12mo, pp. 528; a splendid copy, uncut, in early nineteenth-century dark blue straight-grained morocco by René Simier (spine signed in gilt ‘Simier r.[elieur] du Roi’), borders roll-tooled in blind within a gilt fillet, spine gilt-ruled in compartments between narrow raised bands, lettered directly in gilt and tooled in blind, board-edges gilt à coins and turn-ins roll-tooled in gilt, marbled endpapers with vellum flyleaves; from the library of Henri Huchet comte de la Bédoyère (see below), with his armorial gilt red morocco bookplate to upper pastedown; early twentieth-century ink ownership inscription ‘John Burns’ and later private collector’s bookplate to front flyleaf.
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Moriæ encomium … epistolæ aliquot in fine additæ.
Second Maire edition of Erasmus’ Praise of Folly, in a handsome binding by Simier, from the celebrated library of the count De la Bédoyère, and appearing in the catalogues of both dispersals of his library.
Renowned for his handsome copies of highly regarded editions, Henri Huchet comte de la Bédoyère (1782–1861) reportedly bought several examples of a work before selecting the finest for his library. Though rich in Padeloup and Derome bindings, many books in his collection were rebound by leading contemporary binders, including some sixteen examples of the work of the royal binder René Simier (1772–1843), formerly binder to the Empress Marie-Louise.
When his library was dispersed by Silvestre in 1837, de la Bédoyère bought back his most prized items, of which this Erasmus was one, and spent the following quarter-century rebuilding and expanding the collection: ‘After 1830, in a moment of discouragement, de La Bédoyère decided to sell his library. The sale took place in 1837 and was a great success. De La Bédoyère, however, was not as entirely over his love of books as he initially thought. When it came time to let his collection go, his courage failed him, and many of his most beautiful books found their way back to his library, bought back at great cost’ (Potier, p. vii, our translation).
See: Catalogue des Livres rares et précieux de la Bibliothèque de M. le Comte de La B.[édoyère], dont la vente se fera le mardi 4 avril 1837 et les vingt-deux jours suivants, à.Maison Silvestre (Paris, Silvestre, 1837), where this Erasmus was sold as lot 1097; and Catalogue des livres rares et précieux, imprimés et manuscrits, dessins et vignettes composant la bibliothèque de feu M. le comte H. de La Bédoyère (Paris, Poitier, 1862), where it sold as lot 1660.
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