Les Chants De Tyrtée Et De Callinus, Traduits En Vers Par Firmin Didot. Firmin DIDOT.
Les Chants De Tyrtée Et De Callinus, Traduits En Vers Par Firmin Didot.
Les Chants De Tyrtée Et De Callinus, Traduits En Vers Par Firmin Didot.
LUXURY AT EVERY TURN — A FAMILY AFFAIR

Les Chants De Tyrtée Et De Callinus, Traduits En Vers Par Firmin Didot.

Paris, Ambroise, Hyacinthe and Frédéric Didot for their father, Firmin Didot 1827.

Large folio (527 x 353 mm.). [iv blank], [1]-[13] 14-33, [7 blank]p. PRINTED ON DIDOT MANUFACTURED PAPIER VÉLIN IN THEIR NEWLY CAST GREEK AND ROMAN TYPES, script type for the Lettre.

CONTEMPORARY PURPLE MOROCCO DECORATED IN GILT AND BLIND BY JOSEPH THOUVENIN L’AÎNÉ (rubbed, bumped, minor scuffs, short splits in the front and rear hinges). The dramatic architectural decor relies on the contrast between the more open richly gilt outer frame — made up of dozens of large and small open, dotted and solid tools — and the blind inner frame (nearly entirely filled with four large cornerpieces) and mostly open gilt-ruled central medallion. Small scattered gilt discs highlight both the inner frame and central ornament. The vertically gilt-lettered title separates the two narrow panels of fine gilt tools that cover the spine, board edges and turn-ins gilt, pale green-white moiré paper endleaves, all edges gilt.

PRIVATELY PRINTED IN ONE HUNDRED COPIES AND NOT FOR SALE. Firmin’s three sons collaborated to honor their father, who had just ceded to them active oversight of the business, its thirty presses and nearly two hundred fifty employees.
            Their prefatory epistle, beautifully set in Firmin’s superb script types, explains each son’s role: “Everything came out of our hands or our workshops — the paper, type design, casting, printing and even the ink itself. One of us finished the Greek and Roman type, of which you had cut only part, and supervised the casting; another handled all the details of printing; the youngest [Frédéric] supervised the paper manufacturing in our Mesnil mill” (tr.). This letter, which closes with A BENJAMIN FRANKLIN QUOTE ON THE ART OF PRINTING, has not, apparently, been reprinted. They chose for their text their father’s skilled French translation of parts of two 7th-century B.C.E. Greek elegiac poets, Tyrtaeus and Callinus, and produced the volume while he was traveling in Spain.
            The binder, Joseph Thouvenin (1790-1834) apprenticed at age eleven with Bozerian le jeune and set up on his own in 1813. By 1830 he was “the leading binder of his epoch” (Ramsden).
            This copy comes from the library of Emily Petty-Fitzmaurice, Marchioness of Lansdowne (1819-95). Her father, Charles Joseph, comte de Flahaut (1785-1870), was aide-de-camp to Napoleon at Waterloo.
¶Bragt, Bibliographie des traductions françaises (1810-1840) 7166; Brunet V: 994; Foot, The Henry Davis Gift 3: 198 (identical decor); see Hoffmann’s Bibliographisches Lexicon der…Litteratur der Griechen III: 568-9 “fine translation” (tr.) and Ramsden’s French Bookbinders 224.

Item #11383

Price: $7,500.00