|On the previous page we were looking at the tools of the Fleur-de-lis Binder. and compared a plaque from Nixon's 1965 No.12 binding that was attributed by him to the Fleur-de-lis binder, with an almost identical plaque employed by Jean Picard a few years later. I found this intriguing and so decided to collect all the Picard bindings I could find with this plaque. Mainly I was looking for some kind of chronology for these bindings. As fate would have it I did not get a strong clue as to the date of the production of these bindings, due to the fact that they were almost all bound some years after the printing. Finally I came across an example in Esmerian's 1972 catakogue. I show it below with his detailed description. Fortunately this binding is found on a book printed in 1541!|
|Esmerian mentions Nixon's 1965 book: The bookbindings from the library of Jean Grolier and lists the tools found on this binding using Nixon's classification for the tool imprints of Claude de Picques. We now know that these imprints are in fact from Picards tools. He further states that these tools were used between 1539 and 1543. Probably today that would be changed to read 1540 to 1543. There are probably good reasons why this estimation by Nixon is very sound, We can observe that open tools and azured tools suddenly appear from 1543 onwards, becoming so popular in the next decade so as to eliminate the use of solid tools entirely. As there are only solid tools found on these bindings by Picard they may not even be as late as 1543.|
In Comparative Diagram 2, we see that Picard has duplicated the tools as well as the ornament design perhaos originally created by the Fleur-de-lis Binder. While such duplication might seem unusual I can think of other extreme cases such as Badier copying the tools and methods of le Maitre Dorer less than a century later, or Derome le Jeune copying the decorative arrangements and tools of Dubuisson almost 2 centuries later.
On the next page I will compare a wider range imprints from the tools of Picard and the Fleur-de-lis Binder... but wait a second.... wow!
Sometimes we do things, we follow a path, we are not sure why, something pushes us on, a curiosity, Then suddenly we discover something that make everything come together, and you realize that there is something mysterious going on. A guiding force that points you in the right direction, when you realize this you stop and say wow!.
Today was one of those days with this page, really I don't know why I collected all of Picard's bindings with this plaque, of course it was fascinating that he copied so closely the work of the Fleur-de-lis Binder, but was there more to it...? I decided to look again in every catalogue I own for more examples, and then remembered that I should read again Hobson on Picard... I had read it before but only the parts I needed sank in the first time, some years ago. I reproduce below a small part of the text I looked at today.
I had forgotten about this Du Saix Binder, and immediately tried to look him up on Google. 600 billion web pages later Google really didn't find anything other than the original text of Hobson. Then I tried Du Saix Master, Bingo it finds a binding in the British Library Database of Bookbindings... only one but it is a beauty!|
See the next page Du Saix Master!
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