Itinerarivm. Louis-Henri Loménie BRIENNE, comte de.


Paris, S. Cramoisy 1660.

12mo. 39p.

Contemporary gilt-ruled mottled calf (very worn, repaired; front marbled flyleaf renewed), spine gilt (mostly perished), all edges gilt over marbling; preserved in a crushed morocco box, gilt-lettered spine title.

First Edition of the great amateur and bibliophile’s first book. He recounts his Grand Tour (1651-55) through Germany, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Lapland, Finland, Poland, Austria and Italy with architect, engineer and soldier François Blondel (c. 1618-86) as his tutor: “The goal of the voyage was to acquaint Louis-Henri with the foreign courts for which he would be responsible when he took over his father’s post” as Secretary of State (Gerbino).
     In Mainz, where he earned a degree and improved his German, he notes THE INVENTION OF PRINTING AND THE “FIRST TYPES” (PRIMI CHARACTERES) PRESERVED THERE. In Regensburg he assisted in the coronation of Ferdinand IV, King of the Romans and in Rome was received by Pope Alexander VII.
     Brienne went on to serve as Mazarin’s secretary then Secretary of State and to build an 80,000 volume library and an impeccable collections of paintings, prints and medals. On the death of his wife, he left government, joined the Oratorians, was institutionalized for insanity and died impoverished in an abbey.
     I have not located a copy of this edition in U.S. collections. Internally fresh, from the library of the great collector and Prime Minister of France, Jean-Baptiste Colbert, marquis de Seignelay (1619-83). It passed to one son, then the other, then to his nephew (Bibliotheca Colbertina (1728) 14258), then to Charles d’Orléans, abbé de Rothelin (Catalogue (1746) 2810; engraved armorial bookplate on the front pastedown), and most recently to Swedish collector Nils Bonnier (1908-91; bookplate in the morocco box).
¶Gerbino, François Blondel 22-25 & 245 n. 40; Cioranescu 16540 (“30p.” in error); Brunet I: 1258; see Ingold’s Supplement à l’essai de bibliographie oratorienne [25].

Item #11133

Price: $6,500.00