|I spotted this Royal Almanach on eBay in June 2010 (see listing). I show it here somewhat restored, I was very interested in this item as I recognized it as a Dubuisson after buying a similar 1752 Semaine Sainte, but further to this I was keen to get a closer look at the unusual outer Roulette. While both bindings are decorated with an identical inside roulette as well as inner dentelle (roulette shown in Comparative Diagram 2). We see that Dubuisson has made use of a different outer roulette, Most of Dubuisson's bindings are framed with a drawer handle roulette, here is a very unusual exception. I have enlarged this rare roulette in Comparative Diagram 3.|
|The importance of this new roulette will become immediately evident in the binding shown below. Here we see another example of it, this is the only other binding by Dubuisson that I know of, where we find this roulette. Probably this binding has been dismissed by some experts due to a number of rare or exceptional imprints. Again we find the Arms of a Cardinal where the item is described as bearing the Arms of Pierre Guerin de Tencin archbishop of Lyon. Here the matter is a bit more complicated as He became a Cardinal in 1739, but Dubuisson wasn't officially binding until 1746, also this binding is found on a 1743 Collombat edition, which is very often found with a Dubuisson plaque decoration. It may turn out that this binding was actually executed around or after 1754. However a closer look at the various imprints may help us to further evaluate the true chronology of this exceptional Dubuisson example.|
|There is perhaps no better place to start our examination than with imprint pd-12. Almost always found guarding the corners of Dubuisson's dentelles and even here in this all over design it still occupies it's favored position. Even though many other binders of this period closely copied this tool and it's usage, high resolution enlargements can help us to identify Dubuisson's work. In Comparative digram 4, I show four examples, Two that are found on bindings signed by Padeloup, but decorated by Dubuisson (a) and (c) and one that is found on a rare signed Dubuisson binding (d). Example (b) is from our 1743 Semaine Sainte shown above (click in this diagram to see a 600 dpi enlargement.) While the quality of the various reproductions varies considerably we are still able to imagine that these four imprints were all created with the same Dubuisson tool. Below in Comparative Diagram 5, I show most of the remaining imprints , in some case I have extracted just the imprint itself, in other cases I have left the imprint within the field of the surrounding imprints. Occasionally a new imprint, that is one that we have not yet catalogued, will cause an older imprint to be renamed, such as the case of pd-29 where an even larger specimen has been discovered.|
|We have found then, quite a few new imprints in this single binding and perhaps not the least is pd-32a-2, you would have thought that this imprint would have shown up before now, Dubuisson however, did not use this tool as often as Derome. These two imprints, Dubuisson's original and Derome's copy, are very similar, someone depending on rubbings alone would probably not see the difference. Even in my enlargement shown below in Comparative Diagram 6, one has to look closely to see them. I have indicated with blue arrows, the feature that is for me, noticeably different. Dubuisson's lower pod appears to have decidedly larger lips, while the stem that issues from the mouth of the pod is more tapered than that of Derome's example. Notice the "actual size" imprint, this may show up on your monitor somewhat smaller that actual depending on the kind of resolution set up you have, the actual imprint is less than 2 centimeters wide.|
|We could go on to study each new tool, however I will just point out a few observations about a few of them. Firstly pd-9-2 is another tool that I am wondering about, why haven't I encountered it before now? Larger and more like Derome's copy, perhaps a more thorough review of all pd-9 imprints will reveal more examples. Pd-38a and b is a tool that was wide spread around the time of Derome, every binder used something like this, however Dubuisson appears to hardly ever used this tool and perhaps only added it to his kit later on in his career. I had to renumber an imprint that I had already assigned this number to (see pd-41a and b) I changed this because I had already given it a number in Deromes catalogue and followed that numbering in the Jubert Catalogue|
Click on this link to go to see more bindings decorated by Dubuisson, signed by Padeloup.
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