Bindings Philobiblon

One Thousand Years of Bibliophily from the 11th to the 21st Century

It should be a Parmesan binding... — Bernard Quaritch

134. Marmitta, Giacomo (1504-1561)

Rime di M. Giacomo Marmitta Parmeggiano. Seth Viotti, 1564.

4° (206x152 mm). Collation: A4, 2A-Z4, a-c4. [8], 198, [10] pages. Roman and italic type. Woodcut printer's device on the title-page. Woodcut animated initials and headpieces throughout the text. Contemporary (Parma?) brown, gilt-tooled morocco, over pasteboards. Covers within a broad border with an interlacing design and small floral tools, central shaped compartment built up with small tools, including circles, semicircles, and fleurs-de-lis, at the centre of the front cover the gilt lettering 'OVE HA VERA VIRTU SVO ALBERGO FIDO', and 'BEN CHE BASSO ET HVMIL VENIR M'AFFIDO', on the lower one. Spine with four raised bands, decorated with single gilt fillets, laid down. Gilt edges. Flyleaves renewed in the late nineteenth century, around the time the book was offered by Quaritch. A very fine copy, a few leaves slightly browned.

Provenance: the London bookseller Bernard Quaritch (see Examples of the Art of Book-Binding and Volumes Bearing Marks of Distinguished Ownership. Catalogue 166, London 1897, no. 397: “it should be a Parmesan binding with a motto”); Leo S. Olschki (1861-1940; ex-libris on the front pastedown; see Le livre en Italie à travers les siècles, Firenze 1914, no. 121 “Au milieu du premier plat cette inscription en lettres d'or: “Ove ha vera virtu suo albergo fido”, et du second plat: “Ben che basso et humil venir m'affido”, and pl. LXXXIII).

First and only edition, posthumously published, of Marmitta's collected poems, in a fine and unusual contemporary binding, likely executed in Parma itself. The mottoes stamped on both covers are unrecorded.

The publication is dedicated by the printer, Viotti, to the Duke of Parma and Piacenza, and by Marmitta's adopted son, Ludovico Spaggi, to the Cardinal Giovanni Ricci of Montepulciano, the poet's lifelong patron.

Giacomo Marmitta was born in Parma in 1504. At the age of twenty he moved to Venice, where he became acquainted with Pietro Bembo, Pietro Aretino, and Lodovico Dolce. In 1538, after spending time in the service of Marino Grimani, Patriarch of Aquileia, he was appointed secretary to the future cardinal Ricci. In Venice he also became a member of the Accademia della Fama, founded by Federico Badoer, as well as a close friend of Giovanni Della Casa.

A meeting with the Italian priest Filippo Neri in 1556 proved to be a critical turning point in his life. Neri encouraged Marmitta to follow a more retired life, and his poetry during this period undergoes a shift from secular to spiritual. Perhaps because of his late conversion, Marmitta never published his poems (see no. 124), although before his death a few rhymes had appeared in collective anthologies edited by various printers.

It was only after his death that his adopted son gathered his complete poetic oeuvre into a single manuscript. The 1564 publication is based on this manuscript and is divided into two parts; it contains 282 poems, most of which are sonnets. At the end is an appendix with sonnets written by others in response to the author. The rhymes, described by the printer as 'dotte e leggiadre' ('learned and graceful'), range in subject matter, reflecting Marmitta's early interest in love as well as the religious topics with which he was more concerned following his meeting with Filippo Neri.

Adams M-623; Gamba 1509; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 134.

The prince as a civic hero and a condottiero, on blue paper

135. Capelloni, Lorenzo (1510-1590)

Vita del Prencipe Andrea Doria... Con un compendio della medesima Vita.... Gabriele Giolito de' Ferrari, 1565.

4° (226x160 mm). Printed on blue paper. Collation: *8, **6, A-M8. [28], 188, [4] pages. Complete with the last blank. Roman and italic type. Woodcut printer's devices on the title-page and on the verso of fol. M7. Two engraved full-page portraits depicting Andrea Doria on fols *8v and **1r: the first showing the prince as civic hero and father of the homeland, placed within an elaborate medallion bearing the motto 'VT CIVIS PATRIAE PATER ET LIBERTATIS RESTITVTOR', the second depicting him as a condottiero, within a medallion with the motto: 'VT DVX ET PRINCEPS PRELIORVM VICTOR', and enriched by his coat of arms. Woodcut animated and decorated initials, headpieces. Early eighteenth-century French red morocco; covers framed with a double gilt fillet and narrow dotted frieze. Smooth spine with title in gilt lettering and richly decorated with ramages in gold. A very good, wide-margined copy, small repair to the upper margin of the title-page, a few insignificant spots. On the title-page, a manuscript note written in French with brown ink, attesting to the rarity of the work and the peculiarity of its printing on blue paper, “Ce Livre est rare; C'est un des premiers ouvrages qui ait été imprimé sur du papier bleu. Cette vie est bien ecrite; L'italien est très pur; Ce qui me ferais presque croire que l'ouvrage a été imprimé plus tard que ne le comporte la date 1565”. On the recto of the front flyleaf the early shelfmark 'V.2. n° 74'.

Provenance: erased ownership inscription on the title-page ('Antonio' ?), preserving only the date '1738'.

Rare first edition – presented here in a fine, and possibly unique copy printed on blue paper – of this biography of Andrea Doria (1466-1560), written by his secretary Lorenzo Capelloni. It is the first sixteenth-century biography of the celebrated Genoese nobleman, admiral, and patron of arts. The work is dedicated, on 1 April 1562, by the author to the great-nephew and heir of Andrea Doria, Giovanni Andrea (1539-1600), who had commissioned Capelloni to write the biography. The Venetian Senate granted a fifteen-year privilege for the work, giving Giolito exclusive rights to printing it. A second edition appeared in 1569.

Capelloni's Vita del Principe Andrea Doria is also famous for the double illustrations bearing, on facing pages, two engraved profile portraits of Andrea Doria which had an important role in establishing the political iconography of this pivotal Genoese figure. The first portrait shows the prince as a civic hero and father of the homeland and is set within an elaborate medallion with the motto 'VT CIVIS PATRIAE PATER ET LIBERTATIS RESTITVTOR' (fol. *8v); the second portrait depicts him as a condottiero within a medallion bearing the motto ‘VT DVX ET PRINCEPS PRELIORVM VICTOR', enriched with his coat of arms (fol. **1r).

A copy of the work “printed on Carta Grande Azzurra, red morocco” is listed in the Catalogue of Printed Books and Manuscripts sold by London booksellers Payne and Foss in 1837 for the sum of 3 pounds and 3 shillings. Probably this copy.

Adams C-587; Bongi Annali, II, 287 (“rara [...] quasi mai s'incontra nei cataloghi”); Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 135.

Tutto ricorretto, et di nuove figure adornato. Valgrisi Furioso, in a precious Islamic-style Venetian binding

139. Ariosto, Ludovico (1474-1533)

Orlando furioso di M. Lodovico Ariosto, tutto ricorretto, et di nuoue figure adornato. Con le Annotationi, gli Auuertimenti, & le Dichiarationi di Ieronimo Ruscelli. La Vita dell’Autore, descritta dal Signor Giouan Battista Pigna... Di nuouo aggiuntoui Li Cinque Canti.... Vincenzo Valgrisi, 1568.

Two parts in one volume, 4° (259 x 182 mm). Collation: *8, A-Z8, a-u8 (fol. X2 signed Y2). [16], 654, [34] pages. Italic and Roman type, the cantos printed in two columns. On fols. n3v-n4r the running title of Canto iii is erroneously printed as 'CANTO QVARTO'. Title-page within an elaborate architectural border containing Valgrisi's serpent device and medallion portrait of Ariosto (a reverse copy of the one by Giolito; see no. 106); imprint set in type within a cartouche placed in the lower part of the border. Other Valgrisi devices on the separate title-page of the second part, which contains the Annotationi by Ruscelli, and on the verso of the last leaf. Forty-six full-page woodcuts, one at the beginning of each canto (ca. 164x105 mm, one repeat; the woodcut for Canto II is the same used for Canto I), set within two different borders with figures and grotesques. Five woodcuts illustrating the added Cinque Canti. Two smaller cherub borders for the argumento to each canto. Woodcut historiated initials. A superb contemporary Venetian honey-brown morocco over thin pasteboards. Covers framed within a gilt Mamluk interlaced roll; small floral tool at the inner corners, at the centre a large medallion in Islamic style. Extended yapp edges on three sides, traces of four pairs of green silk ties. Smooth spine, divided into compartments by gilt fillets and narrow interlaced rolls, compartments decorated with semé of trefoil tools. Edges gilt and gauffered in a geometrical pattern (for a similar binding see T. De Marinis, Legatura artistica in Italia, II, no. 2322, pl. 403). In half-morocco folding case. A deluxe and wide-margined copy, with an excellent impression of woodcuts. Paper flaws on fols. G5 and c8, a few fingermarks; minor loss to the outer lower blank corner of fols. N8 and R7. Insignificant waterstain to the lower outer corner of the last quires; a small, pale spot on the outer margin of the last quire.

Provenance: from the exquisite library formed by Robert Hoe (1839-1909; red morocco ex-libris and gilt monogram stamp on the front pastedown; sale Anderson Auction Company, New York, 24 April 1911, The Library of Robert Hoe. Illuminated Manuscripts, Incunabula, Historical Bindings, Early English Literature, Rara Americana... Part I. A to K, lot 99, “limp citron morocco, trefoil ornaments on the back, scroll panel and centre ornaments on the sides, overlap covers tooled on the edges, gauffred gilt edges, silk ties. A Venetian binding of the xvi century”); Wynne Rice Hugh Jeudwine (1920-1984; ex-libris on the front pastedown; sale Bloomsbury, London, 18 September 1984, Catalogue of the Important Collection of Printed Books formed by the Late W. R. Jeudwine, lot 37); Pierre Berès (pencilled notices on both pastedowns).

The handsome and rare Furioso in quarto of 1568, edited for the Venetian printer Vincenzo Valgrisi by the well-known poligrafo Girolamo Ruscelli (1504-1566), a fine copy in an exceptional Venetian binding of Mamluk inspiration.

