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Louis XIV (1638–1715) "The Sun King"
An ornate 17th Century tooled leather bookbinding
Made for the French monarch
Converted into a blotter (late 19th Century)
Dimensions: 26 cm x 35 cm (when closed)
Provenance: Private Collection, UK
Tooled a decorated brown goatskin front and back bookcovers, embossed in gold leaf with the French Royal badge to the centre on a ground of repeatedly stamped motifs of crowned 'L' monograms and fleur-de-lis. Boards retain their original 17th Century marbled endpapers. The title page from a volume of Marcus Tullius Cicero's Opera Omnia [Complete Works], published by Samuelis Chouët in Geneva in 1660, has historically been retained with this blotter - indicating the volume which was probably converted into the blotter.
For an intact book as bound for Louis XIV and bearing the same pattern (also a work by Cicero), see St John's College, Cambridge, Special Collections (B.3.28). This St John's volume had formerly belonged to the poet and diplomat Matthew Prior (1664-1721).