Details of provenance, owner, donor or other name
Anonymous sale, 1791: Bibliotheca Parisiana. A Catalogue of a Collection of Books Formed by a Gentleman in France (London, 28 Mar. 1791). On this sale see A. Rau, `Bibliotheca Parisiana', Book Collector, 18 (1969), 307-17. A personal communication from Roger Middleton, Dept of French, University of Nottingham: `The Bibliotheca Parisiana sold in 1791 was the collection of Antoine Marie Pâris d'Illins, born at Paris on 9 March 1746, died at the battle of Occana (Spain) on 18 November 1809. He was the son of Antoine Pâris d'Illins, baptized at Paris on 19 December 1712, died on 14 April 1777. The father was an elder brother of Jean-Baptiste Pâris de Meyzieu, baptized at Paris on 17 May 1718, died at Paris on 6 September 1778, whose library was sold in 1779. Pâris d'Illins and Pâris de Meyzieu were the sons of Claude Pâris de la Montagne (the second of the four brothers (Antoine, le grand Pâris, q.v.; Claude; Joseph Pâris Duverney, the financier; Jean Pâris de Monmartel, q.v.). Antoine Marie Pâris d'Illins (1746-1809) was a maréchal de camp, an émigré with La Fayette on 16 August 1792, removed from the list of émigrés on 6 floréal an IX, made chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur in 1806, and inspecteur général de la Légion portugaise in August 1808. He first married on 20 October 1783, and his eldest surviving child was born at Paris on 5 October 1788 (far too young to be the owner of a library sold in 1791). The collector of the Bibliotheca Parisiana is established by the date of the sale, and by the date of the items that appear in it. There are no other surviving heirs in the male line in any other branches of the family. The owner can safely be called `M. Pâris' (without further designation) because there is no other of the name after 1781, and none likely to have an interest in books after 1778. Some of the collection may have been inherited (his grandfather Claude had books that he left in a will of 20 September 1741 to his son Joseph Louis, who predeceased his father in 1744, so the library probably in fact went to the surviving sons d'Illins and de Meyzieu). However, a significant part of the collection was acquired during the 1780s. Amongst the books printed on vellum there are eleven published between 1780 and 1788 (nos 64, 65, 316, 317bis, 340, 362, 405, 479, 604, 605 and 628). It contains at least sixteen items from the La Vallière sale held in 1784, seven from the sale of Camus de Limare held in 1787, and three from the Soubise sale of 1789 (one of which was the unique Froissart that went to Thomas Johnes of Hafod and eventually featured in the Clumber sale, no. 19). The catalogue of the Bibliotheca Parisiana makes frequent references to the La Vallière catalogue of 1783 (including for the Livy [L-119]) but some of these may be just to identify the edition concerned not the actual exemplar (there are subtle differences of wording in the French version of the catalogue), but some are categorical in specifying La Vallière as the origin of the items in question. Apart from the date, the identity of the collector is in fact given by Van Praet, Catalogue des livres imprimés sur vélin de la bibliothèque du roi, IV, 29, who refers to M. Pâris `neveu du précédent' (i.e. the nephew of Pâris de Meyzieu). This is quoted by Rau (p.311) but he does not have the genealogical information needed to interpret it. Pâris de Meyzieu had no other surviving nephew in 1791, and Seymour de Ricci probably knew this, but his consistent reference to `Paris d'Illins' is misleading. The use of the title in this way without Christian names should be reserved for the father, for whom the designation was created. The children of Claude each took the name of one of their father's lordships: de la Montagne, d'Illins, de Meyzieu. Thus Hobson (cited by Rau, p. 316 note 30) calls Pâris d'Illins a brother of Pâris de Meyzieu, which is true genealogically, but not if he means the owner of the Bibliotheca Parisiana... The letter of 21 September 1790 from Edwards to Roscoe referred to by Rau (p.310) is in Liverpool, but there is a photograph of it in the Hanson collection [in the Bodleian Library] (MS. Hanson 4, no. 1374). Edwards calling the owner the `marquis de Paris of Paris' is puzzling. Firstly, he can hardly be the marquis de Paris (he would need to be `... Pâris, marquis de...'); secondly, there is no evidence that Pâris d'Illins, father or son, ever held the title of marquis and 1790 is not the best time to be claiming a title that you did not have. One explanation might be that Edwards was simply extrapolating from the arms that appear on some of the books with the coronet of a marquis (e.g. Rau, plate IV). This is also a problem for Pâris de Meyzieu who is said to have used these arms on his books. Again, there is no evidence that he was a marquis. We could assume that, despite the lack of evidence, he was in fact a marquis (with the funds at his disposal it would not have been difficult to become one), that the coronet was used without due cause, or that the arms are in reality those of his uncle Monmartel, who was marquis de Brunoy (as was his son Louis-Joseph until he sold the marquisate on 6 October 1774)'; q.v. Pâris, Antoine (1668-1733), and Pâris de Monmartel, Jean (1690-1766). ♦ Categorisation: Type: Person. Gender: Unknown. Dates: 1791. Period: 18th century.
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