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"The best of the eighteenth-century rare book bibliographies"

DE BURE, Guillaume-François.
Bibliographie instructive: ou traité de la connoissance des livres rares et singuliers.
Paris, 1763-1769. 9 volumes. 8vo. Contemporary mottled calf, richly gold-tooled spines. Supplement volumes (vol. 8-9) in slighty different mottled calf with gold-tooled spines. [2], IV, III-LXXVI, 603, 17, 80; XXVIII, 772; XVI, 734; 544; XXIII, 631; 685; 687; XL, 621; 491, [1] pp.
€ 1,950
First edition of "the best of the eighteenth-century rare book bibliographies, important for the new classification scheme employed and for the extensive bibliographical data and notes. It is here that the Gutenberg Bible is identified and first described. De Bure was the first in a long tradition of French scholar-booksellers" (Breslauer & Folter). "The long search for a rational order and the demand for a specific professional competence, found expression in the preliminary discourse with which Guillaume-François De Bure (1732-1782) introduced his Bibliographie. ... Taking note of the different viewpoints of academics researchers and booksellers, he defined the respective environments and duties of each, comparing the "science des gens des lettres" and the "science d'un libraire", which had as its focus the typographical characteristics of the book and its commercial value, in order to meet the needs of the "amateur" and the "curieux" and to determine the prices of books" (Balsamo).
Volumes 8 and 9 are the sales catalogue of the library of the famed bibliophile and art collector Louis-Jean Gaignat (1697-1768), who had been secretary of the Cabinet du Roi under Louis XV. "This valuable and highly esteemed catalogue", full of "erudite notices" (Horne) was compiled by the De Bure to correct several mistakes in his Bibliographie. A 10th volume with tables was published in 1782.
Very good set, some volumes with some occasional foxing. Bindings only slightly rubbed along the extremities. Breslauer & Folter, Bibliography: its history and development, nr. 107; Balsamo, Bibliography, pp. 128-134.
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Book history, education, learning & printing  >  Bibliography & Biography