Massillon, Jean-Baptiste

Le Petit Careme - Fine Binding by Leon Gruel, C1900

Published: Societe de St-Augustin - Desclee, de Brouwer et Cie, Bruges

Date: c.1900

A beautiful and very tactile little binding in full brown morocco with blind ruling and relief/embossed design to both boards. Five raised bands to the spine, each with blind tooling to it and each side of it, boxed blind ruling to each band and gilt lettering with author, title and binder's name 'Gruel' to the bottom of the spine. Satin endpapers and both endboards with leather panel and gilt dentelles, double gilt line to boards' outer edges, top edge gilt, silk head and tail bands and original silk page marker. Decorative title page in red and black, 'Le Crucifixion' frontispiece and three other fine engravings by Gruel and Engelmann ed. and 'Leon Gruel 418 Rue St Honore Paris' Bookplate bound in pre title page. Title vignette to each chapter, decorative caption and red ruling to all pages, a lovely copy. Very clean, inside and out, the book is in near fine condition. 216pp. Leon Gruel (1841-1923) was the celebrated Parisian bookbinder, bibliophile, collector and scholar. He wrote the Manuel Historique et Bibliographique de L’Amateur de Reliures (published 1887-1905) and in it he gave examples of historic fine bindings but also called on his contemporaries to demonstrate greater innovation in bookbinding design. So throughout the 19th century – although new materials, techniques and audiences had transformed the book industry – firms such as Gruel were maintaining traditional skills while at the same time adapting their craft for a changing market. Gruel's bindings are highly acclaimed for their technical skill and artistic sensibility. Jean-Baptiste Massillon (1663-1742), was a French Catholic bishop and famous preacher, who served as Bishop of Clermont from 1717 until his death. Besides the Petit Carême, a sermon which he delivered before the young King Louis XV of France in 1718, his sermons on the Prodigal Son, on the small number of the elect, on death, for Christmas Day, and for the Fourth Sunday in Advent, may be perhaps cited as his masterpieces.

Near Fine

Fine Binding


Offered by Peter Foster Books