MARTIN, Gabriel

MARTIN, Gabriel. Catalogue des livres de feu M. l’Abbé d’Orleans de Rothelin.

Paris, Gabriel Martin, 1746


Small 4to., pp. xii, xxiv, 618. Roman letter, some Italic. Full page engraved frontispiece portrait of the Abbé de Rothelin, large t.p. device of his arms, comprehensively priced in contemporary hand, aer. Foxing, light age yellowing, slight dust soiling to edges. A good complete copy of this important sale catalogue, in contemporary mottled calf, a bit pitted, spine gilt, red morocco lettering piece, marbled endpapers, original satin page marker; upper joint cracked, corners rubbed, spine a bit worn, upper headband missing. Armorial bookplate of celebrated bibliographer Anthony Hobson inside front cover, Hobson’s pencilled initials on fly. MS note on ffep, ‘Ce catalogue est le meilleur et le plus rare de tous les catalogues’, with records of its sale prices up to 1773.

The 18th-century sale records of the vol. on ffep evidence the remarkably consistent demand for copies of this catalogue in the quarter-century after its publication. The considerable divergence of priced and unpriced copies suggests it was regarded as an important tool in valuations. This catalogue of the library of Charles d’Orléans, Abbé de Rothelin (1691-1744), has been described one of the ‘plus remarquables’ produced by Martin. Alongside the Abbé’s books, organised under a multitude of headings and sub-headings listed in the contents pages, the catalogue contains a supplement of added books, an index of authors, and a table of Elzevirs, variorum editions and MSS in the collection.

Charles d’Orléans was a renowned bibliophile and Academician, and a great collector of antique medals. As a student, Charles is reported to have spent all his money on books; in later life, he built an impressive collection of principally theological and liturgical texts, containing ‘tout ce qu’il y a de plus singulier dans ce genre’. As for the other parts of his library, though less replete than his theological collection, they comprised ‘tout ce qu’il y a d’essentiel et de curieux en chaque genre.’ (Histoire de l’Académie royale des inscriptions et belles-lettres, 1753, vol. 18, p.390). After his death, his collection was catalogued by Gabriel Martin in order to be sold in Paris in April 1746. All 5033 lots are here priced in a contemporary hand.

Brunet III, 1497; ‘catalogue estimé’, Peignot 121
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