THE COPY OF MADAME DE POMPADOUR, WITH HER GILT-EMBOSSED COAT OF ARMS: SAUMAISE’S IMPORTANT APOLOGIE ROYALE POUR CHARLES I, 1650, A MAJOR DEFENSE OF THE DIVINE RIGHT OF KINGS AGAINST JOHN MILTON, WITH RARE ENGRAVED FRONTISPIECE PORTRAT OF CHARLES I(CHARLES I) (POMPADOUR, Madame de) SAUMAISE, Claude de. Apologie Royale pour Charles I. Roy D’Angleterre. Paris: Mathurin Dupuis, 1650. Quarto, early 18th-century polished brown calf, gilt arms of Madame de Pompadour on covers, elaborately gilt-decorated spine, raised bands, russet morocco spine label. $6800.First edition in French of Saumaise’s influential refutation of Milton’s Eikonoklastes (1649) and Tenure of Kings and Magistrates (1649), published shortly after Saumaise’s anonymously issued 1649 edition in Latin, widely held as commissioned by Charles II in defense of his father—a work whose argument for divine right monarchy takes on Milton in “competing for the philosophical ‘high ground’”—featuring the rarely found engraved frontispiece of Charles I. This copy with an impressive provenance, once belonging to Madame de Pompadour, mistress to King Louis XV, with her gilt-embossed coat of arms on both covers.Distinguished French scholar Claude de Saumaise (alt. Salmasius) was likely commissioned by Charles II to author Apologie Royale as a defense of Charles I and principles of absolute monarchy, and especially to counter Milton’s Eikonoklastes (1649) and his Tenure of Kings and Magistrates (1649). Saumaise “was considered one of the foremost Protestant scholars of his day, with a European-wide reputation. The book he produced is a scholarly refutation of the principles of rebellion and a systematic representation for the theory of divine right monarchy, non-resistance and passive obedience.” Here he argues for “the vesting of patriarchal power in Adam which is subsequently inherited by all kings and fathers.” He was writing “specifically for an educated, European audience who were discussing the implications of events in England. He was also aiming to convince the French government of Hueguenot loyalty. His significance lies more in the fact that his work was commissioned by Charles II and as such was the official, Royalist theoretical response to the regicide. In taking on Milton, Saumaise was competing for the philosophical ‘high ground’ in the debate… Saumaise, and by implication the exiled court, was arguing strongly for the traditional view that authority is vested in God in scripture and in lawful patriarchal power” (Lacey, Cult of King Charles, 90-91). Saumaise’s Apologie Royale, the first edition in French of his anonymously issued Defenso regia pro Carolo I (1649), further provoked Milton’s Pro populo anglicano defensio in 1651. Saumaise was in the process of authoring a response to Pro populo when he died in 1653. With rarely found engraved frontispiece portrait of Charles I. Containing engraved royal arms on the title page, engraved initials, headpieces. Occasional mispagination as issued without loss of text. Text in French. Graesse VI:249. See Brunet V:93. The copy of Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, Marquise de Pompadour, with her elaborately gilt-embossed coat of arms. Known as Madame de Pompadour, she was the highly intelligent and refined mistress of King Louis XV. Early owner inscription dated 1839. Small partial leaf in manuscript hand tipped to front pastedown. Bookplate. Inkstamp to corner of rear pastedown.Interior generally fresh, lightest edge-wear, tiny bit of loss to spine end of bright gilt boards. A highly desirable near-fine copy with an especially significant provenance.
Apologie Royale pour Charles I
We're sorry, this item has been sold