Traité sommaire de la taille réelle [Projet d'ordonnance relative à la taille réelle]
In French, manuscript on paper,
France, probably Paris, c. 1682 (shortly after 1681)
Small in-folio of 124 ff. e.g., preceded by 3 ff. and followed by 5 ff. of paper guards, complete manuscript, on paper (watermarks [Gaudriault]:  Arms of Le Tellier + I surmounted by a fleur-de-lys (heart) CVSSON in cartouche, Riom (Thiers);  Arms of Le Tellier + J (heart) NOURISSON, Riom (Thiers);  royal cypher "LL" surmounted by a crown), brown ink, a few marginal notes (interior condition in fine condition, despite some minor freckling).
Bound in full ivory semi-hard vellum, boards decorated in the Du Seuil style with a double frame of triple gilt fillets and roulette, fleur-de-lis at the corners, gilt title on the upper board: "TAILLE REELLE", smooth spine decorated with fleur-de-lis, handwritten title (pale ink) on the spine: "Taille Reelle", traces of green silk laces (missing) (beautiful binding in good condition despite some rubbing and stains). Binding attributable to Luc-Antoine Boyet (?), see roulette listed in the inventory of Boyet's gilder's irons, established by Isabelle de Conihout and Pascal Ract-Madoux (Reliures Françaises du XVIIe siècle: chefs-d'œuvre du Musée Condé, Paris, 2002, roulette C).
Dimensions: 328 x 215 mm.
A beautiful manuscript, a witness to financial colbertism, carefully bound in an elegant ivory vellum binding attributable to Luc-Antoine Boyer, once in the library of Toussaint Bellenger.
In the countries of election (the oldest provinces of the kingdom), the personal size is practised: the tax is distributed in an arbitrary manner. In the countries of state (the most recent provinces that have kept their provincial states: Brittany, Béarn, Dauphiné, Provence, Languedoc), the real taille is practiced: the tax is distributed more equitably according to the real wealth of each family, regardless of its noble or commoner status. Thus even nobles paid the taille for common lands that were not part of their fief.
In the preface, the author praises the appropriateness of this tax, which is much easier to collect than the personal taille: "Experience has shown that in the times when one has been obliged to use the most vigorous means to levy taxes in countries where the taille is personal, there has been no need in Languedoc to resort to such means; it has been demanded and levied there without difficulty" (fol. 2). The present project for the standardization of the real taille addresses in thirty-two chapters all the aspects covered by the application of the real taille in the countries of the States: its usefulness, the persons and types of property subject to it, the means of calculating it (administrative apportionments), the means and powers of the persons responsible for collecting it. This treaty is followed by the list of the cities of Languedoc subjected to the tax and their distribution.
Of this draft ordinance, four copies are known a priori: Toulouse, Bibliothèque d'Etude et du Patrimoine, ms. 442; Rouen, Bibliothèque municipale, ms. 1889, from M. de Coqueret de Montbret; Montpellier, Archives départementales de l'Hérault, series A, 72.*; Paris, BnF, Languedoc ms. 153, from M. Joubert. Under the influence of the Physiocrats, this work appeared in 1789 under the title Projet d'ordonnance pour les pays de taille réelle (Project of ordinance for the countries of real size) formed according to the views of Louis XIV under the ministry of M. Colbert, general controller of finances, by the care of M. d'Aguesseau, intendant of the province of Languedoc and of the officers of the court of the aids of Montpellier... (Paris, Imprimerie de Monsieur, 1789). This project prefigures Vauban's "Projet pour l'établissement d'une taille réelle" of 1697-98: it is interesting to note that Toussaint Bellenger also possessed several versions of Vauban's work on the taille réelle or on the "Dixme royale".
Manuscript copy of Toussaint Bellanger (ca. 1662-1740), secretary to the king and treasurer general of the Seal of the Chancellery of France: reported in Lelong, J. Bibliothèque historique de la France..., Paris, 1769, vol. II, p. 826, no. 28080; present in the Catalogue of the books of the late M. Bellanger, treasurer general of the Seal of France, Paris, 1740, p. 432, no. 214**. This number is also written on the back of the second endpaper: "214 *". This manuscript was sold in 1740 for the sum of 29 livres tournois (see copy of the Catalogue with prices realized, Paris, Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal, 8-H-24920). His library of nearly 5,000 volumes is famous for its Elzevier and Luc-Antoine Boyet bound books. In 1714, Bellanger took possession of the seigneury of Stains and had his collections installed in a new castle built by Arnaud-Claude Mollet, the architect