Valgrisi printed his first Furioso in 1556, and produced more editions of Ariosto's poem than any other save that of Giolito, with seventeen editions up to 1587, as well as an octavo edition which was produced for a cheaper market.

Ruscelli began work on a new Orlando between 1552 and 1553. He based his editorial work on the text printed by Giolito in 1552, which he claimed to have compared with previous editions from the 1530s, as well as some autograph corrections received by Ariosto's brother Galasso. His Furioso “tutto ricorretto” is supplemented with new commentaries and paratexts, among others his Annotationi, et Avvertimenti sopra i luoghi importanti del Furioso. From the edition issued in 1560 the poem is further accompanied by an enlarged version of Ariosto's Vita, composed by the secretary of the Estense court and minister of Alfonso II Giovanni Battista Pigna (1529-1575). Starting with the Furioso of 1565, Valgrisi added the texts of the Cinque Canti, allegorical prose, and argumenti by Luigi Groto from Adria (1541-1585).

The Valgrisi Furioso offers one of the finest examples of multi-narrative book illustration, with the first full-page woodcuts for each canto of Ariosto's masterpiece, all newly designed. Each woodcut, framed within fine borders with figures and grotesques, records one or more scenes from the illustrated canto, rendered with a skilful use of perspective and close attention to the iconographic tradition established by Giolito. In the nineteenth century, Girolamo Baruffaldi ascribed the designs for these woodcuts to the Ferrarese painter Dosso Dossi (1480-1542), while Paul Kristeller later attributed them to his brother Battista Dossi (1517-1548), owing to the latter's stylistic tendencies. Recently, Battista's name has been proposed again, along with that of an artist belonging to the circle of Giovanni Britto. A further innovative feature of the Valgrisi cycle is the introduction of geographic charts as backgrounds for the multiple plots of the poem: an apt visual representation of that geographical space which Ariosto continuously enlarged in the Furioso, ultimately including, in the definitive edition of 1532, important discoveries of the navigators of his time. The marvellous woodblocks continued to be re-used in subsequent editions issued from Valgrisi's printing house up until 1603.

One of the greatest points of interest of this copy lies in its spectacular contemporary morocco binding of Islamic inspiration, evidently originating in Venice where it was commissioned by its unknown but surely distinguished and affluent first owner. The binding offers striking testimony to the Ottoman influence on Venetian craftsmen who were active in the field, an influence that can be traced until the end of the sixteenth century. The debt is evident in the great elaborateness of its decoration and ornamental gilt motifs, akin to contemporary patterning in the decorative arts or embroidery designs: the 'moresque' or Mamluk interlaced scroll, the central medallion, the sumptuosly gauffered gilt edges in geometric patterning, the extended yapp edges. Some ducal Commissioni – i.e., official documents signed by the Doges or by the Procurators and granted to Venetian patricians elected to the highest offices – exhibit similarly gilt-tooled covers. Tammaro De Marinis argues that these Islamic-style bindings – including those bindings with polychrome filigree decorations – could be the result of a collaboration between Persian and Venetian binders: “there is however no archival evidence of the existence of Persian crafstmen in Venice at the time” (A. Hobson, “Islamic Influence on Venetian Renaissance Bookbinding”, p. 114). The exquisite binding presented here further reveals the great appeal of the Furioso and the wide range of its readership throughout the Cinquecento. As a result of this popularity, the poem was offered on the market in various forms, from the less expensive octavo format to the wide-margined and lavishly illustrated editions. The Furioso was the most widely diffused work in Venetian homes, and it could be bound in plain limp vellum or housed within deluxe bindings, as is the case with the present copy: it thus made its way into the hands of every rank of reader, small, middle or great.

In the early 1900s, this copy was owned by the outstanding American bibliophile Robert Hoe, a founder of the Grolier Club, as well as its first president. As stated in the foreword to the sale catalogue of his marvellous collection, “he was a lover of fine bindings, and his library is rich in specimens of the work of all the great binders, ancient and modern”.

Adams A-1676; Mortimer Italian, 29; Agnelli-Ravegnani I, 135; I D. Caracciolo, “Per un'esegesi figurata dell''Orlando Furioso': il caso Valgrisi”, L. Bolzoni - S. Pezzini - G. Rizzarelli (eds.), Tra mille carte vive ancora, 2010, pp. 233-252; I. Andreoli, “L'Orlando furioso 'tutto ricorretto et di nuove figure adornato'. L'edizione Valgrisi (1556) nel contesto della storia editoriale ed illustrativa del poema fra Italia e Francia nel '500”, S. Fabrizio-Costa (ed.), Autour du livre italien ancien en Normandie, Bern 2011, pp. 41-132; A. Hobson, “Islamic Influence on Venetian Renaissance Bookbinding”, E. J. Grube (ed.), Arte veneziana e arte islamica. Atti del primo Simposio internazionale sull'arte veneziana e l'arte islamica, Venezia 1989, pp. 111-123; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 139.

Euclid’s Elementa, from Jean-Baptiste Colbert’s Library, finely bound for Comte Charles-Henry de Hoym

150. Euclides (fl. 3rd century BC)

Elementorum Libri XV. Accessit XVI. De solidorum Regularium comparatione. Omnes perspicuis demonstrationibus, accuratisque scholjis illustrati. Auctore Christophoro Clavio Bambergensi. Societatis Iesu. Vincenzo Accolti, 1574.

Two volumes, 8° (175x118 mm). I. Collation: a-e8, A-Z8, Aa-Ss8, Tt4. [40], 331 of 332 leaves, lacking the last leaf blank. II. Collation: A-Z8, Aa-Oo8, Pp4. 300 leaves. Complete with fol. Pp4 blank. Italic, roman, and Greek type. Title-pages within woodcut architectural frame, text enclosed in plain rule border. Woodcut printer's device on fol. Pp3r of the second volume. Woodcut decorated initials and tailpieces. Numerous woodcut geometrical diagrams in the text. Uniformly bound in eighteenth-century red morocco, over pasteboards. Covers within three gilt fillets, at the centre gilt coat of arms of Charles- Henry Count de Hoym. Spines with five raised bands, richly gilt tooled; title and volume numbering in gilt lettering. Edges marbled and gilt. In a marbled slipcase. A very good copy, a few leaves uniformly browned, re-margining of the outer margin of first four leaves in the first volume, slightly affecting the rule border but without any loss of text.

Provenance: from the library of French politician Jean-Baptiste Colbert (1619-1683; ownership inscription on title-pages 'Bibliothecae Colbertinae'); by descent to Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Marquis de Seignelay (d. 1690), Jacques Nicolas Colbert, Archbishop of Rouen (1655-1707), and Charles Eléonor Colbert, Comte de Seignelay (d. 1747); see the sale catalogue Bibliotheca Colbertina, seu Catalogus librorum bibliothecae quae fuit primum Ill. V.D. J. B. Colbert, Regni ministri, deinde Ill. D. J. B. Colbert. March. de Seignelay; postea Rev. et ill. D. J. Nic. Colbert, Rothomagensis Archiepiscopi, ac demum D. Caroli- Leonorii Colbert, Comitis de Seignelay, Paris 1728, Pars Tertia, Continens Libros in 8. in 12. &c., lot 16811, “Euclidis Elemento [sic], cum scholiis Christoph. Clavii. Romae, 1574. 2 vol. in 8. mar”; sold for the sum of 4 francs; the ambassador Charles-Henry de Hoym (1694-1736; armorial binding; see Catalogus librorum bibliothecae Caroli Henrici Comitis de Hoym, olim Regis Poloniae Augusti II. apud Regem Christianissimum Legati extraordinarii, Paris 1738, p. 143, no. 1250, “2. vol. in 8. m.r.”, sold for the sum of 5.3. francs); Jean Furstenberg (1890-1982; ex-libris on the front pastedowns).

Euclid's Elementa edited by the Bamberg Jesuit and professor of mathematics at the Collegium Romanum, Christoph Clavius (1537-1612), and supplemented with his monumental commentary. This Roman publication represents one of the greatest achievements in the history of Renaissance mathematics. “His contemporaries called Clavius 'the Euclid of the 16th century'. The 'Elements', which is not a translation, contains a vast quantity of notes collected from previous commentators and editors, as well as some good criticisms and elucidations of his own” (DSB III, p. 311).

The present copy has a very distinguished provenance, increasing its value. The earliest recorded owner of these volumes was the great book collector Jean-Baptiste Colbert, the chief minister to the King of France Louis XIV from 1661 to 1683. At Colbert's death in 1683, his library, which contained 23,000 printed books and over 5,000 manuscripts, passed by descent to Jean-Baptiste Colbert de Torcy, and then to other members of this outstanding French family. The collection was in large part sold in Paris on 24 May 1728. During the eighteenth century, numerous volumes from the Colbertina came into the possession of one of the greatest bibliophiles of the age, Comte Charles-Henry de Hoym, ambassador to Augustus II of Poland. Hoym commissioned the handsome binding in red morocco bearing his coat of arms on the covers. The leading French binders worked for him: among others, Augustin Du Seuil and Antoine-Michel Padeloup, to whom this binding is possibly to be ascribed. His library was sold in Paris between May and August 1738, and in the preface the bookseller Gabriel Martin points up the presence of numerous volumes ex Thesauro Colbertino in the collection. The volume later passed into the hands of another great collector of fine bindings, Jean Furstenberg.

Adams E-985; STC Italian 238; Steck, pp. 77-78; Denise Bloch, “La bibliothèque de Colbert”, Histoire des bibliothèques françaises, II, pp. 157-179; B. Breslauer, “Contemporary Collectors. XX. Jean Furstenberg”, The Book Collector, 9 (1960), pp. 423-434; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 150.

Commandino Euclid, printed on blue paper - A rare, luxury copy of a scientific book

151. Euclides (fl. 3rd century BC)

De gli elementi di Euclide libri quindici... Tradotti ... da M. Federico Commandino.... Domenico Frisolino, [before 3 September] 1575.

