Paris: Gruel Engelmann, 1862.
Madam [binder]. [BOOK OF HOURS]. Heures du Moyen Age. [Noms des collaborateurs: Direction artistique: P. Engelmann. Peinture: Ed. Moreau. Exécution sur pierre: H. Moulin. Chromolithographie: Engelmann et Graf]. Paris: Gruel Engelmann, 1862.
Small quarto (6 x 4 3/4 inches; 154 x 121 mm). , CXCII, [8, pages for notes], [28, blank] pp. Beautifully chromolithographed throughout. Text printed in Gothic type within richly decorated borders printed in gold and colors in the style of a medieval manuscript. All leaves on guards.
Publisher’s navy blue morocco by Madam Gruel (signed at bottom of the spine), winner of the highest prize for bookbinding in the Paris Exposition of 1849. Covers elaborately tooled in gilt with fleur-de-lis, cherub head corner devices and a gilt central device of a religious scene on front and back board. Spine elaborately tooled in gilt in compartments. Gilt ruled board edges and tooled turn-ins. Navy blue watered silk doublures and free endpapers. All edges gilt. And with etched two brass clasps. Overall fine. An exquisite example of late nineteenth-century chromolithography in a superb binding by Gruel.
"La Maison Gruel Et Engelmann is one of the oldest and best binding establishments in Paris, having been founded in the year 1811 by M. Desforges for whom M. Paul Gruel worked as journeyman: but, marrying Mademoiselle Desforges he was taken into partnership by her father in 1825. Madam Gruel did not live long after the union and M. Gruel took to himself a second wife, Mademoiselle Mercier, who took an active part in the business, and by whom he had a son, Léon. After his death in 1846, the wife continued the business and increased it, especially in the higher class of bindings, till in 1849 she took the highest prize in the Paris Exposition. In 1850 she was re-married to M. G. Engelmann, one of the finest printers in Paris, who introduced lithography into France and invented chromo-lithography, and whose works are highly prized as some of the best specimens of French printing... From 1850 the house went under the name of Gruel-Engelmann, and under their joint direction were produced many of the splendid art editions of Liturgies and Livres de Piete for which the house is especially famous, Madam Gruel having the direction of the binding department, in which she showed very great ability, for at the great exhibition of 1851 she took the gold medal for excellence of workmanship." (The Bookbinder, Volume 4)