Shimmering binding by Trautz-Bauzonnet realized towards 1870 en olive-green morocco with a gilt decoration “à la fanfare” with small tools and mosaic with black morocco listels and red morocco discs, spine ribbed similarly decorated, vellum skin linings decorated with a background made of gilt stars, cherubs, and the name Marie gilt stamped on the center, gilt chiseled and painted edges, Trautz’s signature at the bottom of the second cover and Trautz-Bauzonnet at the bottom of the lining, light brown morocco book case. Trautz-Bauzonnet
Illuminated manuscript, signed and dated by the most famous and skilled post medieval calligraphers.
Jarry’s manuscripts have been described as “Flowery illuminations and a script that looks as if it could have been produced by a little delicate typewriter” (M. Holland in Bull. John Rylands Lib, LXV, 1983, p. 148).
“Using a delicate script of great refinement, Jarry has beautifully proportioned his letters to the limited space of the page, with no sense of crowding or loss of legibility” (D. Miner, Two Thousand Years of Calligraphy, Baltimore, 1965).
“Nicolas Jarry is the most famous French calligraphers of the 17th century.
His handwriting is of exceptional beauty. No calligrapher is preferred to him.
Brunet dedicated him a long article hi his Manuel du libraire (1862, t. III, col. 511-515) and Supplément (1878, t. I, col. 692-693). The bibliography he established of his works is more or less complete. It includes 46 manuscripts.” (Imago Mundi)
Manuscripts signed by Jarry (1615-1670) are from 1633 to 1663.
Louis XIV appointed him “writer and note taker of the King’s music”.
The present manuscript is dated 1654 on the title and signed twice “N. Jarris Paris scribebat anno 1654” pages 182 and 251.
It bears 11 times the crowned ciphers “aa” and “ddcc” of queen Anne of Austria (Castile) (1601-1666) who was Jarry’s most famous customer.
Thus, the interlaced cipher “aa” reproduced by Olivier (Manuel de l’amateur de reliures armoriées ; pl. 2505, tool n°4) is present on the pages 1, 87, 109, 131, 183 et 189 and the additional cipher ddcc on pages 51, 99, 121, 159 et 253.
For nearly two centuries, Jarry’s productions have been considered as the most precious among the handwritten and illuminated manuscripts of classical age “and were regarded as the ultimate desiderata of princely collectors”.
The present manuscript is no exception to the rule since it went from Anne of Austria’s collection to the one of King Louis XIV’s then we find it at:
- Eugène Paillet (1829-1901), the finest amateur of illustrated books of the 18th century with his signature on the end-leaf and engraved ex-libris. It was bound for him in 1870.
- Damascene Morgand, Catalogue of books from M. Eugène Paillet’s collection, 1887, pp. 77-8 n°387, for 8 000 F or.
- Valentine A. Blaque, with his red morocco ex-libris.
- Henry W. Poor, who acquired the entire Blacque collection with his red morocco ex-libris.
- Vente Anderson, New York, part V, 1909, lot 93, sold for 3 350 $.
- Brayton Yves, sold during his auction “American Art Association, New York, April 6th 1915” sold for 4 950 $.
- Mortimer Schiff (1877-1931) with his red morocco ex-libris, sold on July 5th 1938, lot 885 to Quaritch.
- Quaritch, cat. 554, year 1938, n°387.
- Major Abbey 1894-1969, bought on February 24th 1943.
- Librairie Patrick Sourget, May 1990, n°81 sold for 1 500 000 FF (230 000 €).
The manuscript starts with the Heures de la Vierge à l'usage de Rome.
Georges Trautz, “the ablest finisher of his day, who had... brought the technique of gilding to perfection... refused to work for the booksellers and was unknown to the general public. For years Eugène Paillet had patronised David or one of the three Petits, until Trautz’s existence was happily revealed to him. Other collectors followed him - notably Baron James de Rothschild - and the aged Trautz, soon found himself the centre of a cult, Trautzolatry. Béraldi, who had suffered from the mania himself, bas described its results with observant wit : the pleadings of old clients, the patience of new ones, the prestige - equivalent to noble birth - which one of Trautz’s bindings lent its possessor, the destruction of old bindings to be replaced by the master's work, until finally the old man, tiring of such eminence, accepted anything brought to him for binding, only to put it in the corner and forget all about it.” (Hobson, p. 109).
The present manuscript is covered of one of Trautz-Bauzonnet’s finest bindings. It was the eleventh out of 23 inlaid bindings he made. Henri Béraldi describes it in the Bulletin du bibliophile of 1885 as one of the master-pieces of the master.
This jewel that belonged to Ann of Austria was catalogue 8 000 F of by the greatest book dealer Damascène Morgand, on his catalogue of the year 1887, n°387.
The same book dealer catalogued 60 F or the “first edition of that became rare” of « Les Précieuses ridicules », (Paris, 1660), in antique vellum. (Ref: Répertoire Damascène Morgand, Paris 1893, n°4327). The first edition of « Les Précieuses ridicules » is trading at 300 000 € today.