Recueil des plans profils et elevations des plusieurs palais chasteaux eglises sepultures grotes et hostels, bâtis dans Paris, et aux environs, avec beaucoup de magnificence, par les meilleurs architectes de royaume, deseignez, mesurés, et gravez par Jean Marot architecte parisien.
(No imprint, but Paris, mid 1670s ?).
Small folio. Engraved title leaf, (114) engraved plates on (101) leaves, with contemporary manuscript index leaf at end. Contemporary full calf, neatly rebacked using original gilt-tooled spine, which incorporates the SX monogram of the Earls of Essex. Engraved armorial bookplate of Algernon Capell, 2nd Earl of Essex, on verso of engraved title leaf, and early shelf label H6 on front pastedown endpaper. A little wear and loss of leather surface at lower outer corners of binding, but a good, clean copy. George Atkinson’s copy.
A good, clean copy of the “Petit Marot”, Jean Marot’s well-known volume of etched elevations, sections and plans of the best buildings in Paris and its environs by French architects of the middle years of the seventeenth century. It is an important ingredient in the literature of French architecture, particularly for its coverage of Parisian town houses, but an obstacle to understanding its publication history has been that it was not until 1738 or a little later that Jean Mariette brought out a revised edition in which the plates were for the first time numbered. In copies of the volume marketed in the lifetime of Marot himself, who died in 1679, or marketed by his son, Jean Marot junior, between 1679 and 1686, the number of plates tends to vary from copy to copy, and the best that Marot’s first modern bibliographer, A.Mauban, could do was to record that the total of plates varies between 112 and 115 (Mauban, Jean Marot architecte et graveur Parisien, 1944, p.99, although the numbers 112 and 115 given there may perhaps be typographical errors for 122 and 125), and our copy contains 114 plates printed on 101 leaves. Of the plates in a copy of an early issue listed by Mauban, our present copy does not contain the two plates of a “maison particulière” in Paris (numbered 49 and 50 in the 1738 edition), six plates of “églises et portails inventés par Jean Marot” (numbered 97-101 and 113 in the 1738 edition), and one plate from a group of plates illustrating the tombs of the French monarchs at Saint Denis (this plate numbered 109 in the 1738 edition), while it includes a plate of “Porte de la chambre du Roy à Paris au Chasteau du Louvre” not listed by Mauban as part of the “Petit Marot” but recorded by him separately on p.171. As it happens, our copy carries the engraved armorial bookplate of Algernon Capell, 2nd Earl of Essex (1670-1710), dated 1701, and incorporates at the end a manuscript index in a late seventeenth century or very early eighteenth century hand, showing that the content of the volume has always been as it is at present, and it seems clear to us that the volume is as put together at some point in the last quarter of the seventeenth century, particularly as the primary book collector in the Capell family seems to have been the 2nd Earl of Essex’s father, Arthur Capell, 1st Earl of Essex (1632-1683), a friend of John Evelyn and a prominent figure in English public life. If so, it is likely to be of an earlier state of the “Petit Marot” than that recorded by Mauban, for the six plates of “églises et portails” which are not in our copy are the last meaningful group of plates listed by Mauban and thus would very probably have been late additions to the volume as Marot had originally planned it. BAL Cat 2048; Millard, French Books 118; Berlin Cat 2466; Cicognara 555; Fowler Cat 193.