Folio (306x211 mm). Printed on blue paper. Collation: *2, **4, ***2, A-Z4, AA-ZZ4, AAa-ZZz4, AAAa2. [8], 278 leaves. In this copy fol. TT2 bound after fol. VV2. Italic and roman type. Ten-line animated initials at the beginning of each Book. Contemporary gilt-tooled limp vellum. Covers within gilt border, fleuron at the centre. Smooth spine, decorated with gilt tools, inked title. Gilt edges. Minor loss to the spine. A very fine copy. A few corrections in an early hand.

Provenance: 'Di Casa Doni' (early ownership inscription on the front pastedown; on the title-page 'Casa Donj comprato dal [?]).

An extraordinary copy printed on blue paper of the first edition of the Italian translation of Euclids' Elements. The translator and commentator is the humanist and mathematician from Urbino Federico Commandino (1509-1575). Luxury copies of sixteenth-century scientific books are unusual and were surely intended for presentation.

In 1565 Commandino was visited by English philosopher, mathematician, and astrologer John Dee (1527-1608; see no. 91), who gave him a manuscript translation into Latin of an Arabic work related to Euclid's De divisionibus. Commandino published this Latin version – De superficierum divisionibus liber Machometo Bagdedino ascriptus – in Pesaro in 1570, adding a short treatise of his own to condense and generalize the discussion of this work. Two years later, at the request of Francesco Maria II della Rovere, Duke of Urbino, Commandino translated Euclid's Elements into Latin and published it along with an extensive commentary at Pesaro in 1572.

Then, in 1575, for those of his countrymen who did not know Latin, Commandino supervised a translation into Italian of the Elements together with his commentary, which he entrusted to some of his students. The De gli elementi di Euclide libri quinque is the first book printed in Urbino in the sixteenth century, and the publication is dedicated – as was the Latin version of 1572 – to his patron Francesco Maria della Rovere. The volume was issued by Domenico Frisolino, whom Commandino had probably called to Urbino for this purpose, Frisolino having established the first printing house in the city in the last months of 1574. The press was located in his home, as attested by the colophon of the 1575 Euclides: 'IN VRBINO IN CASA DI FEDERICO COMMANDINO, CON LICENTIA DEI SVPERIORI. MDLXXV'.

For the Italian Euclides, Frisolino re-used the blocks for the diagrams and initials first employed by Camillo Franceschini in the Latin edition of 1572, with the exception of the title-border block, which was ultimately not given to him. On 13 November 1574, Commandino drew up a contract for buying paper with Melchiorre Silvestri and Magister Pietro Bramante, who were active in the paper mill of Fermignano, a small town near Urbino where the manufacture of paper had begun in 1411. The Fermignano paper mill was owned by the Montefeltros.

The present copy is exceptionally printed on blue paper, and was certainly destined for a distinguished recipient or patron. The Harvard College Library preserves a copy of Commandino's Elementorum libri XV of 1572 likewise printed on blue paper, suggesting both copies may have been printed on blue paper produced by the Fermignano paper mill.

Adams E-995; STC Italian 239; L. Moranti, L'arte tipografica in Urbino (1493-1800), Firenze 1967, no. 4; Riccardi I, 363. Steck, p. 25; Thomas-Stanford 42; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 151.

Cardinal Bourbon’s Cardano

153. Cardano, Girolamo (1501-1576)

In Cl. Ptolemaei de astrorum iudiciis... lib. IIII commentaria... Hic accesserunt... De septem erraticarum stellarum qualitatibus atque viribus... Geniturarum item XII... Cunradi Dasypodii... scholia et resolutiones... in... Apostelesmaticos Cl. Ptolomaei. Heinrich Petri, September 1578.

Folio (320x195 mm). Collation: a8, A-Z8, Aa-Ll8, 2Aa-Ff8, 2Gg10, 3Aa-Bb8, 3Cc6, 3Dd2, 3Ee-Ff8, 3Gg6, 3Hh4, 3Ll10. [16], 510, [2], 602-838 [i.e. 834], [2] pages. Roman, italic, and Greek type. Woodcut printer's device on the verso of the last leaf. Title-page with woodcut portrait of Cardanus within a cartouche. Woodcut animated and decorated initials. Numerous woodcut diagrams in the text. Fine contemporary French olive morocco over pasteboards, executed for Charles Cardinal de Bourbon. Covers within triple gilt fillet border. Smooth spine with the cardinal's arms and his device with the motto 'SVPERAT CANDORE ET ODORE'; title lettered in gilt at the head. Board edges with single fillet, gilt edges. A few old abrasions to the covers, repair to the upper ones, joints a little rubbed, corners lightly bumped. In a modern green cloth solander box. A very fine copy, minor loss to the lower outer corner of the title-page, not affecting text; tears to fol. Aa6, without any loss. On the verso of the rear flyleaf a cutting taken from an unidentified sale catalogue, describing this copy as lot 99, 'folio, olive morocco, gilt leaves, with Arms and Device of Charles de Bourbon (Charles X. of the League) on back'.

Provenance: Cardinal Charles de Bourbon, Archbishop of Rouen (1520-1590; armorial binding); from the library of William Beckford (1760-1844; the pencilled shelfmark '353-31'; see the sale at Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge, The Hamilton Palace Libraries. Catalogue of The First Portion of the Beckford Library, removed from Hamilton Palace, London, June 1882, lot 1579, “olive morocco, gilt edges, with arms and device of Charles de Bourbon (Charles X of the League) stamped in gold on back”; lot description is pasted into the front pastedown of this copy); purchased by Dodgson for £55; Henry J. B. Clements (1869-1940; ex-libris on the front pastedown); Edwards (signature on the verso of the front flyleaf 'Edwards June 1895.'); the Paris bookseller Georges Heilbrun (Catalogue 37, 1972, no. 37); Michel Wittock (ex-libris on the front pastedown; see The Michel Wittock Collection. Part I: Important Renaissance Bookbindings, Christie's London 2004, lot 31).

A magnificent copy – bound for the French cardinal Charles de Bourbon – of the third edition of this compilation of astrological works by the renowned physician, natural philosopher, mathematician, and astrologer from Milan Girolamo Cardano. The first part consists of his translation into Latin of Ptolemy's Tetrabiblos, along with his commentary. The first edition of Cardano's collection issued from Heinrich Petri's press appeared in 1554; the 1557 publication is the first to be supplemented with commentary by the mathematician Conradus Dasypodius (1532-1600), who suppressed, from the section Genitura exempla devoted to individual horoscopes of great men, the famous horoscope of Jesus Christ and inserted instead a short description of the clock in the cathedral of Strasbourg, which Dasypodius had constructed in collaboration with the Habrecht brothers from Schaffhausen.

The edition is presented here in a splendid copy once owned by Charles de Bourbon, Archbishop of Rouen, who was proclaimed Charles X of France by the Catholic League in 1589 following the assassination of Henry III. For his exquisite library, Charles de Bourbon commissioned bindings of the greatest elegance, executed by renowned binders in the soberer style in vogue in the last decades of the sixteenth century: the covers of this volume are simply tooled with three gilt fillets, and the spine bears his coat of arms, along with the his device with the motto 'SVPERAT CANDORE ET ODORE'.

Most of de Bourbon's library eventually went to the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, with a few books remaining in private hands. In the nineteenth century, this copy was in possession of the great bibliophile and art collector William Beckford, whose impressive library was sold in 1882. “Mr. Beckford's exquisite taste and judgement rendered him a perfect enthusiast in collecting literary bijoux, especially of works exhibiting the bibliopegistic skill of the most eminent binders [...] Mr. Beckford was indefatigable in watching all the great sales in London and Paris, eagerly securing copies of works bearing the arms and devices of eminent collectors [...] His collection is rich in works bearing the arms or devices of Francis I, of Henry II and Diane de Poitiers, Henry III [...] including excessively rare specimens of Cardinal de Bourbon” (The Hamilton Palace Libraries. Catalogue of The First Portion of the Beckford Library, pp. iii-iv).

Adams C-682; STC German 719; Houzeau - Lancaster 4856; Riccardi I, 254.7; Olivier 2617 (tools 2, 3); Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 153.

From the celebrated Pillone Library Vecellio’s drawn maps on vellum covers

159. Anania, Gianni Lorenzo da (1545-1609)

L’uniuersale fabrica del mondo, overo Cosmografia... Diuisa in quattro Trattati... Di nuouo ornata con le figure delle quattro parti del Mondo in Rame. Andrea Muschio for Giacomo Aniello De Maria, 1582.

4° (218x157 mm). Collation: †8, ††4, a-d4, A-Z4, Aa- Zz4, Aaa-Bbb4, Ddd6. [56], 402 pages, lacking the last blank leaf. Roman and italic type. Woodcut printer's device on the title-page. One double-page engraved map of 'ORBIS DESCRIPTIO'; four folding engraved maps depicting Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Woodcut decorated initials, head- and tailpieces. Contemporary vellum over pasteboards, with original drawings in pen and ink executed by Cesare Vecellio, depicting a map of Europe, Asia, and Africa on the front cover, and a map of the Americas (Mondo Novo) on the back. Spine with three raised bands, title 'FABRICHA DEL MONDO' vertically inked in the two central compartments, arabesques in ink at the external compartments. Edges decorated with curving lines. Binding in excellent condition, a little faint staining, two pairs of ties on the fore-edge replaced. A good copy, small repairs to the leaves of the first quire, affecting a few letters, light browning, the first leaves slightly waterstained; a small wormhole at the upper blank margin.

Provenance: Odorico Pillone of Casteldardo (1503-1593); Sir Thomas Brooke of Armitage Bridge House, Huddersfield (1830-1908; ex-libris on the front pastedown; see A Catalogue of the Manuscripts and Printed Books Collected by Thomas Brooke, F.S.A. Vol. II. M-Z, London 1891, no. 100, “Lorenzo d'Anania, Gio. L'Universale Fabrica del Mondo, overo Cosmografia. In Venetia, 1587. 4to. v.”); from Humprey Brooke to Pierre Berès (P. Berès, Un group de livres Pillone. Catalogue no. 67, Paris 1957, no. 132; label on the front pastedown 'Livre no. 132 de la Bibliothèque Pillone Pierre Berès'); John Roland Abbey (1896-1969; ex-libris on the front pastedown; sale Sotheby's 21 June 1967, Catalogue of the Celebrated Library of Major J.R. Abbey. 3rd portion. London 1967, lot 2091); Sotheby's London, 25 May 2000, lot 89.

