

On this page, I have shown that the imprints found on No. 121 derive from the tools of Dubuisson. We can now carry this one step further to show that the arrangements of the imprints as well as the layout of the dentelle can be compared to our our Dubuisson example from eBay. If we consider that both bindings show the use of the same tools in similar arrangements, it seems likely that these two bindings are from the same period. Further to this Esmerian's item No. 121 appears to be more refined, and perfected, indeed parts of the decoration of this binding served as a model for Derome's dentelles. What a pity that the author of such a magnificent work has had to suffer the injustice of it being attributed to Derome!

imprint pd-54

Comparative Diagram 4 - pd-54 imprints, enlarged to 1000 dpi.

Let us now quickly look at an interesting parallel dentelle à l'oiseau binding by Pierre-Paul Dubuisson, found in a relatively recent Christie's Catalogue; COLLECTION MICHEL WITTOCK 2EME PARTIE, RELIURES A DECOR , 8 November 2004 Paris. SALE 5071 Lot 85. I show this item reproduced below .(click on this image you will link to an enlargement), Notice that imprint pd-54 is found here in an identical position and usage compared with our eBay binding. We see from the item description (placed immediately below the Lot 85 photo), that this binding could be no earlier than 1754,. Note as well that the tool pd-17 has been used in the corners of this binding similar to the Esmerian's No.121 example, tWe see also in the spine compartments of Lot 85 the paired imprints pd-51a and b.... the use of these tools has been noted on a binding that could be no earlier than 1752 and can also be found on a 1757 binding.

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85 text

In our next example, item 106, shown below, we can see that imprint pd-54 has taken on a major significance, used not only in the dentelles, put as a central fleuron of the spine compartments, which is why I have chosen to show it enlarged to 1000 dpi in Comparative Diagram 4. I have placed he catalogue description of item 106 immediately below the reproduction that is from a Ader Tajan Catalogue , Bibliotheque d'un amateur, Paris 4 juin 1993. You will notice that the Auction experts have attributed this binding to Derome, however we now know from our previous examples that this is in fact another Dubuisson binding, However we find here a greater discovery, and one that probably befuddled the experts, (Claude Guerin and Dominique Courvoisier). That being appearance of an unusually large fer à l'oiseau. in a form somewhat similar to Derome's smaller tool. Just when we thought all of Dubuisson's birds where looking in only one direction. Now, we are no longer surprised by Jubert's large fer à l'oiseau of a very similar design.

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106 text

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107 text

The last Dubuisson dentelle à l'oiseau. that I would like to present on this page, item 107, has been reproduced above from yet another Ader Tajan auction catalogue, this is titled Livres Illustres du XVIII eme Siecle, Paris 30 November 1973, and M. Claude Guerin is again the Expert, we are not surprised therefore to find that he has attributed this binding to Derome. (Click on this image to see an enlargement). Here again we find Dubuisson's large fer à l'oiseau. (pd-4-4) as well a some of his other classic tools such as pd-32a and b, Derome made copies of these but his tools can be recognized by a difference in the termination of the inner spiral. Click on the diagram below to see an enlargement.

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