LOVELY CONTEMPORARY CALF-GILT WITH THE ARMS OF THE HOUSE OF BOURBON-PENTHIÈVRE
(ANONYMOUS). Le Comte de Dunois. Paris: Chez Loüis Billaine, 1671. 12mo, contemporary full dark brown speckled calf, elaborately gilt-decorated spine, covers with the arms of the House of Bourbon-Penthièvre, raised bands, red morocco spine label. $2200.
First edition of this novel, preceded by a dedicatory letter to the Duchess of Nemours, this copy finely bound in contemporary calf-gilt with the arms of Louis-Jean-Marie de Bourbon, Duke of Penthièvre, son of the Count of Toulouse, Grand Admiral of France, and a renowned book collector.
Louis-Jean-Marie de Bourbon was the son of Louis Alexandre de Bourbon and his wife Marie Victoire de Noailles; he was also a grandson of Louis XIV of France and his mistress, Madame de Montespan. In 1733, at the age of six, he was made a field marshal, and the next year, a lieutenant general. In 1740, he received the Order of the Toison d’Or from the king, and in 1742, the Order of the Holy Spirit. He served in the military under his maternal uncle, the Duke of Noailles, and fought brilliantly at Dettingen in 1743 and Fontenoy in 1745. Penthièvre was one of the wealthiest men of his day and probably the richest in France. He was known to be very charitable. Bibliographers variously attribute authorship of Le Comte de Dunois to Mme. Desjardins, Mme. de Villedieu, Comtesse Henriette de Murat or to Pierre d’Ortigue de Vaumorière. Later engraved armorial bookplate of the House of Rochefoucauld.
Expert restoration to corners and spine ends. A lovely volume in excellent condition with noble provenance.