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Michel Wittock always believed that a collection must be built with the backing of a strong reference library. That is why, in tandem with his constant search for ornamental book bindings, Wittock never gave up the chase for bibliographies and other reference texts related to the extremely specific domain of the art of bookmaking. Very quickly as a result, thousands of works on artistic bookbinding accumulated in the Wittockiana’s reading room: from simple bookshop price catalogues to scholarly monographs, as well as rare and valuable catalogues published by individual collectors for private libraries, catalogues from famous auction houses (Christie’s, Sotheby’s), not to forget the historic and modern bookbinding manuals.
An irresistible attraction to rare and beautiful books – perfectly normal for a collector as bibliophilic as Michel Wittock – he rapidly began searching for, even among reference works, copies that were exceptional, either for their fine paper (Brunet), their beautiful binding (Meunier, Gruel), their limited print coupled with a distinguished provenance (Lord Carnavon, Robert Hoe), their historic character (Dudin), or sometimes even famous hoaxes (Fortsas).