PALLIOT, Pierre; GELIOT, Lowan.


PALLIOT, Pierre; Geliot, Lowan. La vraye et parfaite science des armoiries.

Paris, J. Guignard, G. de Luynes and H. Josset, 1660


Folio. pp. [32], 678, [50] + 2 double-page plates. Roman letter, with Italic. Printed title in red and black, engraved vignette, frontispiece with large engraved female personification, engraved architectural title by Le Brun with winged Fame and two standing figures in armour, 3 double-page engraved plates with genealogies of Louis de Bourbon and Honoré de Chouriers, 36 single-page engraved plates with templates for ecclesiastical heraldry, 11 half- page plates with various subjects, total of 4,538 engraved shields, engraved initials and ornaments. Very slight age browning, tiny tear without loss repaired to lower outer blank corner of printed title and a handful of ll., little repair to lower outer corner of b4. A very good copy in C20 crushed morocco by Gruel, marbled eps, spine gilt, inner edges gilt, a.e.g.

A very good, clean copy of the second, enlarged edition by Pierre Palliot of this lavishly illustrated heraldic encyclopaedia, with over 4,500 engraved shields and coats of arms. Palliot (1608-98) was a Parisian printer and genealogist, who later moved to Dijon. Author of numerous works, with special focus on the genealogies of Bourgogne, he himself engraved the thousands of illustrations. ‘Science des armoires’ was originally published as ‘L’Indice Armorial’ (1635) by Lowan Geliot, ‘advocat au Parlement de Bourgogne’. Palliot greatly enriched it with new illustrated examples from France and abroad, as well as heraldic ‘curiosities’, such as illustrations of heralds in ceremonial dress or jousting. Geliot’s ‘Indice’ comprised, in alphabetical order, hundreds of very technical heraldic terms pertaining to colours, charges, and so on (e.g., allelions, belic, esclatè), with references to specific French and European coats of arms, many also illustrated by Palliot. The first word, arguably tongue-in-cheek, is ‘Abbaissé’, i.e., the addition to one’s shield of marks of honour (colour, helmets, charges, supports) that do not historically or legally belong to that family or individual, so as to appear more prominent – a form of fraud. Palliot’s work was a fundamental instrument for ‘antiquaries, scholars, archivists, librarians, genealogists, booksellers, artists, numismatists, collectors, heralds, goldsmiths, embroiderers, art lovers, etc.’, that is, all those requiring detailed heraldic information for work or leisure (‘Bulletin’, p.162). A very handsome, imposing work.

Only Brown copy recorded in the US. Moule, p.617 (1661 ed.); Brunet II, 1519: ‘fort augmentée et présente un grand nombre d’écussons grav’; Goldsmith, BM C17, G279 (1661). Graesse. Bulletin du Bibliophile (1895), p.162.
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