Partly first, rare, collective edition
of Ronsard’s Œuvres.
A very beautiful copy
preserved in its contemporary overlapping vellum,
bearing the signature of Ronsard’s contemporary erudite,
the Swiss-German Joachim Zollikofer.
Ronsard, Pierre de. Les Œuvres de Pierre de Ronsard gentilhomme vendômois. Revues, & corrigées par l’Autheur peu avant son décès, augmentées en cette édition de plusieurs pièces non encore vues. Avecques plusieurs Commentaires sur les Amours, les Odes & les Hymnes. Rédigées en X Tomes. Au Roy. Paris, Nicolas Buon, 1604. Avec Privilège de Sa Majesté.
10 parts in 5 volumes 12mo [140 x 80 mm] ; overlapping vellum, flat spines, handwritten name of author, part and signature of owner on the upper covers and spine, sprinkled edges. Contemporary binding.
Tenth collective edition, partly first, rare, of Ronsard’s Œuvres, printed by P. Vitray, father of the printer of the Bible said de Vitray (or Vitré).
The poem “Au Trésorier de l’Espagne” (VII, 254-259) is here published for the first time.
Tchemerzine, V, 486 ; Brunet, IV, 1375; Laumonier, pp.74-76 ; Rahir, Bibliothèque de l’amateur, 620.
“In this edition and the following, the Odes and parts of the Hymnes are commented for the first time.” (Deschamps, Supplément au manuel)
In fact, this edition contains new commentaries.
“Lovely edition decorated with woodcut portraits.” (Etude sur la vie de P. de Ronsard, P. Blanchemain, p.72, XI)
Printed in italic type, it is decorated with 7 portraits of Ronsard by J. Cousin, with some very fine portraits of kings: Henri II, Henri III, Charles IX; and with numerous historiated initials.
“His verse always means something. In his short pieces, in his familiar epistles, in his elegies, Ronsard’s style is not only irreproachable, in regards to time passing, but still full of vigor, verve, elegance and even grace; his imagination is everywhere and so inventive, fecund, noble and bold. Finally, he was a poet, and a great poet. The collection of the removed works, which is only present in the 1617 edition, is rarely present in the other editions.” (Viollet Le Duc)
“Through his ample work, the variety of his themes, the control of the most diverse rhythm, Ronsard really is the major star of this Pleiade that he built with his master Dorat, his friends Baïf, Du Bellay, Belleau, Jodelle and Tyard. Never was there an official poet (he became one in 1558) who better represented the art of his country nor was ever more revolutionary in his time.” (C. Bonnefoy)
Pierre de Ronsard, a Vendômois, could claim the double title of prince of the French poets and first modern French poet. He is in fact the first for whom one can draw a life line where every step is marked by a new text and some transformation of the poetic art.
This edition is not common, it seems to be quite rare in contemporary binding.
“Ronsard’s collective editions are hard to find in contemporary binding; the copies that kept their vellum cover constitute a very sought-after condition.” (Nicolas Ducimetière)
“The Blanchemain-Maggs copy, in brown modern shagreen, did not have the three blank leaves.”
It was 136 mm high ; De Backer did not own parts VII and VIII bound in one volume; Delteil only catalogued part I; Deschamps, in the Supplément au Manuel, only mentions one copy, Chaponay’s, bound in the 18th century; Tchemerzine mentions a copy in old binding, that could be the present copy: “March 6th 1929, ten parts in 5 volumes, old limp vellum 6200 francs”.
A very beautiful copy, complete with its blank leaves, with wide margins, (height: 140 mm), preserved in its very attractive contemporary overlapping vellum with the covers tainted yellow.
Provenance : Libraries of Hieronymus Zollikofer, a Swiss-German contemporary of Ronsard, with handwritten ex-libris and monogram, David Couneler, with ex-libris and A. Herminjard, from Lausanne, the erudite editor of the Correspondance des réformateurs.