|The Binding of Books
An Essay in the History of Gold-Tooled
Bindings by Herbert P. Horne
|French Bindings 29
|Both Luc Antoine Boyet, and Louis Joseph Dubois, enjoyed at that time the title of • Relieur de
Roi ': and the grant of it to Du Seuil must be taken as a mark of especial favour, for at no one
time had it previously been conferred upon more than two binders. By a second breve, dated
15th February, 1728, Du Seuil was appointed by the king, • en la charge de run des relieurs de
sa maison,' vacant by the death of Louis Dubois; an office which Du Seuil held until the time of
his death in February, 1746. It is remarkable, that the name of Du Seuil occurs neither in the
lists nor in the registers, of the Guild of St. Jean, nor in any other connection with that society.
No authenticated example of his work is known: but certain books from the library of Madame de
Berry are thought to have been bound by him. M. Ie Baron Pichon possesses a volume of
prayers, which belonged to her, and which he believes to be an undoubted example of Du
Seuil's work. It is covered in citron morocco, on which the arms and cypher of its owner are
tooled in blind; with a , doublure ' of red morocco finished with adentelle ' border iq gold. The
same writer in his life of Comte d'Hoym shows,thatDu Seuil workedforthatnobleman, as well as
for the Abbe de Rothelin, and for De Selle, amongst other distinguished collectors of that time.
With regard to the books of the De Lomenie library, which are stated, in the catalogues of
Messrs. W oodman and Lyons, to have been bound by the' Abbe du Seuil 'j arguments have not
been wanting to prove, that the word 'Abbe' is but an error, on the part of the English compiler
of this catalogue, for 'Au.', or, perhaps, a misunderstanding of the mere initial, and that Augustin
Du Seuil is intended. On the other hand, it has been urged, that this binder could not, in point of
time, have worked for De Lomenie, who died in 1698. According to the 'Memoires inldz'ts de
Louis Henri de Lominze, Comte de Bne/me,' published in 1828, by F. Barriere, the Count gave his
books, during his life-time, to his son, the Bishop of Coutances: and among the Harleian
manuscripts [No. 4638.] is the catalogue of his printed books, containing the original deed of
this donation, dated 13th January, 1670: and an introductory note to the catalogue of Messrs.
Woodman and Lyons, states, that the library sold by them, 'was chiefly collected by the famous
Father Simon, the best Critick in Books in his Time, who was Prreceptor and an intimate Friend to
Francois Lomenie de Brienne, late Bishop of Coutances in Normandy.' There does not, however,
appear to be any ground for the supposition that the collection and re-binding of these books
ended abruptly with the gift of them, by Louis Henri de Lomenie, to his son.
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