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PÉRELLE, Adam (1640--1695)
[Collection of views of Paris, chateaux of France and Rome, etc. 170?]
[Veües des belles maisons de France]
A Paris chez Mariette, [c.1707--1710?]
Copy 1: 324 pl. on 287 leaves (6 fold.) ; 38.4 cm. (4°)
Copy 2: 326 pl. on 288 leaves (6 fold.) ; 29.3 x 37.0 cm. (oblong 4°)

The collations given above apply to the two copies in the Soane Museum; the title and imprint are taken from the first plate of copy 1, where they are supplied in manuscript (see below). The Pérelle family of artists and printmakers (Gabriel, Adam, Adrien and Nicolas) produced more than a thousand engravings which are often difficult to attribute to any one member of the family, the most prolific of whom appears to have been Adam (1640--1695), but any attribution must remain uncertain. Around 1680 a number of title-plates to cover a range of appropriate views were prepared for Nicolas I Langlois, consisting of a decorative border or a view with the title printed from a separate copper, sometimes in a masked compartment, or a title is supplied in manuscript, probably by the original printseller. Nicolas I Langlois continued to make up copies until his death in 1703, when the Pérelle plates passed to his son Nicolas II, after whose death in 1707 they were bequeathed to Jean Mariette who replaced the Langlois imprint line with his own on some (but not all) of the plates. See BAL, Early printed books, no. 4048; Millard I, 136 and 137 (pp. 394--6); Fowler Cat. 245; Berlin Kat. 2483.

Given the high proportion in both copies of plates with the imprint of Mariette, Soane's two copies must be dated between 1707 when the fonds of Nicolas II Langlois was bequeathed to Jean Mariette, and 1742 when Mariette's stock passed to the Jombert family. The first plate of copy 1 has the title supplied in manuscript and reading 'Veues des belles Maisons de France'; the original plate imprint 'A Paris Chez N. Langlois' has Langlois's name crossed out and corrected in manuscript to 'Mariette rue S. Jacques aux colones dhercule', suggesting it was put together shortly after Jean Mariette obtained the Langlois fonds. Soane copy 2 is substantially the same with only minor variations of content and arrangement. The two copies each consist of seven parts, largely corresponding to the six title-coppers identified in BAL 4048:
1) A collection of views of Paris, untitled or with the general title as above: 18 unnumbered plates
2) 'Les Places, Portes, Fontaines, Eglises, Et Maisons De Paris': 58 unnumbered plates
3) 'Veües Des Maisons des Environs De Paris': 63 unnumbered plates
4) 'Veües Des Plus Beaux Endroits De Versailles': 63 unnumbered plates (64 in copy 2)
5) 'Veues Des Belles Maisons De France': 56 unnumbered plates
6) 'Diverses Veües De Chantilly': 20 unnumbered plates, followed by 21 unnumbered plates continuing part 5
7) 'Veües De Rome Et Des Environs': 22 unnumbered plates.

Copy Notes Copy 1: The plates in this copy are earlier impressions than those in copy 2 and include eight plates before letters; the plates are numbered in ink 1--272 with some numbers omitted and others repeated. Inscribed in pencil on verso of front free endpaper 0/14/0. This is almost certainly the copy bound by Peter Low in 1807 (see below), so must have been in Soane's possession by that date.
Copy 2: The first plate is different from the one in copy 1 and has no caption or part-title. It is the same plate as that used in both copies for the 'Veües De Rome' (part 7). There the title is engraved on a separate plate, in a section of the image underneath the central arch of the great portal. Here that area contains an alcove with statuary but bears traces of a pasted-down label. Inscribed in ink on verso of front free-endpaper S. Ant. and in pencil 284 Prints by Perelle, with a pencil drawing of a coat of arms. Attached to the second front free-endpaper of copy 2 is a letter to Soane from his friend, the tenor John Braham of 69 Baker Street, dated 23 February 1826, presenting him with the accompanying Book, and asking that it be returned if he already had a copy. It is not clear when this volume was acquired by Soane. A copy of 'Perelle's Vues des Belles Maisons de France oblong folio elegt. in Calf numerous plates' was apparently purchased from the Weale catalogue 1830 for 3 guineas. (Priv. Corr. XVI.E.7.10; Spiers Box.). Also in the Soane archive is an undated handwritten list of books on paper watermarked '1812', including 'Vues des Batimens de France - par Perelle - 1 Volume Quarto containing several hundred plates' at the price of 6 guineas. (Spiers Box).

Binding Copy 1: C19th half calf, marbled-paper boards, gilt-ruled spine direct-lettered in gilt 'Veues Des Belles Maisons de France/ A Paris MCCCLXVI'. Almost certainly the copy bound by Peter Low for 14s. on 25 March 1807. (Spiers Box, book binding).
Copy 2: C18th mottled calf, double gilt-ruled borders, blind-tooled central panel with corner ornaments, gilt double-ruled spine, red morocco spine-label lettered in gilt 'Viies de Perelle'.

Reference Number 5914


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