A rare surviving copy from the celebrated library assembled by the Pillone family in their Villa of Casteldarno in Val Cadore, near Belluno: the third edition of Anania's Cosmografia, an influential and much-cited sixteenth-century guide which first appeared in Naples in 1573, and presented here in a magnificent vellum binding decorated with India ink and wash drawings by Cesare Vecellio (1521-1601; see no. 157), a cousin and pupil of Titian. Vecellio is also famously the author of Habiti antichi et moderni, as well as the Corona delle nobili e virtuose donne, one of the finest cut pattern books for embroidery and lace designs (see no. 169).

The library was formed by the Pillones over several generations, but significantly expanded by Antonio (1464-1533) and his eldest son Odorico (1503-1594). These finely painted bindings were commissioned by Odorico, or possibly by his son Giorgio in the late 1570s-1580s. In all, 172 books were bound and decorated, mainly by Vecellio and a few other artists.

The Pillone Library was larged and varied, and well supplied with geographical books and travel narratives. The present copy of Anania's Universale fabrica del mondo or Cosmografia is one of only twenty-one volumes bound in vellum whose covers were finely decorated by Vecellio with drawings in pen and ink appropriate to the content of the book, which in this case contains – along the double-page engraved map of 'orbis descriptio' – four folding engraved maps of the continents known at the time, depicting Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. On the upper cover, Vecellio presents a map of Europe, Asia, and Africa, while the lower cover bears a map depicting the Mondo Novo.

“Si elles n'ont pas pour l'amateur d'art le prix inestimable des oeuvres originales de Vecellio, elles offrent pour l'amateur de livres des spécimens également désirables à cause de leur précision iconographique et de l'élegance de leur facture. Les vélins peints [...] ressortissent plus à la gravure qu'au dessin. Leur presence [...] concourt à donner sa physionomie unique à la bibliothèque Pillone. Par le souci réellement artistique qui a présidé à leur décoration et dont on ne connaît aucun exemple, ils doivent être considerés commes des oeuvres artistiques exceptionnelles” (L. Venturi, Cesare Vecellio et la Bibliothèque Pillone, introduction to Bibliothèque Pillone).

STC Italian 26; Bibliothèque Pillone, 132; Sabin 1364; T. Conte (ed.), Cesare Vecellio, 1521 c.-1601, Belluno 2001; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 159.

The ‘lunatiques’ of Aix-en-Provence. A Gift from Peiresc to His Friend Gassendi

191. Bacon, Francis (1561-1626)

De dignitate et augmentis scientiarum, Libri ix. Ad Regem suum. Iuxta Exemplar Londini Impressum. Pierre Mettayer, 1624.

Small 4° (256x170 mm). Collation: *2, **4, ***2, A-Z8, AA-ZZ8, AAa-XXx4, YYy2. [16], 540 pages (with some errors in numbering). Roman and italic type. Woodcut printer's device on the title-page. Engraved portrait of the author on fol. *1r. Woodcut decorated initials and headpieces. Fine French contemporary binding executed by Simon Corberan. Red morocco, over pasteboards. Covers framed within triple gilt fillet, central gilt monogram of Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc. Spine with three raised bands, compartments decorated with small floral tools, title and imprint in gilt lettering. 'VERVLAMIVS DE SCIENTIAR. DIGNIT. 1624'. Edges slightly speckled red. A few minor stains to the lower cover. In a modern red morocco box, at foot of the spine 'EXEMPLAIRE DE PEIRESC DONNÉ EN CADEAU À GASSENDI'. A good copy, light offset turn-ins of the binding on the first and last leaves; restored wormhole in the blank outer margin of some leaves, without any loss. Pencilled modern note about the provenance on the recto of the front flyleaf.

Provenance: from the library of Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc (1580-1637), who on 26 March 1636 gave the volume to Pierre Gassendi (1592-1655; ownership inscription on the title-page: 'donum optimi d[omi]ni de Peiresc, ideo acceptum, quòd aliud exe[m]plar in folio hab[ea]t. 26 mart. M.DC.XXXVI. Gassendi.').

Extraordinary association copy of the second Latin edition of this famous treatise by the English philosopher and stateman Francis Bacon, his manifesto for the progress of learning. The volume belonged to the renowned savant, naturalist, antiquarian, book collector and great patron and amateur of sciences and art Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc (1580-1637), who offered it as a gift to one of his closest friends, the famous philosopher and astronomer Pierre Gassendi (1592-1655), one of the earliest French admirer of Bacon's experimental philosophy. This exceptional provenance is attested by the inscription on the title-page, in the hand of Gassendi himself. United in the present volume are thus three of the principal scientists and advocates of the New Science: Bacon, Gassendi and the savant for whom the volume was handsomely bound, Peiresc.

Although in his will Peiresc left books – along with mathematical and astronomical instruments – to Gassendi, his nephew refused to let the philosopher have them upon his death on 24 June 1637. The library was thereby dispersed, and a manuscript catalogue now survives in the Bibliothèque Inguimbertine at Carpentras. This copy is thus of especial interest as it rescues a volume from Peiresc's library, and offering documentary evidence of Bacon's ideas and work in the French intellectual circles of the 1620s and the following decades.

Indeed, Peiresc himself was directly involved in the publishing of the 1624 edition of the De dignitate et augmentis scientiarum, edited by Bacon's secretary William Rawley, which first appeared in 1623 in London as an enlarged version of the earlier On the Proficience and Advancement of Learning (1605).

In November 1623 Peiresc had received a letter from the Italian scholar and antiquarian Cassiano del Pozzo, containing a notice of the publication in London of the De dignitate et augmentis scientiarum. In the opinion of Peiresc, the circumstances were also favorable for proposing in France an edition of this work juxta exemplar Londini. Unlike the London folio-edition, for the volume printed by the typographus regius Pierre Mettayer a quarto format was chosen, and copies hot off the press were sent by Peiresc to many correspondents. Peiresc thereby played a pivotal role in the diffusion of Bacon across continental Europe.

In March 1636 a copy of this Parisian edition was still preserved in the large library amassed by Peiresc in Aix-en-Provence, elegantly yet plainly bound in red morocco by the binder Simon Corberan, who moved from Paris to Aix-en-Provence in 1625, and stamped with Peiresc's Greek cipher, two sets of his initials, Ν Κ Φ. And precisely at the beginning of March 1636 his great friend and intellectual interlocutor Pierre Gassendi arrived in Peiresc's residence, as his letter to the Genevan Elie Diodati, dated Aix-en-Provence 8 April 1636, attests.

In the De rebus coelestibus commentarij (1658) Gassendi presents a large number of observations recorded over decades, among them those carried out at Aix in March 1636 together with his friend Peiresc, who had studied astronomy at the Jesuit College in Tournon, and met Galileo at Padua in 1599. Peiresc took an active interest in Galileo's telescopic discoveries, so much so that immediately after the publication in 1610 of the Sidereus Nuncius, he had an observatory built in his Hôtel de Callas in Aix; he spent years recording the times of planetary events and calculating terrestrial longitudes, discovered the first nebula in the constellation Orion, and commissioned the first mapping of the moon.

The 'story' of the present copy of Bacon's De dignitate et augmentis scientiarum has another protagonist, albeit less famous than Peiresc and Gassendi: the binder Simon Corberan, who in March 1636 assisted the two 'lunatiques' of Aix-en-Provence in their astronomic observations. Pereisc had in fact trained his servants also to be astronomers. Corberan began to observe the celestial bodies on 7 November 1631, on the occasion of the transit of Mercury, accurately predicted by Johann Kepler. He also sketched a cahier d'observation, and we have records of Gassendi and Corberan observing an eclipse of the sun in 1639. Corberan represents the “exemple le plus magistral de domestique parvenu au statut de curieux [...]: embauché initialement comme relieur, il devint, sous la direction de Peiresc, un fervent curieux d'astronomie et acquit d'incontestables talents d'observateur” (C. Dauvergne, Un moteur de la révolution scientifique, p. 465).

The gift, on 26 March 1636, of this precious copy of Bacon's De dignitate et augmentis scientiarum – from his library and bound by the relieur-astronome Corberan – to his dearest friend seems to encapsulate the revival of Bacon's philosophy, with its dual emphasis on friendship and the advancement of science. A collaborative venture which reflects Bacon's convinction that the true progress of knowledge can be achieved only through a collective enterprise.

R. W. Gibson, Francis Bacon. A Bibliography of His Works and of Baconiana, Oxford 1950, no. 130; P. Tamizey de Larroque, “Une lettre inédite de Peiresc à son relieur Corberan”, Annuaire-bulletin de la Société de l'histoire de France, 26 (1890), pp. 121-126; P. Humbert, “Un relieur astronome”, Mélanges de Philosophie, d'Histoire, et de Littérature, 1934, pp. 209-214; I. de Conihout, “Du nouveau sur la bibliothèque de Peiresc”, M. Fumaroli (ed.), Peiresc et l'Italie, Paris 2009, pp. 243-264; C. Zittel, “Die Lunatiker von Aix-en-Provence”, U. Feist - M. Rath (eds.), Et in imagine Ego. Facetten von Bildakt und Verkörperung. Festgabe für Horst Bredekamp, Berlin 2012, pp. 277-299; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 191.

A stunning presentation copy of Kircher’s Ars Magna Sciendi

212. Kircher, Athanasius (1602-1680)

Ars Magna Sciendi, In XII Libros Digesta, qua Nova & Universali Methodo Per Artificiosum Combinationum contextum de omni re proposita plurimis & prope infinitis rationibus disputari, omniumque summaria quaedam cognitio comparari potest.... Johann Jansson van Waesberghe and the Widow of Elizeus Weyerstraet, 1669.

