NICOT, JEAN. 1530-1600.
Thresor de la langue Françoyse. Paris: [Denis Duval for] David Douceur, 1606.
3 parts in 1 volume. Folio (350 x 215 mm). , 674, ; , 32, 24; , 192,  pp. Double column. First title in red and black. All 3 titles with large woodcut printer's devices. Woodcut initials and head- and tail-pieces. Full red turkey leather by SAMUEL MEARNE of London for Charles II, with covers gilt-panelled, the corners with crowned ciphers of superimposed Cs addorsed within crossed plumes, the spine gilt in seven compartments with gilt cipher repeated in six; all edges gilt. Cloth folding case. Intermittent minor browning and spots, edges of 3F3-3F4 darkened, lower joint started, mild rubbing.
Provenance: John Morris [c.1580-1658] (ownership signature at head of title and with his posthumous supralibros at the foot of the spine); Charles II, King of England [1630-1685] (bound for his library in characteristic style by Samuel Mearne [d.1683], the Royal bookbinder); British Museum (stamp and 1769 duplicate stamp on title verso); Andrew Caldwell (armorial bookplate to title verso); Sir Thomas Brooke [1830-1908] (bookplate, and listed in his 1891 catalog, p 479 as coming from the "Crawford Library" possibly from the the Earl of Crawford's sale at Sotheby's in 1887-1889); sold at Sotheby's 1909-1923 (Sir Thomas Brooke's sales); Henri Bonasse (morocco bookplate); anonymous owner, Sotheby's Dec 14, 1988, lot 138.
FIRST EDITION OF THE FIRST MODERN FRENCH DICTIONARY, BOUND BY SAMUEL MEARNE FOR CHARLES II. First issue, with each title-page dated 1606. An important book from the library of John Morris whose collection was acquired from his widow as the first major post-Restoration accession to the Old Royal Library. Morris owned many other lexicographical works and was likely the first owner of the present, exceedingly rare work by Nicot.
Nicot was French ambassador to Portugal from 1559-1561 and on his return introduced snuff to the French court. Nicotine is named after him. Brunet 4:71; Collison Dictionaries (1971) 1.