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GONDOIN, Jacques (1737--1818)
Description des Écoles de chirurgie, dédiée à Monsieur De La Martiniere, ... premier chirurgien de Sa Majesté. Par M. Gondoin, architecte du roi, dessinateur des meubles de la couronne. ... Exemplaire de présent. Cet ouvrage n'a été tiré qu'à cent exemplaires.
A Paris de l'imprimerie de Ph.-D. Pierres, imprimeur ordinaire du roi. Et se trouve chez Cellot & les freres Jombert, libraires, 1780.
18, [2] p., etch. frontis., XXX engr. pl. (2 double-page, 1 fold.) ; 61.8 cm. (2º)

According to a rather unusual statement at the foot of the title-page, only 100 copies of this book were printed. Presumably the copperplates were then defaced or destroyed to prevent the printing of another edition. The reason for printing such a small edition is not clear, though it is possible that Gondoin's work - which is one of the most beautiful architectural books of the ancien régime - was aimed principally at collectors of éditions de luxe rather than only at those with an specialist interest in architecture. For a more detailed description of this book see BAL, Early printed books 1478-1840, no.1243. Hooked on Books 1.2.

Copy Notes Bought from Dulau & Co. for £3 13s. 6d. on 8 July 1806. According to a note at the foot of the bill, Dulau & Co. 'Received the above only yesterdau from Paris where it is exceeding scarce'. Soane had evidently also requested copies of Percier and Fontaine's Palais, maisons, et autres édifices modernes, dessinés à Rome (q.v.), of which 'our correspondant has not been able to meet with one copy', and of the second volume of Ledoux's L'architecture considérée sous le rapport de l'art, des moeurs et de la législation (q.v.), which 'is not yet published'. (Spiers Box. Misc. Booksellers). -- The margin of plate XVII is inscribed in pencil with measurements. At the foot of pl. XXIX, which shows the surgical amphitheatre in session, a previous owner of this copy has written a five-line pencil note in French explaining that he has added to the curved wall in the image the Latin inscription that was carved in the frieze after the building was completed. This inscription translates roughly into English as 'The ancient amphitheatres were open for the slaughter of men - ours are to teach them to live long.'

Binding C18th quarter red morocco, blue paste-decorated paper boards, gilt-tooled spine.

Reference Number 3833


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