Publisher Information: Paris: J. Boudot, C. Osmont, G. Martin, 1706.
First Paris Book Auction for which a Catalogue was Printed
[Bigot.] Bibliotheca Bigotiana seu catalogus librorum, quos (dum viverent) summa cura & industria, ingentique sumptu congessere viri clarissimi DD. uterque Joannes, Nicolaus, & Lud. Emericus Bigotii . . . 12mo. , 72, , 73-220, , 248, 59, , 31, , 31pp. Paris: Apud Joannem Boudot, Carolum Osmont, Gabrielem Martin, 1706. 161 x 94 mm. Calf, gilt spine ca. 1706, light wear. Very good. A few marginal notes in ink and pencil, including possible prices realized. 19th century bookplates of the Car[dinal] de Beaurepaire and Germain Barré.
First Edition. The Bigot library sale in 1706 was the first book auction conducted in Paris for which a catalogue was printed. The sale by auction of the Bigot family library was conducted by booksellers Jean Boudot, Charles Osmont and Gabriel Martin over the remarkably long duration of five months. This was Gabriel Martin’s first catalogue, “and according to Bléchet, Jean-Pierre Nicéron was an editor” (North, Printed Catalogues of French Book Auctions and Sales by Private Treaty 1643-1830 in the Library of the Grolier Club, no. 12). Prior to this auction several auction catalogues for private libraries had been printed in Paris, but these libraries were sold privately and thus never went to auction.
Bookseller, publisher and writer Prosper Marchand organized and catalogued the sale for Boudot, Martin and Osmont. One of the ways in which the catalogue was notable was in its introduction into bookselling of the classification scheme organizing information into five great divisions: Theology, jurisprudence, philosophy (i.e., sciences and arts), belles-lettres and history. Gabriel Martin, one of the auctioneers of the Bigot library, promoted this scheme, which originated in the seventeenth century and may have first been applied in the Catalogus bibliothecae Thuanae (1679), the catalogue of the library of French historian and bibliophile Jacques Auguste de Thou. Book auctions in France would follow this scheme throughout the 18th century, and in the early 19th century Jacques Charles Brunet elaborated on this basic scheme in his famous Manuel du librairie et de l’amateur de livres (1810).
The Bigot library was begun by Jean Bigot in the early 17th century, and continued by his son, Louis-Emery. It eventually passed to Robert Bigot, sieur de Monville, and was sold at his death in 1706. The library included that of Jean Henri Jacques de Mesmes, for whom Gabriel Naudé, de Mesmes’ librarian, had written Avis pour dresser une bibliothèque in 1627. At the time of sale the Bigot library consisted of 450 manuscripts and over 15,000 printed books.
At the Bigot auction many books and all the manuscripts were purchased for the Bibliothèque du Roi. Over 150 years later the Bigot manuscripts were catalogued by Léopold Delisle as Bibliotheca Bigotiana Manuscripta. Catalogue des manuscrits rassemblés aux XVIIe siecle par les Bigot, mis en vente au mois de juillet 1706, aujourdhui conservé aux Bibliothèque nationale (1877). Albert, Recherches sur les principes fondamentaux de la classification bibliographique. . . . (1847), pp. 17-19.Book Id: 42893