Spectacular map with large printed patterns of French religious art, 1877-79
Louis de FARCY: MÉLANGES DE DÉCORATIONS RELIGIEUSES. Year 1-3 in 12 parts [all published]. With 100 mostly coloured and partly Atlas and Elephant Folio plates. Angers: 1877-79.
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Louis de FARCY, Ed.: MÉLANGES DE DÉCORATIONS RELIGIEUSES. Year 1-3 in 12 parts [all published]. With 22 (of 23) chromolithographic or tinted, 60 (instead of 59) lithographic and 3 (of 4) wood-engraved plates, where of some in Atlas, Elephant, Royal and Medium Folio and therefore multiply folded, as well as 14 (of 15) mounted photogravures and one unique leaf with mounted paper and colour samples. Angers: Published by the editor (Ballu-Blaive) 1877-79.
Atlas Folio, Crown Folio and formats in-between. 117:90 to 40,5:29,5 cm. 57 pages of text (on partly folded folio leafs), 1 folded quarto leaf with 4 pages of table of contents (1 flysheet with editor's aviso within), 1 leaf with mounted paper and colour samples, 99 illustrated sheets and leafs alongside with numerous folio text leafs, all loose in 12 original publisher's folio envelopes, where of 8 with multicolour illustrated titles. Letterpress, lithography, chromolithography or tinting, photogravure and wood engraving, in contemporary map with leather spine, 3 flaps and textile clasp, ornamental gilt title on spine.
Spectacular and outstandingly rare collection of printed patterns for use in religious art, originally drawn, compiled and self published by French writer on art history and antiquities, archaeologist and collector Louis de Farcy (1846-1921).
Content: Trained in museological work and particularly in conservation as Custos at the Angers Diocese museum since 1874, Farcy with this encyclopaedic collection describes (style, technique), analyses iconographically and depicts hundreds of decorative forms after copying original objects like „vases, reliquaries, embroideries of art“ (preface), interior design, furniture and windows in numerous French cathedrals and his own collections for more than 3 years. In his preface Farcy states that he intended to deliver „a true museum of religious art objects for designing the interior of churches, based on the traditions of the middle ages“ and that he hereby presents elements „that can not be found anywhere else“.
Condition: Spine of map worn and bumped at margins, envelopes partly torn and with some minor faults, some of the the leafs slightly torn and finger-stained, several decent library stamps („Collectio cultur. artist. Prov. austr. hung. S. J.“) at inner side of covers and on envelopes, otherwise well preserved set of this monumental, particularly rare work of striking beauty.
Rarity: The map is unknown by scholars of Farcy's bio-bibliography. Furthermore only two sets are traceable in institutional holdings worldwide according to OCLC/WorldCat, KVK and viaLibri Libraries (V & A, BnF). Both of these sets show less plates then the present. Drouot (2004ff.) shows no auction result at all.
References: Maria-Anne Privat-Savigny: Louis de Farcy. In: Dictionnaire critique des historiens de l’art actifs en France de la Révolution à la Première Guerre mondiale. (URL: https://www.inha.fr/fr/ressources/publications/publications-numeriques/dictionnaire-critique-des-historiens-de-l-art.html (29.9.2018).