Item #4326 Almanach du bon François ou bons mots et anecdotes de la vie d'Henri IV ... suivi des principales scènes de la Partie de Chasse d’Henri IV. HENRI IV.
Almanach du bon François ou bons mots et anecdotes de la vie d'Henri IV ... suivi des principales scènes de la Partie de Chasse d’Henri IV.
Almanach du bon François ou bons mots et anecdotes de la vie d'Henri IV ... suivi des principales scènes de la Partie de Chasse d’Henri IV.
Almanach du bon François ou bons mots et anecdotes de la vie d'Henri IV ... suivi des principales scènes de la Partie de Chasse d’Henri IV.
A little history

Almanach du bon François ou bons mots et anecdotes de la vie d'Henri IV ... suivi des principales scènes de la Partie de Chasse d’Henri IV. Paris: chez Desnos, [1783 or earlier, reissued 1791].

Bound with: Le Secrétaire des dames et des messieurs, ou Dépositaire fidèle & discret, et à double usage; Utile et nécessaire aux gens d'affaires, négocians, voyageurs, militaires, et à tous les Etats. Paris: Desnos, s.d.

24mo (112 x 62 mm). 2 parts, separately titled. Part 1: engraved frontispiece portrait, 83 pages. Part 2 (Le Parfait Modèle, orné d'estampes représentant les principales Scenes de la Partie de chasse de Henri IV), entirely engraved: title, 12 full-page engravings, avant la lettre, bound facing 12 text leaves printed on rectos only (foliated 1-12), the text leaves on thick paper, fol. 3 imperfectly sized (half of the leaf is thick and the other thin). Sécretaire: [1] blank leaf; [4] 5-48 pp., containing tables of gains and losses and pages for daily notes, blank except for rule borders; [12] pp. calendar for 1792. Thick & thin rule page borders throughout. Contemporary morocco, sides gilt-paneled, smooth spine gold-tooled, green morocco lettering-piece, gilt edges, blue paper endleaves, the lower endleaves connected by blue silk fabric (torn) to form a pocket, 3-part sheath on fore-edges for stylus (lacking the stylus, binding rubbed). Provenance: contemporary accounting notes on 15 blank pages; Eugène Aubry-Vitet (1845-1930), historian and politician, bookplate. ***

Anecdotes from the life of France’s favorite King, by the prolific almanac, atlas and globe publisher Louis-Charles Desnos (1725-1805). The text is followed by a suite of anonymous engravings illustrating Charles Collé’s popular play La Partie de Chasse de Henri IV, first published in 1766 (then with 4 engravings after Gravelot, copied here in reverse). Facing each of the Collé engravings is a citation from the relevant scene. The edition dates to the late 1770s or early 1780s: the title appears as no. 46 in a 1783 edition of Desnos’s Catalogue général d'almanachs (with a printing permission dated 9 Dec. 1783). An earlier edition, or an earlier issue of the same edition, titled Beaux traits de Henri IV, le parfait Modèle, & Partie de Chaffe de ce grand Roi, is cited in Desnos’s 1778 catalogue, Almanachs utiles et agréables, pour l'année 1778 (BnF, Catalogues de libraires 910, digitized on Gallica). It was bound here (possibly for a royalist customer?) with Desnos’s Sécretaire des Dames et Messieurs, and a calendar for 1792.

The Sécrétaire, a combined date book, account book, and jotting pad, with special paper and often an accompanying stylus, was kept constantly in print to accompany Desnos’s almanacs. Desnos first used this gimmick ca. 1770, when he published a Sécrétaire des Dames, soon followed by a Sécrétaire des Messieurs, and then, to simplify matters, by a co-ed version, used in most of his later almanacs. In 1770 he also published a prospectus for his “tablettes de papier nouveau” (BnF). As explained in the title, the paper was “new” because one could write on it with a “mineral stylus,” and it was économique because it could be erased and rewritten on up to 15 to 20 times, with a damp sponge (or, in some versions of his advertisements, with breadcrumbs). In this edition the recto of the Sécrétaire title-page (which is on a verso) bears a note from the publisher, advising readers to compare the many imitations of his almanacs to the real thing, adding that the calendars of his almanacs can be changed every year without added expense. The reader is referred to a one-hundred-page catalogue of Desnos’s almanacs (probably the undated catalogue Précis des almanachs ... Notice desdits almanachs, où l'éditeur donne une idée de chacun pour déterminer le choix du public et de l'acheteur, 120; 24 pp., 1 copy located, BnF). All copies of this edition of the Sécrétaire seem to share the same odd pagination. A contemporary owner filled several blank leaves with lists of household expenses and a few other notes.

OCLC lists two copies of the Henri IV almanac at the BnF, dated 1785 and [1790s], the dating presumably based on the calendars with which they are bound. Not in Grand-Carteret, Cohen-de Ricci or the Savigny de Moncorps catalogues.
Item #4326

Price: $750.00