Seventeenth Century Finishing Tools - France

L'Atelier de Macé and Antoine Ruette.


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Macé Ruette binding 1637

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The image above is from a 2013 Alde auction catalogue, Biblioth¸que Claude L. III,Lundi 25 février 2013, Alde - Paris.
Below I have copied the item (17) details, where we read that Macé Ruette became the Royal Binder in 1629, and not in 1634 as reported by Thoinan and Esmerian. This binding sold for the ridiculously low sum of 1.700 Euros. Probably 10 times this amount would not approach its true value, produced nearly 400 years ago by one of the most important bookbinders in the entire history of French Bookbinding, inventor of pointille tools and decoration, the first to experiment with marbled endpapers, and supposed by some to be infact Le Maite Dorer himself. He and his son were the Royal Binders for a combined period at least 40 years, setting the trends while at the same time producing a wide range of decorative binding styles.... and now their priceless works of art sell for the price of a cheap second hand car?

BARCLAY. Satyricon. Leyde, Elzévir, 1637. In-12, maroquin rouge, décor doré sur les plats, dos orné, dentelle intérieure et tranches dorées (Reliure de l'époque). Exemplaire réglé. Très FINE RELIURE DÉCORÉE DE MACÉ RUETTE. Macé Ruette (1584 - v. 1644) qui portait le titre de Relieur du Roi dès 1629 (et non 1634 comme l'ont dit Thoinan et Esmerian) aurait exercé jusqu'en 1638 selon R. Esmerian qui a identifié et recensé sa production (mais n'a pas connu cette reliure). Il a travaillé pour Louis XIII, Anne d'Autriche, Marie de Medicis et Habert de Montmort. Les reliures décorées du XVIIe siècle et notamment celles de Macé Ruette sont fort peu communes. Restauration aux coiffes. Gardes renouvelées.

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