Two parts in one volume, large folio (447x282 mm). The two parts with running collation and foliation. Collation: *4, **4, A-Z4, Aa-Hh4, Kk-Zz4, Aaa-Ooo4, Ppp6. [16], 482, [10] pages. Roman and italic type. Text in two columns. Separate engraved title-pages to both parts, the second one bearing a woodcut printer's device. Between fols. *2 and *3, an engraved portrait of Emperor Leopold, one engraved plate between fols. Ii1 and Ii2 depicting the 'Arbor Philosophica Universae cognitionis Typus'. Four double-page letter-press tables, one folding; engraved diagrams in the text, those on fols. B3r and Y3r with volvelles. Numerous woodcut illustrations, decorated initials, and large tailpieces. Contemporary Amsterdam binding, red morocco over pasteboards. Covers profusely gilt with massed floral and arabesque tools, partly au pointillé. Spine with seven raised bands, similarly gilt; title lettered in gilt 'A. KIRCHE. ARS COMBINAT.'. Comb-marbled pastedowns; board edges decorated with gilt frieze; inside dentelles. Edges speckled red and blue. Binding in very fine condition, especially for a volume of this size; extremities of the spine slightly repaired. A good copy, some browning and foxing, sometimes heavy, as expected. On the title-page, two early inked shelfmarks.

Provenance: Giovanni Paolo Oliva (1600-1681; contemporary ownership inscription on the title-page 'Bibl. P[raepositi] Olivae'); Martin Breslauer, Fine Books and Manuscripts in Fine Bindings. Catalogue 110, New York 1992, no. 107 (his bibliographical notes, dated 22 July 1990, on the front flyleaf); Joost R. Ritman, Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica (bookplate on the front pastedown).

A splendid, large-paper copy of the first edition of the Ars magna sciendi, in a stunning morocco binding executed on behalf of Athanasius Kircher for presentation to Giovanni Paolo Oliva (1600-1681), eleventh general of the Jesuits, whose name appears printed on the approbation leaf in this edition. Oliva was a very close friend of Kircher, demonstrated great interest in his polyhedric research and studies, and gave several formal permissions to print his works.

The Ars magna sciendi is one of the most influential works by the well-known German Jesuit, who was an eclectic scholar, inventor, collector, and founder of the Museum Kircherianum in the Roman College (see no. 226). In this monumental work, which is dedicated to Emperor Leopold I, Kircher builds an exhaustive scientific system based on logical combinations and symbolic logic formulae capable of expressing each truth; it thus represents one of the most celebrated seventeenth-century attempts at creating a universal language for scientists and philosophers to describe and circumscribe all knowledge into a unified system.

In 1661, Kircher – who never left Rome after settling there in 1633 – came into epistolary contact with the Dutch publisher Joannes Jansson van Waesberghe (Janssonius). Jansson was active in Amsterdam from 1651 to 1681; in his later years he entered into partnership with his son-in-law, Elizaeus Weyerstraet. Of Kircher's thirty-four books printed during his lifetime, fourteen were published by Janssonius. As Kircher wrote in his Vita, “It was my wish then that all the books I had previously published should be dedicated by posterity to the magnanimous emperor Ferdinand III and those that appeared after his death to his son the emperor Leopold. All those who read these in later times will admire their splendid production by the Amsterdam bookseller Johannes Janssonius, who has assumed responsibility for the publication and printing of all my books” (The Life of the Reverend Father Athanasius Kircher of the Society of Jesus, p. 495). The Archives of the Jesuit Gregorian University in Rome preserves Jansson's draft contract, written in Amsterdam and dated 29 July 1661, establishing the sum of 2,200 scudi for 'tutti li suoi libri', that is, for publishing all Kircher's books (PUG 563, fol. 244). Kircher also commissioned Jansson to produce luxury bindings for presentation copies, which were to be executed on his behalf by the most renowned binders active in Amsterdam. Among the various craftsmen active in the city at that time, Mirjam Foot has been able to identify a group of 'Kircher-binders' based on the fact that four of the eight luxury bindings she has seen from this group contained works by Athanasius Kircher. This includes the Latium printed by Jansson in 1671, which was perhaps bound for Pope Clemens X and is now preserved in Copenhagen's Koninklijke Bibliotheek.

Father Oliva's presentation copy of the Ars magna sciendi is housed in a sumptuous binding which bears comparison with those executed by Albert Magnus (1642-1689), the most important Dutch bookbinder of the age. Anthony Hobson has attributed to Magnus a very similar binding found on the famous Landau Hely-Hutchinson copy of the same work, held at the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York (PLM 49213; see the Sotheby's sales of 13 July 1948 and 13 March 1956). According to Foot, however, the Morgan binding was in fact not executed by Albert Magnus, but represents rather the only work of an Amsterdam bookbinder of the same professional stature who also belonged to the group of the 'Kircher binders'.

It is very likely this individual used tools based directly on those employed by Magnus, and was probably active in Jansson's printing house.

“One of the binders commissioned was Magnus, another Dr. Foot's 'Kircher Binder' of which she knew eight bindings, four on Kircher's works. Are the two presentation bindings on the 'Ars Magna' the only survivers of a shortlived attempt by Janssonius to establish a bindery of his own, for which he had special tools cut and for which he temporarily employed one of Magnus' craftsmen?” (Breslauer, Catalogue 107, p. 188).

Merrill 22; Caillet II, 360.5771; Clendening 10.17; J. E. Fletcher - E. Fletcher, Study of the Life and Works of Athanasius Kircher, ‘Germanus Incredibilis'. With a Selection of his Unpublished Correspondence and an Annotated Translation of his Autobiography, Leiden-Boston 2011; H. de la Fontaine Verwey, “The Binder Albert Magnus and the Collectors of his Age”, Quaerendo, 1 (1971), pp. 158-178; M. M. Foot, Studies in the History of Bookbinding, London 1979; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 212.

Festival culture in Baroque Palermo

222. Vio, Ignazio de (1659-1749)

L’Emporio delle glorie palermitane, o vero il compendio di molti pregi della Città di Palermo, consecrato a S. Rosalia Vergine Palermitana, nella solennità di quest’anno 1704.... Domenico Cortese, 1704.

4° (183x129 mm). [4], 138, [2] pages. Four engraved folding plates, signed 'D. Paulus Amato Ingignerius inventor'. Decorated woodcut initials and tailpieces. Modern gilt-tooled morocco. A good copy, some foxing and staining. Upper margin slightly trimmed but not affecting the text. Some marginal repairs, small restored hole on fol. D8, with loss of a few letters.

First edition of this work describing the magnificent religious festival held in Palermo in 1704 in honour of the city's patron saint, St. Rosalia, who, according to local tradition, had saved the city from the plague (see no. 204). The text is attributed in the dedicatory epistle to the Jesuit Ignazio de Vio, teacher of theology, mathematics, and Hebrew. Between 1693 and 1704 he published several works on the festival of Santa Rosalia, which, initiated in 1625, began on 12 July and lasted four days. The cult of the patron saint was strongly supported by the Jesuits, who were directly involved – as this publication testifies – in the organisation of processions and other festivities.

The volume is supplemented with four fine plates, which are signed by the leading architect, engineer, and painter Paolo Amato (1634-1714), the designer and inventor of all the spectacular ephemeral structures or apparati. Amato was in charge of the fabulous decorations for almost all festivities commissioned by the Senate of Palermo between the 1680s and 1714, the year of his death. One of the folding plates is especially impressive: it measures 1098 mm in length, and shows a procession of chariots looking like galleons. The other plates are also of great interest, depicting various ephemeral structures used in the festival, such as an incredible firework machine built as a castle on an island surrounded by boats and elaborate church apparati.

“Con la llegada de la dinastia Borbón al solio español, el festino se enriquecerà con nuovos tipos de decoración; en los palacios públicos y privados, arcos triumfales, etc. Así los vemos en las últimas celebraciones del Palermo español, entre 1701 y 1713 [...] En 1704 el carro de la santa fue sostituido por un simulacro del Bucintoro de Venecia y la máquina de fuegos se presentó come un castillo sobre una isla, rodeado de barcos” (La fiesta barroca, p. 123).

Melzi I, 355; Biblioteca centrale della Regione siciliana “Alberto Bombace”, Sanctae Rosaliae Dicata, Bibliografia cronologica su Santa Rosalia, September 2004, p. 58; S. di Fede, “La festa barocca a Palermo: città, architetture, istituzioni”, Espacio, Tiempo y Forma, series VII, 18-19 (2005-2006), p. 65; M. Cornelles, V. Manuel et al. (eds.), La fiesta barroca. Los reinos de Nápoles y Sicilia (1535-1713), Palermo 2014, pp. 111-123; F. Checa Cremades - L. Férnandez-González, Festival Culture in the World of the Spanish Habsburgs, Farnham 2015, pp. 229-231; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 222.

Bound by Georg Friedrich Krauss for Duke Albrecht Kasimir August von Sachsen-Teschen

237. Bayardi, Ottavio Antonio (1695-1764)

Catalogo degli antichi monumenti dissotterrati dalla discoperta città di Ercolano... Naples, Regia Stamperia, 1755. (uniformly bound with:) Le antichità di Ercolano, esposte. Regia Stamperia, 1757 - 1792.

Nine volumes, large folio (510x390 mm). Complete, with 609 plates (the extra plate no. 610 recorded in RIBA, is usually not included in the known copies). The first six volumes of the Antichità feature a frontispiece with medallion portrait of Charles III, King of Spain and the Indies, engraved by Filippo Morghen (1730-1807) after a drawing by Camillo Paderni (this frontispiece is lacking in the seventh volume); the frontispiece of the eighth volume bears a medallion portrait of Charles III's successor, his son Ferdinand IV. Contemporary Viennese bindings executed by Georg Friedrich Krauss (fl. 1791-1824) for Duke Albrecht von Sachsen-Teschen. The fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh volumes of the Antichità bound in red gilt-tooled full-morocco, while the boards of the first, second, third, and eighth ones, and those of Bayardi's Catalogo are covered with red painted paper. All nine volumes feature uniform red morocco spines with seven raised bands, with double green morocco lettering-pieces, the other compartments decorated with gilt floral tools, and the gilt monogram 'AST'. Marbled pastedowns and flyleaves, inside dentelles in the volumes bound in full morocco. A very fine, wide-margined set, printed on strong paper. Minor wear to the head of the spine of the first volume.

