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Le Triomphe de la Croix [dedication copy]

Le Triomphe de la Croix [dedication copy] by LEVESQUE, Catherine [Marie-Therese d'Autriche] (1668)

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Author: LEVESQUE, Catherine [Marie-Therese d'Autriche]
Title: Le Triomphe de la Crois, Contenant Les Trois Etats de la Perfection Chretinne... Dedie a la Reyne [dedication copy]
Year: 1668
Publisher: Pierre de Bresche; Jacques de Laize-de Bresche
Place: Paris
Dust Jacket: No
Signed: No
Price: £2850
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The dedication copy bound and dedicated to the Queen of France, Marie-Therese d'Autriche the wife of the Sun King, Louis XIV. Sumptuous full red morocco, all edges gilt, with inner dentelles and marbled endpapers, Marie Therese's arms appear centrally on both boards with her cypher in the corners of the panels and five times in spine compartments with tiny fleur de lys within the triple fillet that forms the panels. A pencilled annotation by the French book collector the Comte de Lignerolles (1817-1893) on the verso of the first marbled endpaper notes the book's status as the dedication copy: a four page dedication to the Queen follows the title page. In her dedication Levesque praises the Queen in typically eulogistic terms for her 'rare Vertu' and the peace that she brings to Spain and France 'par la belle alliance de Vostre tres-haute, tre-illustre, tres devote, & tres-vertueuse Personne, avec le plus grand, & le plus invincible de tous les Monarques, Louis XIV, Roy de France, & de Navarre; Unissant les deux plus brillantes Couronnes de l'Univers'. Intended to bring an end to the war between France and Spain, the marriage in 1660 of Marie Therese ((known in English as Marie Theresa of Spain) and Louis produced an heir but very little happiness for either participant. This dedication by Levesque was made just after one of Marie-Therese's periodic moments of real power when she had assumed a Regency during Louis' absence on war service in 1667. Louis XIV remains one of the most well-known French monarchs due to his lavish lifestyle, many mistresses, political achievements and high self-esteem. He was also responsible for a lavish programme of artistic and cultural patronage including the establishment of academies of arts and science, the pursuit of antiques and treasure across the globe and a vast building programme that included the palace of Versailles. As a consequence Paris became the cultural capital of Europe and Louis and his wife attracted the sort of dedication exemplified in this beautiful book. PROVENANCE: book label on front pastedown: 'Ex Bibliotheca G Nordback'; Inscribed by Comte de Lignerolles; Sotheby's, May 27, 1983, lot 490, £620.
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