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MONUMENT DU COSTUME
re-engraved by Henri-Joseph DUBOUCHET after Moreau le Jeune and Freudeberg, with text by Restif de la Bretonne and notices by Grand-Carteret and Burty

Première [deuxième, troisième] suite d'Estampes pour servir à l'Histoire des Mœurs & du Costume en France dans le dix huitième Siècle.
Estampes de Freudeberg pour le Monument du Costume Gravées par Dubouchet (vol. 1)
[with]
Estampes de Moreau le Jeune … (vols. 2 & 3)
Paris: L. Conquet, 1881-1883.

Three volumes, complete. Quarto (28.8 x 20.0 cm). Half dark blue morocco and marbled boards by Champs (stamped ticket), edges uncut, tricolor silk marker ribbons. Slight wear to extremities of binding and occasional foxing to some pages, else fine.

One of a "tirage exceptionnel" of 20 "collections de grand choix" of the engravings in three states (pure etching, etching with preliminary engraving, and finished engraving before all letters) on papier du japon blanc extra-fort de la Fabrique Impériale (the remaining sets, limited to 490 but in actuality probably not many more than 300 at most, were of single states only and not on extra-forte paper).* The frontispiece portraits (Freudeberg after Gottfried Mind, Moreau after Charles-Nicolas Cochin II), title-pages and tables of plates are also present in three states. The first suite comprises 12 engravings after Sigismond Freudeberg; the second and third suites each comprise 12 engravings after Jeane-Michel Moreau le Jeune. This set is complete with the 171 pages of text (and four tables), entirely engraved by L. Smith and printed within delicate engraved borders, also on white japon, and retains all of the original tissue guards, printed with engraved titles and in the first suite with engraved verses. Copies of the text (limited to 370 on Holland and, more expensively, japon) were offered by separate subscription. The prospectus (engraved and on japon) for the text and other notices from the publisher are bound in at the end of the third volume.

A truly exceptional set of Conquet's noted issue of the Monument du Costume, with very fine engravings (images 102 x 70 mm) after Moreau le Jeune and Freudeberg. Freudeberg's suite, conceived 1773-4, follows the morning-to-night ritual from "Le Lever" to "Le Coucher" of different aristocratic women portrayed as a collective élégante. Moreau's first suite of 1776-7 observes the pregnancy and first motherhood of the virtuous Céphise in an aristocratic nuclear family apropos Rousseau. Moreau's second suite, from 1781-3, records the occasional activities of a young nobleman of leisure but concludes with an intimate family farmhouse scene ("Le Vrai Bonheur") again reminiscent of Rousseau and Greuze. For his edition of these suites of scénes du monde et de l'intimité, Conquet had the plates re-engraved by Henri-Joseph Dubouchet, a leading academic engraver, recipient of the Prix de Rome and professor of printmaking at the École du Livre in Paris. The text pages, wholly engraved by L. Smith, include the original introductions by Jean-Henri Eberts (banker of Strasbourg who commissioned the suites) and explications by Nicolas Edme Restif de la Bretonne (labeled "Voltaire of the chambermaids"), and new appreciations by John Grand-Carteret and Philippe Burty. A bibliophilic high point of the early 1880's exemplifying the academically illustrated "livre de 1880," this re-issue illustrates the degree to which the bibliophilic and philosophic ideals of the late 18th century came back into vogue a hundred years later. Brivois 290-291 ("… des épreuves gravées avec une perfection rare"); Vicaire VI, 1069-1070; Colas 1128-1129 (not knowing these 20 special copies); Carteret, IV, 292 ("Parfaite reproduction, très rare et cotée, de ces planches célèbres, fort bien gravées; elles ont eu un très vif success").

Provenance: presented by Conquet to M. E. Poisson, with a warm signed presentation inscription in vol. 2 (which bears the earliest publication date); Andres Roure (his gilt leather bookplate in first volume).
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Note: The first volume includes an extra state of "Le Lever," earlier than the other three states included as called for, with a tissue guard singularly lacking any printed text.

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Price: $3,250
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