Precious copy with dedication of
L’Histoire des Chevaliers de l’Ordre de Jérusalem
contemporary bound by Clovis Ève
for the queen Marie de Medici and king Henri IV.
The binding, and it’s quite rare,
bears the interwoven ciphers
of Henri IV and Marie de Medici
repeated 4 times on each cover.
Boyssat P. Histoire des chevaliers de l’ordre de l’hospital de S. Jean de Hierusalem. Contenant leur admirable Institution et Police. La Suite des guerres de la terre Saincte ou ils se sont trouvez. La Conqueste et les troys grands Sièges de Rhodes. Le Merveilleux Siège de Malte. Leurs continus voyages entreprises batailles Assaultz rencontres & autres exploitz de guerre jusques à nostre temps.
Vol. II. Par P. Boyssat.
Lyon, chez les Héritiers Guillaume Rouillé, 1612.
4to [240 x 160 mm], full limp olive morocco, covers and spine entirely decorated with fleur-de-lis, arms of Marie de Medici at the center of the covers, Henri IV’s and the queen’s crowned ciphers repeated 4 times on each cover, gilt edges. Contemporary binding from the workshop of Clovis Ève.
Dedication copy, entirely ruled.
First edition of l’Histoire des Chevaliers de L’ordre de L’Hopital de Saint-Jean de Jérusalem, by Pierre de Boyssat, a French historian, born in Vienna, Dauphiné, and who died in 1613. He was deputy bailiff of his home town.
Precious binding from the workshop of Clovis Ève for the queen Marie de Medici with her arms and the widow’s tassel, and the crowned and interwoven cipher of the queen, M, and the king Henri IV, H, who had just been assassinated.
The presence on the same binding of the queen and the king’s cipher is extremely rare and Raphael Esmérian (Bibliothèque Raphaël Esmérian ; Deuxième partie. Paris, 8 décembre 1972, n° 49 et 50) could not get his hands on one: two volumes very similar to ours only bore the queen’s cipher ; they were still sold, 45 years ago, 43 000 F (environ 7 000 €) and 120 000 F (environ 18 000 €) respectively, which was a considerable price at the time.
This copy, the second and last volume of the history of the knights of Jerusalem, was one of the masterpieces of the famous catalogue of the library Belin, Paris, 1912, dedicated to « Livres avec Riches Reliures historiques des xviè, xviiè et xviiiè siècles ». Described under n° 18, it then sold for the also considerable price of 4 000 F OR. At the time, bibliophiles could find collector books starting at 10 F OR and the famous Belin catalogue presented exceptional books starting at de 300 F OR.
« Marie de Medici, eldest daughter of Francesco I, great-duke of Tuscany, and of Joanna, archduchess of Austria, was born in Florence on April 26th 1575 ; she became Henri IV’s second wife, whom she married by proxy in Florence on October 5th, 1600, and whom she joined in Lyon on the 9th of December; close to the Spanish party and the Ligue, she reestablished the Jesuits but took care not to meddle in public affairs. Marie de Medici was only crowned queen on 13 May 1610, in Saint‑Denis ; the following day, Henri IV was assassinated and the queen was declared regent the day after, on May 15th.
Like all of the members of her family, Marie de Medici protected artists ; she ordered the construction of the Luxembourg palace and the creation of the cours-la-reine ; she also liked books and literature of which many were bound by the last Ève, by Ruette and by Henri le Duc.
The volume is decorated with a superb engraved title frontispiece.