French Royal Bindings of the 17th-19th Centuries

Books with Royal Bookplates

Louis XV

Louis XV (1710-1774) was king of France from 1715 to 1774. At the age of five, he succeeded his great grandfather Louis XIV (his grandfather — Louis the Great Dauphine and father, Louis, Duc de Bourgogne died before Louis XIV). During his reign, France took part in the Seven Years' War. Louis XV had countless mistresses, the most famous and influential of them, Madame de Pompadour and the Countess of Dubarry, left their mark on the history and culture of France. Historians often illustrate his wasteful and frivolous rule which led France to the threshold of the Revolution, by the the famous byword of Madame de Pompadour: "After us, the deluge".

 

[Banduri, Anselmo (1675-1743)].

[Ce Recueil de médailles au nombre de cent soixante onze planches forme une Histoire suivie des empereurs grecs & romains du Bas-Empire depuis Volusien et Posthume jusques aux derniers Paléologues]. — [S.l. : s.n., ante 1718].

4° (270 х 387 mm). A brown leather binding with gold embossing. Louis XV's (or Louis XIV's ) super ex libris — the King's coat of arms is placed on the front and back covers, his monogram is on the spine (is established by: OHR, pl. 2495, no.2).

Provenance: Suchtelen, Pieter (1751-1836) (an engraved bookplate bearing a coat of arms).

Shelf mark: 12.4.3.19

Album with engravings of medals Album with engravings of medals Album with engravings of medals Album with engravings of medals Album with engravings of medals

Depending on the date of this book, its super ex libris can belong to both Louis XV and Louis XIV. This edition does not have a title page and publication's details, only a handwritten preface. From it we can learn that this unique album contains 171 engravings with medals which covers the history of the Byzantine emperors until the last Paleologues. The author of this album created a supplement to the History of Byzantium by Du Cange. As the compiler writes in the handwritten preface, there are medals in this album that were not known to Du Cange: 60 medals date back to the era before Constantine the Great, which was not described by the French historian. Initially, the compiler of the album wanted to provide medals with descriptions, but did not do it, because he was not sure that his book would be purchased by the Royal Library in the future. This album is attributed to the Benedictine monk Anselmo Banduri (1671-1743), who, in 1718, published the work Numismata imperatorum Romanorum a Trajano Decio ad Palaeologos Augustos containing the same medals, but already with comments.

 

Brucker, Johann Jacob (1696-1770).

Iacobi Bruckeri Regiae scient. societatis, quae Berolini floret, membri Historia critica philosophiae a mundi incunabulis ad nostram usque aetatem deducta.— Lipsiae [Leipzig] : Bern. Christoph. Breitkopf, 1742-1744, 1767. — 6 vols.

4° (185 х 244 mm). A red marocain binding with gold embossing. Louis XV's super ex libris — the King's coat of arms is placed on the front and back covers, his monogram and the fleurs-de-lis are on the spine (is established by: OHR, pl. 2495, no.12, 30).

Provenance: «Bibliothecae Regia» (its stamp on the title page), Imperial Hermitage Foreign Books Library (shelf mark label).

Shelf mark: 36.11.2.24

Critical History of Philosophy by J. J. Brucker Critical History of Philosophy by J. J. Brucker

The six volumes of the Historia Critica Philosophiae ("Critical History of Philosophy") by Johann Jakob Brucker, with Louis XV's super ex librises, were purchased from the French Royal Library, since they were doublets (the Royal Library has already a copy of this edition). This can be seen from the red stamps on the title page, over which there are blue stamps of the State Public Library "Redeemed".

Johann Jakob Brucker (1696-1770) is sometimes called "the father of the history of philosophy". His chief work, Historia Critica Philosophiae ("Critical History of Philosophy"), originally appeared in 5 volumes at Leipzig in 1742–1744. Its success was such a big that a second edition was printed in six volumes in 1766–1767. In the six volumes with the super-luxlibrises of the French king, stored in the NLR, the first five are taken from the first edition, and the sixth one is from the second.

 

Weis, Johann Martin (1711-1751).

Représentation des fêtes données par la ville de Strasbourg pour la convalescence du roi; à l'arrivée et pendant le séjour de Sa Majesté en cette ville. Inventé, dessiné et dirigé par J. M. Weis, graveur de la ville de Strasbourg. — À Paris : imprimé par Laurent Aubert, [1745?].

2° (480 х 635 mm). A brown leather binding with gold embossing. Louis XV's super ex libris — the King's coat of arms is placed on the front and back covers, the fleurs-de-lis are on the spine (is established by: OHR, pl. 2495, no.10).

Shelf mark: 12.48.1.33

Representation of the celebrations given by the city of Strasbourg Representation of the celebrations given by the city of Strasbourg Representation of the celebrations given by the city of Strasbourg Representation of the celebrations given by the city of Strasbourg

On 5 October 1744, Louis XV arrived in Strasbourg. Many years earlier, the French king Louis XIV, visited the capital of Alsace in 1681, when the city was forced to recognize the power of the French monarch after a long siege. Then, there were military operations — The War of the Austrian Succession (1740-1748), but the city inhabitants welcame Louis XV not as a conqueror, but as a beloved sovereign. For five days, Strasbourg honored the king, holding luxurious celebrations to mark the happy recovery of the king after a dangerous fever. At the request of the royal praetor of Alsace Klinglin, the Strasbourg designer, draughtsman and engraver Johann Martin Weis (1711-1751) created eleven plates depicting the celebrations to immortalize such a significant event. The engravings were supplemented by their descriptions and were published in Paris in separate copies, one of which is kept in the National Library of Russia.

 

Maisonneuve, Catherine de (?-;1774?).

Journal des Dames, par madame de Maisonneuve. Juillet 1765. — La Haye; A Paris, 1765.

8o (97 х 173 mm). A brown leather binding with gold embossing. Louis XV's super ex libris — the King's coat of arms is placed on the front and back covers, the fleurs-de-lis are on the front and back covers and on the spine (is established by: British Library's Database of Bookbindings, Davis565).

Shelf mark: 17.11.8.10

Magazine for Ladies for July 1765. Magazine for Ladies for July 1765. Magazine for Ladies for July 1765.

The Parisian Magazine for Ladies first appeared in 1759, but did not arouse an interest among the general public. By 1763, when the energetic Catherine de Maisonneuve became its publisher, it had only seven subscribers. She managed to make one of the first periodicals for women commercially successful. The Magazine for Ladies established the basis for development of female journalism. It is a valuable source on the topic of European feminism. In 1765, Madame de Maisonneuve solemnly presented an issue of the Magazine to Louis XV and thus was able to attract the attention of the best journalists and writers of the era. Apparently, this issue has the king's super ex libris on its binding as a result of this event.

The July issue of the Magazine for Ladies for 1765 containes poetic and prose works and translations, travel notes about Italy, an essay on a holiday recently held in the vicinity of Paris, as well as reviews on literary novelties. Of particular interest is the illustrated article «Harmonics Description» from which the reader can learn about the new musical instrument invented by Benjamin Franklin — a glass harmonic. In the 18th - 19th centuries, sound produced by the glass harmonica was considered close to the divine "music of the spheres" and, at the same time, dangerous for mental health. Composers including Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Richard Strauss, Anton Rubinstein, Mikhail Glinka, Gaetano Donizetti, Pyotr Tchaikovsky wrote music pieces for the instrument.