Paris, Mlle. Jablier 1679.
Small 4to. TITLE AND TWENTY-FOUR ETCHED AND ENGRAVED PLATES cut out and mounted on blank double-leaves. The title-page is composed of seven engraved strips.
Contemporary mottled calf, spine and title gilt, edges daubed red and brown.
SABBATHIER, Esprit. fl. 1677-1679.
L’Ombre Ideale De La Sagesse Universelle. Paris, Mlle. Jablier 1679. Small 4to. TITLE AND TWENTY-FOUR ETCHED AND ENGRAVED PLATES (arranged as above I).
Ad I-II: Only Editions, commissioned by Louis XIV and Maria Theresa.
Sabbathier prepared his complex theosophical scheme of colors, numbers, geometric figures, prose, heraldry, Hebrew characters and astrological signs for print, but died prior to completing the project. His friend and fellow Capuchin François Marie edited the material and oversaw the printing of the engraved Latin and French sheets (each version comprises two six-column sheets). Once done, he transferred publication rights to his sister, Mlle. Jablier (otherwise unknown). A string of eleven ecclesiastical and secular privileges record this.
To retail the works, she divided the large intaglio sheets into double-page spreads, pricked her blank book double-leaves to correctly position the intaglio text blocks then mounted them in codices, which she sold at her premises.
By offering made-to-order albums, she exploited a loophole in the law prohibiting print dealers from competing with the printed book trade.
“This unusual arrangement explains the extreme rarity of surviving copies, and their singular appearance” (Caillet, tr.). I have located one example of each in the U.S. Fine copies, in their original binding.
¶Caillet, Manuel bibliographique des sciences…occultes 9731 “Excessivement rare”; Dorbon ainé, Bibliotheca esoterica 4275 “Rarissime, surtout complet des deux parties”; Jouin & Descreux, Bibliographie occultiste 736 (French) & 763 (Latin).