Seventeenth Century Finishing Tools - France

L'Atelier de Macé and Antoine Ruette.


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Antoine Ruette binding 1644

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The binding is found in Esmerian's 1972 auction catalogue; BIBLIOTHEQUE RAPHAËL ESMERIAN. Deuxième partie : Reliures de quelques ateliers du XVIIè siècle. Livres en divers genres des XVIIè et XVIIIè siècles. Paris, Palais Galliéra, juin et décembre 1972 ; in-4, (25 cm x 32,5), I have to reproduce page 55 and 56 of this catalogue where Esmerian claims that Antoine Ruette made a lot of bindings and that they were in general, mediocre. Following this he presents some stunning Antoine Ruette bindings, the one shown above is the first binding presented in his chapter on Antoine Ruette. We are going to present in this inventory every Antoine Ruette binding for which there is a photographic representation, you will be surprised to see that there isn't a mediocre one in the lot. Esmerian has fallen into the trap of quoting the "EXPERTS" mainly Hobson who has quoted Thoinan... but where are these mediocre bindings?... and even if there was any they would not change the fact that Antoine was on of the greatest binders of the 17th century. The buck stops here on calling his work mediocre. Experts are notorious for their mistakes, Thoinan made them, Esmerian made them, both failed to recognize the work and tools of some of the greatest binders that ever lived!

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