Item #4330 Almanach de Normandie, Pour L’Année 1765. PAINTED FOIL AND MICA BINDING.
Almanach de Normandie, Pour L’Année 1765.
A beautiful duckling

Almanach de Normandie, Pour L’Année 1765. Rouen: veuve Besongne [Marie-Madeleine-Josèphe Gruchet], 1765.

32mo (binding 107 x 66 mm). [128] pp. Woodcut royal arms on title, rule page borders. Stab-stitched in a contemporary mosaic binding of white calf, covers with outer frame and irregularly shaped lozenge border of gold-tooled brown calf onlays, the reserved corners and large central area filled with gold and silver metallic or foil ornaments on a ground of red foil, a different inset watercolor painting of a putto at center of each cover, both with manuscript mottoes in red ink, the portraits set within a wreath of gold and silver foil surmounted by a gold urn with a silver bouquet; all the interstices covered in mica, flat spine with gold-tooled compartments and two metal knobs (of the metal attachments fixing the text block), blue silk liners, pastedown liners within gold-tooled borders, red-speckled inner flyleaves, gilt edges. Minuscule repairs to corners and head of spine, a couple of tiny imperfections to mica, otherwise in beautiful condition. Provenance: later(?) pencil inscription at end, “33 rue Daniel / Asnieres / Seine et Oise.”***

A bright and delicate luxury binding of the kind usually used for almanachs galants, on a plain and simple almanach utilitaire. This superb, probably Parisian binding is in unusually fine, undisturbed condition. The painting on the front cover shows a putto sitting among sheaves of wheat or hay, with the manuscript inscription “Moissonons Nos Amours” (harvest our loves); while that on the back cover is a winged putto sitting on a branch, inscribed “Je ne cherche que la Fidelité” (I wish only for faithfulness).

The Almanach de Normandie, first published in 1738, was a classic yearly almanac containing a detailed calendar with times of sun- and moon-rises and -sets; lists of French secular and ecclesiastical officials, of functionaries particular to Normandy, including lawyers and other court officials, and of members of the Académie Royale; routes and schedules of post coaches; and a calendar of regional fairs. This 1765 issue has a final two-page chart of the Equation de l’Horloge, for calculating the solar hour using a pendulum clock. From 1760 to 1778 the Almanach was continued by the widow of the original publisher, Jacques-Nicolas Besongne. Née Marie-Madeleine (-Josèphe) Gruchet, daughter of a Le Havre printer, widow Besongne was thrown into the Bastille prison in 1764 for publishing a scandalous (anonymously printed) pamphlet on high-level corruption, Le secret des finances divulgué. She had to leave Rouen, but managed to negotiate her way back, and died in the 1780s (cf. data.bnf.fr.).
Item #4330

Price: $5,000.00