(CALLIGRAPHY). GREGOIRE, L. ~ Jugemens humains [and other extracts]. [France], October, 1780.
Manuscript on paper, folio (495 × 320 mm), 11 leaves (original foliation, ff. 3, 8, partly cropped). 34-40 lines per page, usually in several scripts, elaborate calligraphic headings, 6 decorative roundel initials. Slight corrosion and consequent browning around some of the heaviest inked lines, but no loss. Early (but probably not quite contemporary) paper backed mottled boards. Spine defective, cords slightly loose, but all secure.
A series of calligraphic models or exercises of impressive size and quality. The writer, who signs his (or just possibly, her) name, minutely, at the foot of the first leaf, has chosen two edifying texts to transcribe. The first three sheets contain passages (including one on the immorality of duelling) from Varietés serieuses et amusantes of 1765, while the other eight, rather unusually contain letters from a father to a daughter (Émilie), being extracts from Abbé Gerard’s epistolary novel Le Comte de Valmont, ou les égarements de la raison of 1774. It would be unusual if this denoted a female scribe, but the choice of these extracts is tantalsing.
Each leaf is ruled in leadpoint and bears a large calligraphic cartouche, some have an additional penwork initial roundel and most exhibit a variety of scripts of exceptional neatness and regularity.
Becker, Practice of Letters, Hofer collection.