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Lucianus Samosatensis (125?182)

Opera Graece et Latine ad editionem Tiberii Hemsterhusii et Ioannis Frederici Reitzii accurate expressa cum varietate et annotationibus... Societas Bipontina, 1789 - 1793.

€ 12.500
Finely bound for Antoine-Augustin Renouard
Lucianus Samosatensis (125?182). Opera Graece et Latine ad editionem Tiberii Hemsterhusii et Ioannis Frederici Reitzii accurate expressa cum varietate et annotationibus.... Societas Bipontina, 1789 - 1793.

A set of ten volumes, large 8° (210x117 mm). I. [4], CXVI, 492 pages. II. [4], 552 pages. III. [4], 596 pages. IV. [4], 603, [1] pages. V. [4], 604 pages. VI. [4], 605, [3] pages. VII. [4], 583, [1] pages. VIII. [4], 598, [2] pages. IX. [4], 605, [3] pages. X. [4], 367, [313] pages. Engraved vignette on the title-page of each volume. Uniformly bound in blue morocco by Pierre-Joseph Bisiaux, active between 1777 and 1801; the binding of the tenth and last volume uses slightly different leather and tooling, and was probably executed by another binder, possibly after Bisiaux's death. Covers framed within large gilt frame. The owner's name 'renouard' is tooled in gilt on the upper cover of each volume, apart from the tenth. Spines with five double raised bands, underlined by a narrow gilt frieze on red ground and decorated with gilt stars, diagonals of dotted fillets, and small central tools. Title, imprint, and volume numbering lettered in gilt. Rose-pink silk pastedowns; flyleaves either in rose-pink silk and in vellum. Board edges tooled with gilt fillets, inside dentelles. Rose-pink silk bookmarks, gilt edges. In the first nine volumes, the original blue colour of the spines changes to dark olive. Spines occasionally repaired at extremities; upper headbands of the first and seventh volumes restored, and covered with marbled paper. A set in very fine condition, insignificant browning in places.

Provenance: the renowned French bibliographer and outstanding book collector Antoine-Augustin Renouard (1765-1853).

A fine set, uniformly bound for Antoine-Augustin Renouard by the leading Parisian binder Pierre-Joseph Bisiaux: the monumental edition of Lucianus' works, published in the Bipontine series of classical texts and edited by Johann Frederik Reiz (1695-1778) and Tiberius Hemsterhuis (1685-1766). The texts included are mainly based on the three-volume edition of Lucianus that appeared in Amsterdam in 1743.

The Societas Bipontina was established in Zweibrücken (lat. Bipontum) in 1778, and its production centered on Greek and Latin classics. Its publishing activity is famous for the elegance of its layouts and philological accuracy. The first volume opens with the Sylloge de aetate, vita scriptisque Luciani by Reitz, whereas the tenth and last volume contains philological notes on textual variants by Jacques-Nicolas Belin de Ballu, along with a series of detailed indices.

The volumes were bound for the celebrated bibliographer and great book collector Antoine-Augustin Renoaurd, who was particularly passionate about books that were elegantly bound in morocco, richly gilt tooled, and further enriched with vellum or silk – especially rose-pink – pastedowns and flyleaves, as the marvellous set presented here well testifies. The most famous binders during the transition from the Monarchy to the Directory executed bindings for his exquisite library; this included, among others, Pierre-Joseph Bisiaux, who was active in Paris between 1777 and 1801, a rival of Nicolas-Denis Derome (1731-1790), and his heir Bradel.

For an identical binding see the Renouard copy of Athenagoras' work Della risurrettione de' morti (Venice 1556), a volume which later came into the possession of Henry Davis, one of the greatest collectors of magnificent bindings, and held now in the British Library (Davis 570).

G. Burkard, Bibliographie der Editiones Bipontinae, Zweibrücken 1990, pp. 94-101; J. Schoendorf, Zweibrücker Buchdruck zur Fürstenzeit. Das Buch-und Zeitungswesen einer Wittelsbacher Residenz 1488-1794, Zweibrücken 1995, pp. 161-179; M. Baubach, Lukian in Deutschland. Eine Forschungs- und Rezeptionsgeschichtliche Analyse vom Humanismus bis zur Gegenwart, München 2002, pp. 100, 118, 266. For similar bindings see S. de Ricci, French Signed Bindings, no. 124; M. Foot, Les reliures françaises, pl. 8; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 251.