Épreuves Générales des Caracteres qui se trouvent Chez Claude Lamesle Fondeur de Caracteres d’Imprimerie.
Épreuves Générales des Caracteres qui se trouvent Chez Claude Lamesle Fondeur de Caracteres d’Imprimerie.
Épreuves Générales des Caracteres qui se trouvent Chez Claude Lamesle Fondeur de Caracteres d’Imprimerie.
Épreuves Générales des Caracteres qui se trouvent Chez Claude Lamesle Fondeur de Caracteres d’Imprimerie.
Spectacular 18th Century Type Specimen Book

Épreuves Générales des Caracteres qui se trouvent Chez Claude Lamesle Fondeur de Caracteres d’Imprimerie.

A Paris: Rue Galande (au milieu) prés la Place Mauber, 1742. First edition. In contemporary leather. Spine with five raised bands, all compartments gilt. Marbled endpapers. Edges tinted red. Title page printed in red and black, with woodcut device. 4to: A-Z, Aa-Ee; 91 unnumbered leaves. [1 leaf (title page); 71 leaves of type and ornament specimens (of which 7 are double-page, mounted to paper guards); and 9 leaves of music type (of which 3 are. Binding rubbed, but firm. Paper somewhat yellowed, with occasional spotting. Overall in fine condition.

The most spectacular eighteenth-century French type specimen book.

The first part of the work displays an interesting collection of types of various periods of splendid ornaments, on seventy-eight leaves. Besides Latin, it includes, Greek, Armenian, Arabic, and Hebrew specimens, shows different faces of the same size, presents two curious types cut by Robert Granjon in the sixteenth: "Cicero Gros Oeil no. xxxiv" and "Petit Parangon no. li”, and an illicit copy of the Imprimerie Royale's "romains du roi”, cut by Jean Cot's son Pierre. Of the finishing nine leaves of musical scores (on staves of four or five lines), three were printed in red and black.

Updike claims that Lamesle’s book both in type and ornaments “presents better than any other, the output of French foundries during the last quarter of the seventeenth and the first half of the eighteenth century. The collection of types is remarkably fine. […] For the student of French type-forms of the earlier part of the eighteenth century, there is scarcely a better book.” (Updike, 1962)

Claude Lemesle was a publisher and type-founder at Paris. He bought Jean Cot’s foundry (Cot père, mère, et fils) in 1737, which he sold it to Nicolas Gando in 1758. Later he started the business again in Avignon, but his subsequent history is unknown. (Bigmore & Wyman, 2014)

Bibl.: Bigmore, E. C., & Wyman, C. H. W.: A Bibliography of Printing. Bigmore & Wyman. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014. Vol. 1., p. 419.; Updike, D. B.: Printing Types: Their History, Forms, and Use. New Castle, Del.: Oak Knoll Press, 1962. Vol. 1. p. 270.

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Price: €6,500.00

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