Provenance: Herzog Albrecht Kasimir August von Sachsen-Teschen (1738-1822; armorial bindings; see no. 253); Giorgio Fanan (ex-libris on the front pastedown of the first volume).

A splendid set of large volumes containing the first edition of this monumental work devoted to archaeological discoveries at the ancient Roman town of Herculaneum, printed on thick paper and magnificently bound for the well-known bibliophile Albert of Sachsen-Teschen, founder of the eponymous Albertina in Vienna. The set is complete with the Catalogo degli antichi monumenti dissotterrati per ordine della maestà di Carlo re delle due Sicilie by the archaeologist from Parma Ottavio Antonio Bayardi or Baiardi (1695-1764). The Catalogo briefly describes more than two thousand monuments and works unearthed in the discovered town. It was printed in 1755 and is often lacking in the recorded sets.

The Antichità di Ercolano represents the most important source for the development of neo-classical art. It was printed by the Regia Stamperia, the royal publishing house founded by the Bourbons in 1750, and edited by the Royal Herculaneum Academy. The vast project involved several scholars, and the reports were supplemented with magnificent illustrations by prominent artists of the time, including Camillo Paderni, director of the Royal Herculaneum Museum at Portici, and court artists who had obtained permits to draw the objects, including Anton Raphael Mengs, Luigi Vanvitelli, and Giovanni Battista Casanova.

The frontispiece of the first six volumes of the Antichità di Ercolano features a fine engraved portrait of Charles III (1716-1788), Duke of Bourbon, with symbols of the excavations carried out while he was King of Naples: some papyrus scrolls, a bust of Epicurus, vessels and coins, a pick and a shovel. It also depicts the inscription found in the theatre, including the word 'Herculanenses', which enabled excavators to identify the town brought to light as Herculaneum. The frontispiece of the eighth volume – appeared in 1792, i.e., thirty-five years after the publication of the first volume – bears instead the medallion portrait of Charles III's successor, his son Ferdinand IV (1751-1828). It is rare to find a such numbers of engraved portraits in the volumes of the Antichità. In fact, the copies known are often found lacking many of the frontespieces.

Albrecht von Sachsen-Teschen assembled one of the most complete and finely illustrated books from the presses of leading printers. Although unsigned, the present binding can confidently be attributed to the outstanding Viennese binder Georg Friedrich Krauss (fl. 1791-1824), one of von Sachsen-Teschen's principal binders (see no. 253). “Les exemplaires sont tous d'exception, imprimés sur grand papier, les gravures soit avant la lettre, soit en différents états; mais ce qui rend la collection tout à fait unique ce sont les superbes reliures de l'époque, la pluspart avec les dos mosaïqués et ornés du chiffre du duc Albert de Saxe, d'une fraicheur et d'un état de conservation parfaits” (Catalogue de beaux livres ayant appartenu au duc Albert de Saxe-Teschen, p. VIII).

Cicognara 2645; Ebert 711; RIBA 112 and 224; Kissner 199; Blackmer 678; Catalogue de beaux livres ayant appartenu au duc Albert de Saxe-Teschen, Milan 1930; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 237.

Bodoni’s finest illustrated book

243. Paciaudi, Paolo Maria (1710-1785)

Descrizione delle Feste celebrate in Parma l’anno MDCCLXIX per le auguste Nozze di Sua Altezza Reale l’Infante Don Ferdinando colla Reale Arciduchessa Maria Amalia. nella Stamperia Reale, [1769].

Imperial folio (552x406 mm). [8], 76 pages. Parallel text in Italian and French. Engraved title-page within architectural border, the typographical title-page follows. Thirty-six engraved plates, thirty of which are full-page and six are double-page. Engraved head- and tailpieces. Contemporary mottled calf, with the gilt arms of Duke Ferdinand I of Bourbon-Parma on the covers. Spine with seven raised bands, title in gold on red morocco lettering-piece in the second compartment; the other compartments richly decorated with gilt tools showing the symbols of the Bourbon-Parma coat of arms: the towers, the rampant lion and the fleur-de-lis. Joints restored, a few repairs to covers, gilt arms on front panel worn and rubbed. A good copy, light marginal staining to a few leaves, ink spots on the half-title and last plate. Tears repaired in the margin of some plates.

A magnificent festival book printed by Bodoni just a year after his appointment as head of the ducal typography, on the occasion of the marriage of Ferdinand, Duke of Parma to the Archduchess of Austria Maria Amalia of Habsburg-Lothringen, Imperial Princess and daughter of Francis I and Maria Theresa. The wedding was formally celebrated at Colorno on 27 July 1769, but the splendid festival organised in celebration of the union took place in Parma. “On 19 July 1769, Maria Amalia left Mantua for her solemn state entry into the duchy of Parma [...] Finally, on 24 August, Ferdinando and Maria Amalia made their way in a huge procession from Colorno to the cathedral of Parma [...] Planning these events required all Du Tillot's formidable organizational skill, and he insisted on recording the results in the most beautiful way possible. To this end, he gathered Bodoni, [the chief architect of the ducal court Ennemond] Petitot, and Benigno Bossi, the renowned engraver, and exhorted them to produce albums that would astonish everyone with their magnificence. The first and most important of these was Descrizione delle Feste celebrate in Parma” (V. Lester, Giambattista Bodoni, pp. 79-80).

The publication is one of the finest illustrated volumes issued from the Stamperia Reale, “Forse il più attraente di tutti i libri di Bodoni per la bellezza delle figure” (Brooks). It was realised by Bodoni in close collaboration with Ennemond Alexandre Petitot (1727-1801), the latter having been responsible for designing the sumptuous apparati, fabulous scenography, and lavish costuming prepared for those festivities. The bilingual text in Italian and French was composed by the court librarian Paolo Maria Paciaudi and describes the various celebratory performances: tournaments, costume balls, processions, fireworks, a pastoral play in the Boschetto d'Arcadia, and a Chinese fair, all of which are depicted in the marvellous plates, engraved by, among others, Benigno Bossi, Domenico Muzzi, and Giuseppe Patrini, and executed after the designs of such leading artists as G. Volpato, G. Zuliani, Paolo Maria Bossi, and above all the aforementioned Petitot.

The edition, presented here in its first issue, was printed in 1,002 copies, which are housed in different bindings. This copy is one of 144 bound in bazzana, i.e., mottled calf; some of these also bear the Bourbon-Parma coat of arms in gilt, as with the present example.

Brooks 6; De Lama II, 4; Giani, pp. 1-3; Berlin Katalog 3080; Watanabe-O'Kelly & Simon 1141; V. Lester, Giambattista Bodoni: His Life and His World, Boston 2015, pp. 79-80; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 243.

Finely bound for Antoine-Augustin Renouard

251. Lucianus Samosatensis (125–182)

Opera Graece et Latine ad editionem Tiberii Hemsterhusii et Ioannis Frederici Reitzii accurate expressa cum varietate et annotationibus.... Societas Bipontina, 1789 - 1793.

A set of ten volumes, large 8° (210x117 mm). I. [4], CXVI, 492 pages. II. [4], 552 pages. III. [4], 596 pages. IV. [4], 603, [1] pages. V. [4], 604 pages. VI. [4], 605, [3] pages. VII. [4], 583, [1] pages. VIII. [4], 598, [2] pages. IX. [4], 605, [3] pages. X. [4], 367, [313] pages. Engraved vignette on the title-page of each volume. Uniformly bound in blue morocco by Pierre-Joseph Bisiaux, active between 1777 and 1801; the binding of the tenth and last volume uses slightly different leather and tooling, and was probably executed by another binder, possibly after Bisiaux's death. Covers framed within large gilt frame. The owner's name 'renouard' is tooled in gilt on the upper cover of each volume, apart from the tenth. Spines with five double raised bands, underlined by a narrow gilt frieze on red ground and decorated with gilt stars, diagonals of dotted fillets, and small central tools. Title, imprint, and volume numbering lettered in gilt. Rose-pink silk pastedowns; flyleaves either in rose-pink silk and in vellum. Board edges tooled with gilt fillets, inside dentelles. Rose-pink silk bookmarks, gilt edges. In the first nine volumes, the original blue colour of the spines changes to dark olive. Spines occasionally repaired at extremities; upper headbands of the first and seventh volumes restored, and covered with marbled paper. A set in very fine condition, insignificant browning in places.

Provenance: the renowned French bibliographer and outstanding book collector Antoine-Augustin Renouard (1765-1853).

A fine set, uniformly bound for Antoine-Augustin Renouard by the leading Parisian binder Pierre-Joseph Bisiaux: the monumental edition of Lucianus' works, published in the Bipontine series of classical texts and edited by Johann Frederik Reiz (1695-1778) and Tiberius Hemsterhuis (1685-1766). The texts included are mainly based on the three-volume edition of Lucianus that appeared in Amsterdam in 1743.

The Societas Bipontina was established in Zweibrücken (lat. Bipontum) in 1778, and its production centered on Greek and Latin classics. Its publishing activity is famous for the elegance of its layouts and philological accuracy. The first volume opens with the Sylloge de aetate, vita scriptisque Luciani by Reitz, whereas the tenth and last volume contains philological notes on textual variants by Jacques-Nicolas Belin de Ballu, along with a series of detailed indices.

The volumes were bound for the celebrated bibliographer and great book collector Antoine-Augustin Renoaurd, who was particularly passionate about books that were elegantly bound in morocco, richly gilt tooled, and further enriched with vellum or silk – especially rose-pink – pastedowns and flyleaves, as the marvellous set presented here well testifies. The most famous binders during the transition from the Monarchy to the Directory executed bindings for his exquisite library; this included, among others, Pierre-Joseph Bisiaux, who was active in Paris between 1777 and 1801, a rival of Nicolas-Denis Derome (1731-1790), and his heir Bradel.

