Catalogue d’une très importante collection de livres d’architecture [other title:] Recueils d’ornements propres à la décoration des édifices et aux arts industriels par les maîtres ornemanistes français et étrangers des XVIe, XVIIe, et XVIIIe siècles; livres illustrés du XVe au XVIIIe siècle; estampes, dessins (catalogue of a portion of the collection of Edmond Foulc, sold by Albert Besombes with the expertise of André Desvouges, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 3-6 June 1914)
Paris, Librairie Albert Besombes, 1914
(25 cm), viii, 190 pp., 20 plates. Lots 1-614 (books), 1-68 (prints and drawings). “Liste des prix d’adjudication” bound in. Morocco-backed boards, a collector’s binding (original wrappers bound in). - This remarkable collection had been sold privately in 1911 to J.P. Morgan (1837-1913), for 750,000 FF; upon its arrival in New York, however, it was judged by his son, John Pierpont “Jack” Morgan, Jr., and by his librarian, Belle da Costa Greene, to be unsatisfactory. The collection was returned to Paris to be sold as the Foulc collection, not in any way as part of Morgan’s library. The prices realised were exceptional, and mark the apogee for books of ornament: ever since, this type of book has languished on the market. The sculpture and other works of art collected by Foulc – some 200 objects, “the most outstanding group of works of the later Middle Ages and the Renaissance anywhere available today” – was bought en bloc for more than one million dollars by the Pennsylvania (now Philadelphia) Museum of Art (quotation from Fiske Kimball, “The Edmond Foulc Collection” in Bulletin of the Pennsylvania Museum, volume 25, February 1930, pp.4-11). ¶ Superb copy.