Seventeenth Century Finishing Tools - France

L'Atelier de Macé and Antoine Ruette.


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Antoine Ruette binding 1661

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This fine color reproduction is found in a 2004 Chritie's auction catalogue, SALE 5071, COLLECTION MICHEL WITTOCK 2EME PARTIE, RELIURES A DECOR, 8 November 2004, Paris. Estimated to be worth from $1,950 - $2,599 USD, it sold for $5,345 USD. I have reproduced the item (173) details below. Within these notes we find the inevitable reference to Esmerian and Hobson, for this portion of the text I have given an approximate translation. We now know that most of the Caumartin Semaine Saint fanfare bindings were made after 1685, many nearer to 1700, so there was no Caumartin concurrence. This story is found in Esmerian's introductory statements in his chapter on Antoine Ruette, as a way of explaning, I suppose a rash of mediocre decorative fanfare bindings, (that have yet to be reproduced by anyone). Where is the proof? where are these poor bindings? and why has not one of the detractors produced any evidence?

EDITION PUBLIÉE ET RELIÉE PAR ANTOINE RUETTE, FILS DE MACÉ RUETTE. L'atelier de reliure d'Antoine se fit une spécialité de couvrir en nombre les productions de l'imprimerie, entrant ainsi en concurrence directe avec les diverses Semaines saintes reliées dans l'atelier des Caumartin. Riche reliure compartimentée décorée au pointillé, agencée autour d'une étoile à 8 branches, typique des productions de cet atelier. On peut voir deux variantes de ce décor sur la même édition, dans la vente Esmerian (II, n° 39 et 40); ces deux reliures sont citées par Hobson dans Les reliures à la fanfare (1935, pp. 64-65).

EDITION PUBLISHED AND BOUND BY ANTOINE RUETTE, SON OF MACÉ RUETTE. Antoine's bookbinding workshop specialized in decorative bindings for many of his publications, so entering in direct competition with the various Semaine Sainte publications bound and decorated by the Caumartin workshop . Rich binding compartmentalized and decorated with pointille tools, typical productions of the workshop arranged around an 8-pointed star. We can see two variants of this decoration on the same edition, in Esmerian's 1972 auction catalogue (II, n° 39 and 40); These two covers are cited by Hobson in Les reliures à la fanfare (1935, pp. 64-65).

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