For an identical binding see the Renouard copy of Athenagoras' work Della risurrettione de' morti (Venice 1556), a volume which later came into the possession of Henry Davis, one of the greatest collectors of magnificent bindings, and held now in the British Library (Davis 570).

G. Burkard, Bibliographie der Editiones Bipontinae, Zweibrücken 1990, pp. 94-101; J. Schoendorf, Zweibrücker Buchdruck zur Fürstenzeit. Das Buch-und Zeitungswesen einer Wittelsbacher Residenz 1488-1794, Zweibrücken 1995, pp. 161-179; M. Baubach, Lukian in Deutschland. Eine Forschungs- und Rezeptionsgeschichtliche Analyse vom Humanismus bis zur Gegenwart, München 2002, pp. 100, 118, 266. For similar bindings see S. de Ricci, French Signed Bindings, no. 124; M. Foot, Les reliures françaises, pl. 8; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 251.

Printed on blue paper, and bound for Cardinal Salviati

254. Cecire, Antonio Maria (fl. 2. half of the 18th century)

La dottrina della Chiesa sulle Indulgenze esposta e difesa... per dimostrare il valore delle Indulgenze contenute nella Bolla-Crociata pe’ regno delle due Sicilie. nella Stamperia Simoniana, 1791.

Large 8° (214x135 mm). Printed on blue paper. 360 pages. Woodcut ornament on the title-page. Woodcut decorated initials, head- and tailpieces. Fine contemporary honey calf, over pasteboards. Covers within elaborate gilt frame of neoclassical decorative elements, at each inner corner a small amphora-shaped tool. At the centre a large coat of arms of Cardinal Gregorio Antonio Maria Salviati. Spine with five small raised bands, richly gilt tooled with larger amphora-shaped tools. Title in gold on brown morocco lettering-piece. Board edges decorated with diagonal gilt fillets. Marbled pastedowns, gilt edges. Flyleaves renewed, lower corners restored. A very fine, wide-margined copy. Insignificant paper flaws to the lower margin of fol. Y1 and outer lower corner of fol. Q3, in both cases not affecting the text.

Provenance: Cardinal Gregorio Antonio Maria Salviati, Duke of Giuliano (1727-1794, armorial binding).

A fine copy – printed on 'carta turchina' – of this striking testament to the lively debate that had arisen in the late eighteenth-century Kingdom of the Two Sicilies concerning indulgences and the abuses of their practice.

Cecire's treatise aims to offer a sort of 'guide' for preachers, parish priests, and catechists on the issue of indulgences, a topic which has consistently sparked much extensive and heated controversy throughout ecclesiastical history. Here the Franciscan author deals especially with the so-called 'Bolle della Crociata', or Crusade-Bulls, issued in the 1790s by Pope Pius VI for Ferdinand IV, King of Naples, which foresaw special indulgences for punishment due to sins. The Bolla della Crociata had first been promulgated in 1509 by Julius II in favour of the Spanish monarchy, granting indulgences to those who would take part in the crusades against infidels. Obviously, at the end of the eighteenth century the Bull had lost its original function; instead, it was periodically issued for financing the construction or repair of churches and monasteries among other pious initiatives, but the money was also often used for other purposes, thus provoking criticism and polemics.

This copy, housed in a fine armorial binding and printed on blue paper, was indeed commissioned by the author for a distinguished recipient or patron: Cardinal Gregorio Antonio Maria Salviati.

V. Pinchera, Lusso e decoro. Vita quotidiana e spese dei Salviati di Firenze nel Sei e Settecento, Pisa 1999; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 254.

In original printed boards

267. Fröbel, Friedrich Wilhelm August (1782-1852)

Die Menschenerziehung, die Erziehungs-, Unterrichts- und Lehrkunst, angestrebt in der allgemeinen deutschen Erziehungsanstalt zu Keilhau.... Keilhau, Verlag der allgemeinen deutschen Erziehungsanstalt; Leipzig, A. Wienbrack, 1826.

8° (208x127 mm). [4], 497, [1] pages, plus one final leaf bearing a list of Fröbel's writing up to that date. Original printed boards. The explanatory notes of the two vignettes – 'Die Lilie im Garten' and 'Jesus im Tempel' – at the centre of the covers are pasted on the front and rear flyleaves. A very good copy, only slightly browned.

Provenance: Fröbel's friend and collaborator at Keilhau, Johann Heinrich Langethal (1792-1879; ownership inscription on the verso of the front flyleaf).

Rare first edition of Fröbel's first major work. Perhaps even more than Wie Gertrud ihre Kinder lehrte (1801) by Pestalozzi, who deeply influenced Fröbel, Die Menschenerziehung represents a milestone of modern pedagogical thought, and had an enormous impact on such later educators as Peter Petersen, Hermann Lietz, Maria Montessori, and John Dewey.

In 1816 Fröbel started his first school in the small village of Griesheim (in Hesse, Germany). A year later, the school moved a few miles away to another village, Keilhau, where his friends Wilhelm Middendorff and Johann Heinrich Langethal – the owner of the present copy – joined him to work as teachers. The number of pupils at the school soon grew, and more teachers were recruited. While at Keilhau, Fröbel had begun to publish his ideas in a weekly journal called Die erziehenden Familien, and in 1826 he privately published his Die Menschenerziehung.

The work outlines Fröbel's teaching methods and embodies a theory of education based on the principles of 'wholeness' (a child must be in harmony with nature and society), and 'activity' (in the sense that thinking and doing through play, learning, and work are the basis for a fully conscious and happy life for the individual and for society). The Prussian authorities were not enthusiastic about this eccentric man and his 'dangerous' ideas, and decided to investigate the practices at the school. Parents started removing their children; when finally only six students remained, the school had to be closed down. This, however, was not the end of Fröbel's career as school director; on the contrary, it marked only its beginning.

The present copy had once belonged to Johann Heinrich Langethal, one of Fröbel's closest collaborators at Keilhau. Born in Berlin, he first met Fröbel in 1813, and in 1817 he was among the founders of the Keilhau School.

H. Heiland, Bibliographie Friedrich Fröbel, Hildesheim-Zürich-New York, 1990, no. 0023; S. Hebenstreit, Friedrich Fröbel - Menschenbild, Kindergartenpädagogik, Spielförderung, Jena 2003; M. Berger, “Langethal, Johann Heinrich”, F. Marwinski (ed.), Lebenswege in Thüringen, Fünfte Sammlung, Jena 2015, pp. 171-176; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 267.

In the deluxe original publisher’s green cloth

276. Collodi, Carlo (1826-1890)

Le avventure di Pinocchio. Storia di un burattino. Illustrata da E. Mazzanti. Firenze, Felice Paggi, 1883.

8° (182x120 mm). 236 pages, plus IV pages of advertisements. A portrait of Pinocchio by Enrico Mazzanti serves as the frontispiece. Sixty-one woodcuts in the text, likewise by Mazzanti. Original publisher's green cloth. On the upper cover, title stamped in gilt between two gilt stripes with the name of the author and printer embossed in green; the lower cover decorated with two floral-patterned rolls in black; spine with title lettered in gold. Covers slightly discoloured, lower cover somewhat bumped. In a fine sand morocco folding case, probably by Gozzi (Modena), the figure of Pinocchio outlined in gold at the centre of the upper board, with inlays in green, white, and red morocco. A good copy, marginal browning. Two short tears to the blank margins of pages 18 and 225, repaired, without any loss.

The exceedingly rare first edition in book form – presented in its very desirable original luxury cloth binding – of the masterpiece by the Italian writer and journalist Carlo Lorenzini (better known as Collodi), the enduring children's classic about a marionette whose nose would grow each time he told a lie.

The novel Pinocchio was first serialised in the children's magazine from Rome, Giornale per i bambini, under the direction of Ferdinando Martini: the first instalment appeared on 7 July 1881, and the last one on 25 January 1883. Pinocchio was published as a book in the same year, 1883, probably in a very small print run, and at least twelve reprints appeared during the first year of publication. Enrico Mazzanti (1852-1893) was responsible for the everlasting black-and-white illustrations. The success was enormous, with countless editions and translations into more than 260 languages. Collodi's masterpiece continues to be cherished to this day and has been the subject of numerous adaptations, including popular versions by Walt Disney and Steven Spielberg, who used the story for the film A.I. (2001).

The work was first translated into English in 1892 by M. A. Murray, whose version – The Story of a Puppet or The Adventures of Pinocchio – was published in the same year in London as well as in New York, supplemented with thirty seven of Mazzanti's illustrations. In 1904 the first American illustrated edition was published, thanks to the work of Walter S. Cramp and Charles Copeland (Pinocchio: the Adventures of a Marionette, Boston, Ginn & Co.). “Almost nothing else in children's literature equals Pinocchio for wildness of invention” (Carpenter-Prichard, Oxford Companion to Children's Literature, p. 462).

Parenti, Rarità bibliografiche dell'Ottocento, pp. 148-153 (“E' questo uno dei pezzi più rari, se non il più raro senz'altro, dell'Ottocento italiano”); H. Carpenter - M. Prichard (eds.), Oxford Companion to Children's Literature, Oxford 1984, pp. 461-462; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 276.

With the original light green wrappers, housed in an artistic binding by Sandra Varisco

277. Collodi, Carlo (1826-1890)

Le avventure di Pinocchio. Storia di un burattino. Illustrata da E. Mazzanti. Felice Paggi, 1883.

8° (190x122 mm). 236 pages, plus IV pages of advertisements. A portrait of Pinocchio by Enrico Mazzanti serves as the frontispiece. Sixty-one woodcuts in the text, likewise by Mazzanti. In a fine binding signed and dated (2015) by Sandra Varisco, after a maquette by the contemporary artist MP5. Cream box calf with figurative inlays in green inspired by the silhouette of Pinocchio wearing donkey's ears (in Italian, 'donkey' also means 'dunce'). Title lettered in 'dymo' style on spine. The original light green wrappers preserved inside (with old repairs). In a half-leather chemise, with title in 'dymo' style on spine. A fine copy, partly uncut and generally fresh, two unobtrusive children's stamps.

