Scarce fine binding from the collection of Alexis Redé

Geramb, Ferdinand. Le retour du bien-aimé. Poëme pastoral.

St Petersburg, Pierre Paul Alexandre Pluchart , 1808.

Elephant folio (360 x 523 mm). 15, (1) pp. Contemporary red morocco, elaborately tooled in gilt, turn-ins gilt, ruled in black morocco and gold; silk endpapers.


Extremely rare, one of only 25 copies printed: a verse dialogue between Corydon and Alexis, based on the herdsman Corydon's lament for the handsome Alexis in Virgil's second Eclogue. In an exquisite contemporary binding, with an interesting provenance in Parisian high society.

Baron Ferdinand de Géramb (1772-1848), born in France to a Hungarian family, was a fervent counter-revolutionary who served the armies of the Austrian Empire. After first being raised to the role of chamberlain to the Queen of Sicily and then summarily dismissed for his political dealings, he abandoned political life to take holy orders. He subsequently lived out his life among the Trappists, and dedicated this work to the Empress Mother of Russia, Maria Feodorovna; the seal of her son Alexander I appears on the title-page.

On the front flyleaf is the bookplate of Alexis von Rosenberg, Baron de Redé (1922-2004), Parisian socialite, art collector, and the mastermind behind the restoration of the famous Hôtel Lambert. He was also known for wild parties and by his infamous reputation as a kept man for a married male banker. This relationship, which he maintained from the age of nineteen until the death of his partner and patron, allowed Redé, in his own words, the stability to devote himself to art and design, as well as to support his sister after their father and elder brother had taken their own life. Redé's art collection was auctioned at Sotheby's in 2005, a year after his death, though the sale did not include this finely bound volume.

A single copy of this work is listed in institutions, at the British Library, whose catalogue mentions a print run of only 25 copies. It is absent from the majority of online catalogues and bibliographies; no other copy is referenced in the public sales databases. Only the catalogue of the library of the English bookseller, publisher and bibliophile William Pickering (1796-1854), sold by Sotheby's in 1855, mentions a copy, described laconically as "morocco, gilt edges, St. Petersburg, 1808" - quite possibly the present copy.


Possibly listed in the catalogue of William Pickering (Sotheby & Wilkinson, London, 1855), part 4, lot 725. With the ex-libris bookplate of Alexis von Rosenberg, Baron de Redé (1922-2004, Paris).


Faint hints of wear to binding, otherwise in very good condition.


British Library shelfmark 1872.c.26.

Kat.-Nr.: 18 Katalog: 38. Antiquaria Ludwigsburg Schlagwörter: ,