CURMER, Léon, publisher. ~ Les Évangiles des dimanches et Fêtes de l’année. Paris: Léon Curmer, 1864.
3 vols, 4to (285 × 204 mm), including 2 vols of chromolithograph plates, pp. 360, continuously paginated and with numerous additional pages and plates, to give a total of over 400 chromlithographs (printed both on one and two sides, each leaf mounted on linen guards, as issued and 1 vol. text, pp. , xxi, , , 154, , 255, , plus 81 unnumbered leaves bearing 80 mounted photographs from engraved prints. Text vol slightly spotted, others exceptionally clean and fresh. Plates vols in full crushed red morocco by Curmer, text volume in matching half morocco. A fine set. From the books of the late Martin Stone (1946-2016).
First edition. One of the most spectacular fruits of nineteenth-century Medievalism, with its elaborate chromolithograph interpretations of illuminated manuscripts, many with gold and silver inks. The text volume additionally contains a sequence of original photographic reproductions of prints by Wierix. Issued as a series of 70 individual numbers, the pagination of the plate volumes is very erratic, with numerous additional plates outside the main sequence and with some leaves having plates on both sides, others on just one. The appendix provides an historical and bibliographical key to the plates, listing manuscripts in mainly French and Italian libraries.
Curmer’s output and importance is discussed at length by Isabelle Saint-Martin, ‘Rêve médiéval et invention contemporaine; variations sur l’enluminure en France au XIXe siècle’ in Coomans and De Mayer, eds, The Revival of Medieval Illumination, 2007.