Handsome copy of the first edition of Pinocchio housed in an artistic box calf binding, which captures one of the most famous episodes of Collodi's masterpiece, Pinocchio wearing donkey's ears in the Paese dei Balocchi, i.e, the Land of Toys. The original light green wrappers, illustrated by Enrico Mazzanti, are preserved inside the covers.

The novel Pinocchio was first serialised in the children's magazine from Rome, Giornale per i bambini, under the direction of Ferdinando Martini: the first instalment appeared on 7 July 1881, and the last one on 25 January 1883. Pinocchio was published as a book in the same year, 1883, probably in a very small print run, and at least twelve reprints appeared during the first year of publication. Enrico Mazzanti (1852-1893) was responsible for the everlasting black-and-white illustrations. The success was enormous, with countless editions and translations into more than 260 languages. Collodi's masterpiece continues to be cherished to this day and has been the subject of numerous adaptations, including popular versions by Walt Disney and Steven Spielberg, who used the story for the film A.I. (2001).

The work was first translated into English in 1892 by M. A. Murray, whose version – The Story of a Puppet or The Adventures of Pinocchio – was published in the same year in London as well as in New York, supplemented with thirty seven of Mazzanti's illustrations. In 1904 the first American illustrated edition was published, thanks to the work of Walter S. Cramp and Charles Copeland (Pinocchio: the Adventures of a Marionette, Boston, Ginn & Co.). “Almost nothing else in children's literature equals Pinocchio for wildness of invention” (Carpenter-Prichard, Oxford Companion to Children's Literature, p. 462).

Parenti, Rarità bibliografiche dell'Ottocento, pp. 148-153 (“E' questo uno dei pezzi più rari, se non il più raro senz'altro, dell'Ottocento italiano”); H. Carpenter - M. Prichard (eds.),Oxford Companion to Children's Literature, Oxford 1984, pp. 461-462; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 276.

One of thirty printed on Japon Ancien, bound by Madeleine Gras

281. Bonnard, Pierre (1867-1947) - Mirbeau, Octave (1848-1917)

Dingo. Ambroise Vollard, 1924.

4° (371x274 mm). 193, [11] pages. Fifty-five original etchings, some with drypoint: fourteen hors-texte plates, forty inthe text, one at the end; etched initials, headpieces and vignettes, all by Bonnard. Black and red morocco binding with white and red accents by Madeleine Gras (1891-1958), title lettered in gold in 'dymo' style on spine. Black suede endleaves and flyleaves. Gilt edges. The original wrappers preserved inside. Copy no. 23 of a total 350 copies, one of thirty printed on Japon Ancien. With a separate sheet showing the Indication pour le placement des eaux-fortes hors-texte, and a double suite of the fourteen plates sur papier d'Arches. A beautiful, pristine copy.

A fine copy of the famous French dealer-printer Ambroise Vollard's deluxe printing of one of Octave Mirbeau's final texts, illustrated throughout by the celebrated French painter and printmaker Pierre Bonnard. No. 23 of 350 copies printed – and one of only thirty copies printed on Japon Ancien – it is one of the best examples of early twentieth-century livres d'artiste, counting among Bonnard's masterpieces, and further enriched with a design binding by Madeleine Gras, pupil of the great binder Noulhac.

Dingo is an autobiographical tale of the author's adventures with his semi-feral Austrialian dog – the titular Dingo – in a lowly French country village reminiscent of the town in which Mirbeau grew up. It was published by Eugène Fasquelle in May 1913 although some months earlier, on 23 January, Vollard had written to Mirbeau stating that Imprimerie Nationale had agreed to print it for Éditions Vollard and on 29 December 1916 the dealer paid Bonnard 9,200 francs for illustrations for Dingo as well as another project he was illustrating. In failing health, Mirbeau turned to his long-time friend Léon Werth to help complete the work and passed away less than a month after Vollard's letter, on 16 February 1917. It is still a matter of debate as to why the printing of the text then shifted from Imprimerie Nationale to Émile Féquet, but by 26 November of that same year Vollard wrote to Mirbeau's widow announcing that the printing of Dingo was to commence that same day.

Regarded as the champion among champions of young avant-garde artists in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Vollard was endowed with a great eye and an incredibly energetic creative spirit, constantly moving from one novel project to the next. It was likely in 1893 that Vollard met a young Bonnard, now known for his intimate Post-Impressionist style and painterly approach to printmaking, and the former acted as the latter's 'impresario' for over twenty-five years thereafter.

Already an established dealer, in 1895, Vollard entered the world of print publishing and set out to issue annual collections of fine prints commissioned from an array of contemporary artists. This included Bonnard, who was increasingly involved with these efforts; indeed, in 1897, Vollard published his second collection, Album d'estampes originales de la Galerie Vollard, for which Bonnard designed the wrapper, inside covers, and contents page, and also contributed a lithograph to the collection itself. Although Vollard's early efforts in this domain were both critically and commercially unsuccessful, it was to Bonnard that he turned when he decided to begin printing his livres de luxe, Dingo being the second of five such works that Bonnard worked on with the great printer-dealer.

Bonnard, for his part, seems to have begun working on illustrations for Mirbeau's text shortly after it was published, and his 'croquis d'après le Dingo de M. Octave Mirbeau' was published in the June 1913 issue of Les Cahiers d'aujourd'hui. His illustrations mark Bonnard's first use of line etching and drypoint, and his excitement at the new technique – which to Vollard's dismay rendered his a more lengthy task than had been anticipated – can be felt in the animated strokes that enliven his illustrations; they capture at once the nobility, savagery, and freedom of the animal spirit and the powerfully dynamic nature of one's relation to space.

Vollard also had a lengthy relationship with Mirbeau himself. The French journalist, art critic, travel writer, pamphleteer, novelist, and playwright – who travelled breezily around popular and avant-garde domains alike – wrote a catalogue preface for a Manzana-Pissarro exhibition at Vollard's gallery in April 1907 and purchased a number of works from him around 1904; by 1907 the author had still not paid what he had owed, and it has been suggested by former Metropolitan Museum curator of Modern art Rebecca A. Rabinow that, 'given the nature of their relationship, it is possible that Mirbeau offered Vollard the opportunity to publish his latest work to defray his debt' (Rabinow, Cézanne to Picasso, 333).

N. Rauch, Les Peintres et le livre, 1867-1957, Genève 1957, 26; U. Johnson, Ambroise Vollard, Editeur, New York 1977, no. 169; F. Bouvet, Bonnard the Complete Graphic Work, London 1981, no. 90; C. Ives - H. E. Giambruni - S. M. Newman, Pierre Bonnard: The Graphic Art, New York 1989, no. 103; R. Jentsch, Ambroise Vollard, Éditeur, Stuttgart 1994, no. 17; R. A. Rabinow - D. W. Druick - M. A. di Panzillo, Cézanne to Picasso: Ambroise Vollard, Patron of the Avant-garde, New York 2006, no. 20; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 281.

Picasso’s true meditation on Art

283. Picasso, Pablo (1881-1973) - Balzac, Honoré de (1799-1850)

Le Chef-D'oeuvre Inconnu. Ambroise Vollard, 1931.

4° (335x260 mm). XIV, [3], [16 pages lettered A to P], [3], 92, [14] pages. With thirteen original etchings by Picasso, pulled by Louis Fort; sixty-seven wood engravings cut by George Aubert after Picasso's drawings; and 16 pages reproducing lineblock dot and line drawings. Handsomely bound in a custom binding by René Kieffer, with his signature on the lower turn-ins of the upper cover and his stamp pasted on the verso of the second flyleaf. Linen pastedowns, linen and marble-paper flyleaves. In marbled slipcase. Small stain on plate no. V of the table of etchings and on facing page (a blank), otherwise in pristine condition.

Beautiful centennial edition of Balzac's short story, Le Chef-d'oeuvre inconnu – originally published in the newspaper L'Artiste in August 1831 with the title 'Maître Frenhofer' – commissioned by Picasso's dealer, Ambroise Vollard, and illustrated with thirteen original etchings by the Spanish master, sixty-seven wood engravings cut by George Aubert after his drawings, and sixteen pages reproducing lineblock dot and line drawings. This edition was printed in 305 copies, of which 240 – including the present one, no. 230 – were printed on Rives wove paper.

Admired by such artists as Paul Cézanne and Henri Matisse, Balzac's story tells the tale of an ageing seventeenth-century artist named Frenhofer who obsessively works on a canvas he keeps hidden for years. When two young painters and admirers of Frenhofer's work finally manage to see the canvas, they are shocked by what they discover to be an indistinguishable mass of tangled brushstrokes and layers of paint. Deciding that the older artist must have gone insane, the two young artists deride Frenhofer who subsequently destroys all his works and commits suicide.

The story of this dramatically misunderstood yet visionary hero was well suited for the avant-garde artists pursuing careers in Balzac's wake; indeed, in 1904 Cézanne exclaimed outright 'Frenhofer, c'est moi' (J. Medina, Cézanne and Modernism: The Poetics of Painting, 1995). Arguably the most innovative and ground-breaking artist of the Modern period, Picasso was no exception and identified heavily with Balzac's tragic protagonist, so much so that he later moved his studio to the very seventeenth-century townhouse believed to have been the setting for the opening scene of Frenhofer's tale. It is perhaps hardly a coincidence that the dealer of both Cézanne and Picasso was the great avant-garde champion and mentor Ambroise Vollard, who, in addition to dealing art, was also an avid collector, biographer, and publisher.

In 1927, twenty-six years after mounting Picasso's first Paris exhibition in 1901, Vollard asked the Spanish artist to illustrate a centennial edition of Balzac's text. Although Picasso – widely recognized as one of the greatest printmakers of all time – counts among the most prolific book illustrators of the twentieth century, the etchings he produced for this edition in fact bear little relation to Balzac's text; rather, the artist seems to have used the opportunity to reflect more generally on one of his favourite subjects: the artist-model relationship and the act of creation itself. It is perhaps for this reason that the final product – a true meditation on Art – is itself a work of art, ranking among one of the most beautiful artist's books of the twentieth century.

Cramer, Picasso. Catalogue raisonné des livres illustrés, no. 20; Bonet, Carnets, no. 690, pl. 175; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 283.

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