Item #4231 Exercice spirituel, où est enseigné au Chrestien la maniere d'employer le jour au service de Dieu. Par V.C.P. Dédié à Madame la Chanceliere. Pierre ROCOLET, publisher, d. 1662.
Exercice spirituel, où est enseigné au Chrestien la maniere d'employer le jour au service de Dieu. Par V.C.P. Dédié à Madame la Chanceliere.
Exercice spirituel, où est enseigné au Chrestien la maniere d'employer le jour au service de Dieu. Par V.C.P. Dédié à Madame la Chanceliere.
Exercice spirituel, où est enseigné au Chrestien la maniere d'employer le jour au service de Dieu. Par V.C.P. Dédié à Madame la Chanceliere.
A publisher’s binding?

Exercice spirituel, où est enseigné au Chrestien la maniere d'employer le jour au service de Dieu. Par V.C.P. Dédié à Madame la Chanceliere. Paris: Pierre Rocolet, 1643.

12mo (132 x 82 mm). [8], 40; 192; 312 pages. Engraved frontispiece and thirteen engraved plates, of which five signed by the print publisher Mariette; woodcut head- and tail-pieces and initials. Fore-edges of first few leaves a bit frayed, paper flaw with slight loss to fol. A1 in part 1. Contemporary Parisian mosaic binding of gold-tooled red morocco, probably from the shop of Pierre Rocolet; covers with roll-tooled outer border, corners of onlaid brown morocco and a central quadrilobular lozenge of black morocco, overall pointillé tooling of arabesques and scrolling tendrils, with blossoms at center, top and bottom, leaves and petals highlighted with silver infill, spine in six compartments with similar gold and silver decoration; pair of metal fore-edge clasps (catches on back cover), gilt edges, marbled paper pastedown endleaves, plain free endleaves; small stain to upper cover, some tarnishing of silver infill; 20th-century leather-backed cloth folding case (worn). Provenance: small booklabel inside folding box, “Bibliophilia / AG / Bern,” with an image of a binding press. ***

Unrecorded first edition of a devotional handbook, this copy in a lovely gold- and silver-tooled mosaic binding, probably produced in the bindery owned by the printer Pierre Rocolet.

This complete guide to the Sacraments, also containing the Hours of the Virgin, various prayers and hymns, is illustrated with mainly pedestrian devotional engravings, showing the Holy Family, St. Anne, the Annunciation, the Eucharist, Saints Teresa, Catherine, Hyacinth and Dominic, but one emblematic engraving is more interesting. It shows a well-dressed woman (symbolizing worldliness), handing a bag of money to a kneeling pilgrim, who ignores her as an angel and the powers on high help him prepare for death, embodied nearby in a bearded skeleton with a crow.

The author or compiler “V.C.P.” is unidentified. Describing the 1654 edition, which has a slightly different title and different illustrations, but which also attributes authorship to V.C.P., the Bibliothèque nationale de France cataloguers suggested that the initials designated “Louis Cousin for the initial C and Paul Paul Pellisson-Fontanier for the initial P,” both being mentioned in a later edition (1719) as editors. But that is highly unlikely, since the same initials appear in this 1643 edition, when Cousin would have been 16 years old and Pellisson-Fontanier 19.

A native of Paris, Pierre Rocolet set up shop ca. 1610, and was named royal printer and bookseller in 1635. He later distinguished himself during the Fronde for his fidelity to Louis XIV. As a particularly enterprising libraire-imprimeur, Rocolet had acquired a bindery ca. 1638, which remained active until his death in 1662. Its anonymous workers produced lavishly tooled bindings, largely though not exclusively on books from Rocolet’s own press, for a rich clientèle in the circle of the King, notably including the powerful Chancellor Pierre Séguier, Rocolet’s principal patron, and his spouse, the Chancelière Séguier (née Madelaine Fabry). Rocolet signed this edition’s dedication to Mme Séguier. The binding tools include a four-petalled flower that closely resembles Esmerian’s reproduction of a tool from the Rocolet atelier (Tableaux Synoptiques, Annexe A-V). Produced for a person of rank, this binding is unusual for its silver highlighting.

Not in OCLC, USTC, the BnF catalogue, Barbier, etc. On Rocolet, cf. data.bnf.fr; on the Rocolet bindery, see Bibliothèque Raphaël Esmérian II, p. 47.
Item #4231

Price: $9,800.00