Title: Memoires du Comte de grammont, 1749
Author: Antoine Hamilton
Publisher: de l'imprimerie de Charles JB Delespine, Paris
A mid 18th century edition of Hamilton's Memoirs of his brother-in-law Philibert, comte de Gramont, and of his times spent at the court of King Charles II at Whitehall.
A work that landed Hamilton a spot as one of the classical writers of France, his memoirs of Philibert have since become ever lauded. By highlighting the effects of The Restoration court the memoirs served to only highlight the weakened nature of the exiled Stuart court. It has even been said to share something with the anti-Jacobite polemic written against the court of James II at St Germain by John Macky
Of many contemporary memoirs, Hamilton's has often been argued to be one of the most historically accurate, if not vivid in the debauched court under the reign of Charles II, while painting a more flattering image of the comte de Gramont.
This particular edition is particularly unique, as it bears the ownership engravings of Jacques-Laure Le Tonnelier, bailiff of Breteuil, Knight-Hospitaller of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Commander and Ambassador of the Order, engraver and an art collector of renown. His father dead by the time he turned 12, Tonnelier found himself under the protection of The Old Pretender himself, Jacques François Stuart, claimant to the thrones of England, Scotland and Ireland, one of the primary figures of the Jacobite Uprisings.
From page, to brother knight, to commander of several regions, and even Ambassador of the Order to the Holy See, Tonnelier's life and career as a Knight of Jerusalem grew at a rapid pace, and with it came massive wealth. During the 20 years he spent in Rome as ambassador, he amassed an enormous collection of artwork and sculptures
From legendary artists such as Peter Paul Rubens, to Panini, Fragonard, and countless others, Tonnelier's collection only grew in stature and value, with over 400 lots of art being sold shortly after his death, not including the collections he had sold throughout his life to furnish his living spaces.
Two volumes in 12mo, 315+340 pages. Tonnelier's ownership is engraved on the front of both volumes.
On note of condition, both volumes are in good shape, with the binding holding well, although there is wear and rubbing present, with the titles on the spines being worn down. There is minor spine damage at the top of volume one, and there is little to no foxing or staining present troubleshot both volumes.