Title: Le Grand Art d’Ecrive Necessaire a ceux qui ...
Publisher: Chez Daumont , Paris
Publication Date: 1758
Book Condition: Very Good
Folio (547 x 387mm). Engraved title and 29 plates containing elegant specimens of copperplate handwriting by Le Parmentier after Roland. Additionally, some plates are interesting for their historical or factual contents. Later decorative paste-paper wrappers, housed in cloth folding case; (spine ends slightly chipped, title and next leaf trimmed along fore edge, title toned and lightly foxed, some oxidized stains on fore edge of last several plates with slight paper loss not affecting image, otherwise a good, unusually oversized example). Large 18th century French copperplate handwriting and calligraphy manual prepared by Roland. Born in Paris in 1720, André-François Roland was a pupil of the master calligrapher Louis Rossignol. By 1758, Roland had achieved status as a skillful calligrapher, arithmetician, and auditor. In addition, the title page of this manual states Roland was an expert in verifying contested signatures at courts of justice. Roland was a member of the Bureau académique d'écriture (Academic Writing Bureau) from its inception in 1779. Copperplate handwriting evolved in the earliest part of the 18th century due to a need for an efficient commercial hand in England. Two varieties of a new "copperplate" style became common: "round hand," the bolder of the two, was considered appropriate for business use, and "Italian," a lighter and narrower form, was considered the ladies’ hand. The script in this copperplate copybook can be classified of the French round variety – and is attractively flourished. While Roland dedicated this manual to the children of France, not only children but also ladies and gentleman of the 18th century copied these examples to improve their handwriting. An exact reproduction of the examples in the copybooks represented an ideal, a polar star, by which the student was guided; however, like modern handwriting, everyday 18th century handwriting seldom rose to the level of "calligraphy." Roland’s preface is a praise of the art of penmanship. In this work he also shares instructions for cutting quills to the proper size, keeping a clean sheet, and maintaining good posture. Rare, title traced to University of Missouri library but not elsewhere. Berlin 5128; Bonacini 1552. Bookseller Inventory # D9093
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