Dictionnaire typographique, historique et critique des livres rares, singuliers, estimés et recherchés en tous genres; ... Par J.B.L. Osmont, libraire à Paris. Tome premier [-second]

Autore: OSMONT, Jean Baptiste Louis (1710-1773)

Tipografo: chez [Jacques] Lacombe, libraire, Quai de Conti

Dati tipografici: Paris, 1768

Two works in one volume, 8vo (192x120 mm). XII, 515, [1 blank]; [4], 456, [4, of which the last is a blank] pp. Contemporary mottled calf, gilt spines with morocco lettering piece, red edges, marbled pastedowns (spines restored). Browned and slightly foxed.

FIRST EDITION of this sort of book-collecting handbook, for which Osmont can rightly be considered as a precursor of Charles Brunet, whose famous Manuel appeared for the first time in 1810.

The work, dedicated to the Marquis de Paulmy, is arranged in alphabetical order and lists over 7000 editions, whose entries are enriched with information on the authors, rarity, and market prices of the last 40 years. As clearly suggested by both the title and the preface, Osmont intended with this work to propose a selection of rare books to build up a good private library. The Dictionnaire typographique thus served as a model for subsequent French catalogs of rare books. “[It] had a large share in determining the character of later French catalogues of rare books. In this success it resembles Vogt's Catalogus, which similarly determined the character of kindred works in Germany during the eighteenth century. Osmont's title suggests and his preface states clearly that he was making a list of choice books suitable for a good private library as well as a list of rare books” (Taylor, Catalogues of Rare Books, p. 25). Osmont was assisted in his research by Barthelemy Mercier, librarian of the abbey of Ste.-Geneviève, and by Albert François Floncel, royal censor and owner of a large library of Italian books.