• S.l. [Paris : Coustelier], 1731
  • In-12º, 16.2 x 10.3 cm
  • Inv. LA245
  • Art of the Book

Les Amours Pastorales de Daphnis et Chloé

S.l. [Paris : Coustelier], 1731
Printed on paper
Biding in lemon yellow morocco leather by Jean-Charles-Henri Monnier

This novel attributed to the Greek writer Longus (third or fourth century AD) became popular in France after the translation by of Jacques Amyot’s, published in 1559.

The binding covering this edition was produced by one of the members of the Monnier family, probably Jean-Charles-Henri, who was bookbinder to the Duke of Orléans. This master created remarkable figurative decorations in an exotic ambience that revealed the influence of Chinese lacquers brought from the Far East.

Covered by lemon-yellow morocco, this binding is decorated by a composition that is printed in gold and inlaid with morocco cut-outs of different colours. The central compartment depicts a fight between two fantastic birds, one of which is on the ground while the other flies around above it. A cluster of palmettes and large inlaid and gilded leaves supports this scene, which takes place under a baldachin over which two other birds fly. The inside doublures in marron marocco, are decorated with a border of fillets, gilt stamps and à l’éventail motifs in the four corners. The initial flyleaves in gilded paper. Monnier signed this magnificent work four times.                  

Rev. John Mitford Collection (1860, sale II, lot 2099); Robert S. Turner Collection (ex-libris) (1878, lot 423); Morgand-Fatout Collection; Valentin Blacque Collection (ex-libris); Henry W. Poor Collection (ex-libris) (1909, sale V, lot 67); Edouard Rahir Collection (ex-libris) (1930, sale I, lot no. 145); Cortlandt F. Bishop Collection (ex-libris). Acquired in New York at the sale of this last collection on 8 December 1948 (lot 179).

Translated by Jacques Amyot
Illustration by J. B. Scotin

Gruel 1887-1905
Léon Gruel, Manuel Historique et Bibliographique de l’Amateur de Reliures. Paris, 1887-1905, vol. I, pp. 123-126

Cohen e Ricci 1912
Henri Cohen e Seymour de Ricci, Guide de l’Amateur de Livres à Gravures du XVIIIe siècle, Paris, 1912, cols. 651-2

Devauchelle 1959-1961
Roger Devauchelle,  La Reliure en France de ses origines à nos jours, Paris, 1959-1961, vol. I, pp.50-52

Devauchelle 1995
Roger Devauchelle, La Reliure, Paris, 1995, pp.133-134

Devaux 1977
Yves Devaux,  Dix siècles de Reliure, Paris,  1977, pp.192-194

Lisbon 2002
Calouste Gulbenkian Museum (Album), Lisbon, 2002 (2nd edition), no.91, p.117