L'autographe. Paris. 3 vols. Oblong folio (ca. 325 x 470 mm). (4), 208, VIII, 209-408 pp. VIII, 404 (instead of 408) pp. (4), IV, 224 (instead of 232), (16), 208 pp. Title-pages printed in red and black. With numerous facsimile drawings. - III (Bound with vol. II): The same. .
$ 1,001 / 850 €
First editions. - A considerable run of the semi-monthly (and later weekly) periodical of autograph facsimiles, issued by the French journalist Villemessant between 1863 and 1872 as a supplement to Le Figaro, in a decorative three-volume set. The encompassing set reproduces the handwriting of many prominent figures of history, including Napoleon Bonaparte, Horatio Nelson, Giuseppe Garibaldi, and Lord Palmerston, as well as such artists as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, writers like Alexandre Dumas, the composers Hector Berlioz and Franz Liszt, and scientists like Alexander von Humboldt.
In addition, momentous documents such as the warrant of execution of Mary, Queen of Scots are included. - An original autograph by the French politician Adolphe Cochery is pasted to p. 196 of vol. III, next to a facsimile letter by Cochery. Vol. II wants pp. 219-222. The 1865 journal bound with volume II lacks pp. 61f. and 65-68. Vol. III. wants pp. 121-128. Red binding somewhat rubbed, extremities bumped; small edge flaws to half-title and title-page. Interiors very well preserved throughout, slightly foxed in places. - A rich source of study and reference and an asset to any autograph collection..