• S.l. [Paris: Coustelier], 1731
  • In-12º, printed on paper; binding in lemon yellow morocco leather
  • Inv. LA245

‘Les Amours Pastorales de Daphnis et Chloé’

Translation by Jacques Amyot
Illustration by J. B. Scotin
Binding signed by Jean-Charles-Henri Monnier

This novel attributed to the Greek writer Longus (3rd or 4th 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 145); Cortlandt F. Bishop Collection (ex-libris). Acquired by Calouste Gulbenkian at the sale of the Cortlandt F. Bishop Collection, New York, 8 December 1948 (lot 179).

H. 16.2 cm; W. 10.3 cm

Gruel 1887–1905

Léon Gruel, Manuel Historique et Bibliographique de l’Amateur de Reliures. Paris: 1887–1905, vol. I, pp. 123–6.

Cohen and Ricci 1912

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

Devauchelle 1959–61

Roger Devauchelle, La Reliure en France de ses origines à nos jours. Paris: 1959–61, vol. I, pp. 50–2.

Devauchelle 1995

Roger Devauchelle, La Reliure. Paris: 1995, pp. 133–4.

Devaux 1977

Yves Devaux, Dix siècles de Reliure. Paris: 1977, pp. 192–4.

Lisbon 2002

Calouste Gulbenkian Museum. Lisbon: Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, 2001 (2nd edition, 2oo2), p. 117, cat. 91.