DAUPHINATE STATUTES FROM THE LIBRARY OF MUSEUM FOUNDER PAUL ARBAUD

Libertates per illustrissimus principes Delphinos Viennenses.

Grenoble (Valence), Franciscus Pichatus and Bartolomeus Bartoletus (Jean Belon), c. 1508.

£4,250

4to. ff. (iv) lxxxii (i) xxxvii (iii). Double column, letter Batarde. Title printed in red and black, with large woodcut arms of the Dauphin supported by two angels. Lacking two blanks, otherwise complete. First and last few quires slightly damp stained at upper outer corner, mostly marginal but sometimes touching text, a little light foxing to some margins, one or two ink splashes. A good, unsophisticated, and well-margined copy on thick paper, in modern calf preserving contemporary blind-tooled boards, with rosette stamps and tie holes (worn). Contemporary marginalia, deleted contemporary manuscript ex libris in lower blank margin of title and verso of final leaf, another contemporary manuscript Fr. ex libris pasted on a slip at foot of verso of title page, and similar pasted over manuscript ex libris in lower blank margin of next leaf, of B. Hermod (with his lengthy and partially illegible motto), 20th century ex libris of Paul Arbaud and Edme Hermitte inside upper cover.

First edition of a rare and early collection of the statutes of the Dauphinate compiled by Guidon de la Pape. The work opens with a detailed table of contents to the first part, followed by a section on Royal ordinances, prescripts, articles and replies to petitions and requests, particularly those made at the assembly of the Estates held at Tours in 1483. At the end is a two-leaf letter of Louis XIII (often missing) on the addition of the Comte d’Asti to the jurisdiction of the parliament of Grenoble. The text alternates between French and Latin throughout but in the second half French predominates.

La Pape was a distinguished jurist who died in 1475. He practised as an advocate in Lyon and then Grenoble before being appointed by the Dauphin Louis to take care of his important business in the Dauphinate. Ultimately appointed to the Parlement of Grenoble, he retired from public life to compose his various legal treatises which acquired a well deserved reputation. This seems to be the rarest of his works.

Initially this printing was ascribed to Barthélemy Bertolet and Francois Pichat, booksellers at Grenoble (Voy, Brunet and BM. STC. Fr.) and there is no doubt it was printed for them, as stated on the title page. In the modern sense, they published it. However both Maignien in his bibliography of Grenoble presses and Mueller in the Bibl. Aureliana give the printer as Jean Belon, a more probable hypothesis as he was an established printer by 1508 whilst this volume would have constituted Bertholet and Pichard’s entire output.

This copy is from the collection of Paul Arbaud, bibliophile and founder of the Musée Arbaud in Aix-en-Provence.

BM. STC.Fr. p129; Brunet II 1812 “Ce volume, non moins précieux que les précédents”; Graesse III, p. 180; Muller, Bibliotheca Aureliana CXLVIII (adding 3 copies only); Maignien 4. Not in Adams.

L531

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