GODONNESCHE, Nicolaus; [and G.R. FLEURIMONT]
Médailles du règne de Louis XV
Paris: . Folio. (12 3/4 x 9 3/8 inches). Frontispiece engraved by Laurent Cars (1699-1771) after François Lemoyne (1688-1737). Engraved title, dedication leaf. 52 engraved plates.
Contemporary French red morocco, boards with arms and ruled border, spine gilt in six compartments with raised bands, brown morocco lettering piece in the second, the others with repeat decoration in gilt, marbled endpapers.
Early edition of this documentation of the medals issued under the reign of Louis XV between 1715 and 1736.
The fifty-two plates of medallions are chronologically arranged, representing the main events of the reign of Louis XV since his accession in 1715 until the battle of Guastalle in 1745, and incorporate descriptive text as well as a decorative tailpiece. Godonnesche, engraver and keeper of medals in the king's cabinet, composed this work in 1727 and requested permission to publicly sell it. The Académie des Inscriptions, and especially its secretary, Claude Gros de Boze, were irritated by this request, as they considered the Académie to be the only institution authorized to make medals for the monarchy and publish such works. They demanded Godonnesche apologize and attempted to confiscate the plates, though this did not prevent the work from being produced and published in several editions. The dedication to this work sometimes bears the name of Nicolaus Godonnesche (as in this copy) and sometimes of Fleurimont and, according to Cohen/de Ricci, the number of plates varies: earlier issues are usually attributed to Godonnesche and have fewer plates, dated no later than 1736, while later ones contain up to 78 plates and bear the name of the series' continuator, Fleurimont (undated by Cohen/de Ricci).
Cohen/de Ricci 441 & 397; Katalog der Ornamentstichslg. Berlin, 4264 (33 plates, to 1727, signed by Godonnesche) & 4265 (70 plates, to 1746, signed by Fleurimont).