“DE LA BIBLIOTEQUE [SIC] DE MON FRERE L’EMPEREUR NAPOLEON”
(MARIE ANTOINETTE) (NAPOLEON BONAPARTE) GONDI, Jean François Paul de, Cardinal de Retz. Memoires du Cardinal de Retz. Geneve, 1777. Six volumes altogether. Rare 1777-79 editions of the four-volume Mémoires of Cardinal de Retz and the 1771 two-volume Mémoires de Guy Joli and Madame la Duchesse de Nemours, possessing an exceedingly rare provenance in association with two of the most legendary figures in French history— Marie-Antoinette and Napoleon Bonaparte. Five volumes (I, III-VI) are from the library of Marie-Antoinette, bound in contemporary calf gilt and displaying her distinctive gilt-tooled armorial coat of arms on the boards, along with her gilt-stamped crowned cipher “CT” on the spines. Volume II, bound in contemporary mottled calf gilt, contains a lengthy gift inscription on the front free endpaper by Joseph Bonaparte, brother of Napoleon Bonaparte—“de la biblioteque [sic] de mon frere l’ Empereur Napoleon” (from the library of my brother the Emperor Napoleon)— to Baron Claude Francois Méneval, Napoleon’s trusted private secretary and his “only really close friend and confidant.” $38,000.