Gaston is the sun king of his time and accepts the nickname Febus which will be re-spelled Phebus at the Renaissance. He loves pleasures and women and composes poetry. The comment of the chronicler Froissart who visits him in Orthez in 1388 or 1389 is extremely laudatory.
Gaston Febus is a great hunter. In 1387 and 1388 he composes in French one of the earliest hunting books in order to preserve and share his passion and his technique.
The princeps edition of the Livre de Chasse by Gaston Phebus is made circa 1507 in Paris by the very active bookseller Antoine Vérard under the title "Des deduiz de la chasse des bestes sauvaiges et des oyseaux de proye." The publisher joined a very long anonymous hunting poem titled "Roman des oyseaux" later identified as the work composed after 1359 by Gace de la Bigne at the request of King John the Good. "Deduits" is an obsolete word for "plaisirs".
This in-quarto 23 x 17 cm is illustrated with about 50 figures of animals and hunting scenes in woodcut. Some figures had been reused by Vérard from previous works and therefore are not related with an illuminated manuscript of the book. The text is printed in two columns.
A copy of this edition is estimated € 150K for sale by Sotheby's in Paris on October 5, lot 212.
SOLD for € 520K including premium