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Medailles Sur Les Principaux Evenements Du Regne De Louis Le Grand, Avec Des Explications Historiques.

RA Collection: Book

Record number



A Paris,: De l'Imprimerie Royale., M.DCCII.

Physical Description

[8], 289 f., frontis.: illus.; 438 mm. (Folio).

General Note

Leaves 287-289 and unnumbered leaves [2-8] carry printed text on recto and verso.


[Frontis., t.p.] - Preface - [Text, with illus.] - Table Des Medailles Contenues En Ce Volume; Fautes d'impression.

Responsibility Note

The frontispiece is signed as drawn by A. Coypel and engraved by Simonneau l'aîné; the portrait of Louis XIV which it incorporates is attributed in the Preface to Rigaud. Although none of the illustrations is signed, the last paragraph of the Preface states that two hundred were drawn by Coypel, the rest by Leclerc, and the borders and fleurons by Berain; that the engravings were by Mauger, Roettiers, Bernard et Roussel, Edelink, the Simonneau brothers, Audran and Picard ('Les connoisseurs distingueront bien le travail des uns & des autres').

It also states that the type was designed and cast by Grandjean - and begins by declaring that M. Anisson has produced the publication, with an accuracy and intelligence worthy of the Manutii and the Etiennes. A note following the Preface reads, 'Par les soins d'Anisson, Directeur de l'Imprimerie Royale'.


La Medaille au temps de Louis XIV, ed. J. Jacquiot [exhibition catalogue] ( 1979). A study of the publicity campaign of Louis XIV is P. Burke, The fabrication of Louis XIV (1992).

On the roman-du-roi type see Le Romain du Roi: la typographie au service de l'état, 1702-2002 [exhibition catalogue] (2002); Mosley, 'French academicians and modern typography: designing new typefaces in the 1690s', in Monotype Conference (Cambridge, 1992); A. Jammes, La Naissance d'un caractère: le Grandjean - la réforme de la typographie royale sous Louis XIV (1961; repr. 1985).

Summary Note

This fine example of royal publicity and medal-design is chiefly celebrated for its typography. In 1692 the French Academy of Sciences set up a committee to establish standards for all crafts; as a result of which Jacques Jaugeon produced in 1695 a 'rational' design for letters, in which they all have a perfectly vertical axis and perfectly horizontal, symmetrical serifs, far removed from the more flowing forms of ancient or Renaissance lettering. Philippe Grandjean was commissioned to cut punches based on Jaugeon's designs, and modified them to form the 'roman du roi' first used here.


Acquired by 1802. Recorded in A Catalogue Of The Library In The Royal Academy, London (1802).

Binding Note

18th-century red morocco; upper and lower covers gilt-stamped with fleur-de-lys emblazoning shield encircled by chains of St. Michael and Saint-Esprit within circlet of bay; spine gilt-tooled with Louis's monogram and lettered 'Medailles de Louis Le Grand'.

Name as Subject


Rulers - Monarchs - Publicizing - Public relations - France - History - 17th century
Medals - France - 17th century
Numismatics - France - 18th century
Pictorial works - Typography - France - 18th century