French Decorative Bookbinding - Eighteenth Century

Jean-Pierre Jubert fl. 1771 - 1793?
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Planche XXXIX
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The binding shown above is found in a 1950 Paris publication entitled: Les plus belles reliures de la réunion des Bibliothèques Nationales. Paris, éditions des Bibliothèques Nationales de France, s.d. (ca. 1950), Edited and preface by - Émile Dacier. and below I have reproduced Dacier's description of this binding which is said to have contained the étiquette of Derome le jeune and a copy of this étiquette is reproduced within this text, I have enlarged this reproduction somewhat from the original so that we can get a closer look at this supposed Derome signature ticket. The plate is entitled Reliure a dentelle, par Derome le jeune.

Planche XXXIX description

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Comparative Diagram 1 - detail from Jubert's signed binding (Rahir 1140) vs Planche XXXIX detail.
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Comparative Diagram 2 - fers à  l'oiseau compared.
(click on this image to see an enlargement).

In Comparative Diagram 1, we can see that many imprints are identical including Jubert's fer à l'oiseau (jj-4). In Comparative Diagram 2, I have reproduced 4 different Jubert examples of the fer à  l'oiseau, below these we see the Jubert jj-4 imprint compared with Derome and Dubuisson examples. The fer à  l'oiseau is probably the single most diagnostically important tool of the 18th century, yet it seems the least studied, nowhere will you find a detailed diagram of all the important specimens, classified by the workshops from which they derive. Mainly due I suspect to the fact that most the known examples have been attributed in the past, to Derome. Nearly every binding where these imprints are present has been systematically attributed to the workshop of Derome. We have now been able to separate the Derome and Dubuisson examples, and similarly we can separate these from the Jubert examples. I must point out again that the Derome imprint of this type (dj-4) has yet to be encountered in any binding decorated by Jubert. In the Planche XXXiX example shown above, we see two different forms. however Dacier mentions only 'the' fer à  l'oiseau as being a particular personalized tool of Derome, and notes that the same identical tool is found on two other bindings that were in the Exposition of 1929 ( Les plus belles reliures de la réunion des Bibliothèques Nationales. numbers 360 and 361), but these did not contain Derome's signature tickets. (see this reference reproduced below from the 1929 Catalogue.



Comparative Diagram 3 - enlarged jj-4 imprint vs dj-4 imprint.

As we can observe from the enlarged imprints in Comparative Diagram 3, the differences in these imprints are so significant that they can be easily recognized. This we can only assume that Dacier was influenced by the presence of Derome's etiquette and probably referred to Thoinan's planche as well, or was he he looking at Rahir's version of Derome?. On the next page we look at Rahir's example of a Derome binding, no surprise here, it is another by Jubert.

click on this link to go to the next page: Rahir's Derome, gold tooled by Jubert

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