Seventeenth Century Finishing Tools - France

L'Atelier de Macé and Antoine Ruette.


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Antoine Ruette binding 1645

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This binding is found in the Christie's 2004 Catalogue, SALE 5071 , COLLECTION MICHEL WITTOCK , 2EME PARTIE, RELIURES A DECOR, 8 November 2004, Paris. A search of their online catalogue for this sale, reveals that items 231, 232, 233 are missing, so I cannot say exactly whether this item was sold, however estimates were from 9.800 to 15.000 $USD. I have included below the item details from the Christie's catalogue for this binding that is entirely in the style and tools of Macé Ruette, and yet with a date of 1645, would have to have been made by Antoine Ruette. Here is a big shock for those who want to say Antoine was not a great binder. This binding is as good as any that Macé made, high precision and flawless execution results in a binding that proves that Antoine Ruette was a true master of this art. What we have to remember here is that any mistake, a flubbed fillet stands out like a sore thumb, you cannot make a mistake without ruining the decoration which means having to start all over from the beginning with a new binding. An absolutely steady hand and strong nerves are required as well as sixth sense that tells you when the tool is placed exactly right.

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