GENEVA MARRIAGE BINDING

La Bible (with) Les CL. Pseaumes de David, … mis en rime francoise par Clément Marot, & Théodore de Besze. Avec la forme des prières ecclésiastiques, et la manière d’administrer les sacremens, & célébrer le mariage…

Geneva, de l’imprimerie de Matthieu Berjon, 1605

£9,500

8vo. 2 vols in 1. 1)ff. [iv], 412, 96, 130, [ii]. *⁴ a-z⁸ A-Z⁸ Aa-Ee⁸ Ff⁴, aa-mm⁸, AA-QQ⁸ RR⁴ 2) 80 unnumbered leaves. Aa-Kk8. Entirely ruled in red. Roman letter, some Italic, double column, copious woodcut musical notation in second work, bookplate of Madeleine and René Junod and label of the exhibition ‘Dix siècles de livres français’ organised by the Musée des Beaux-Arts at Lucerne on the 9 July to 2 October 1949 (cat., n°357) on pastedown. Light age yellowing, some water staining to title and last leaf, the odd marginal spot or mark. A very good copy in a stunning, exceptionally preserved, contemporary mosaique binding of tan morocco with darker morocco inlays, covers double gilt ruled to a panel design, outer dentelle border made with a series of repeated gilt tools, outer panel with inlaid ovals at corners, gilt fleurons, and small inlaid circles with gilt fleurons repeated with semé of gilt pointillée tools around, central panel with corners of small inlaid ovals and circles with gilt fleurons finely worked with small tools, central arabesques of inlaid circles around a large central oval, gilt, worked in gilt fine small fleurons, pointillée tools, and leafy sprays, spine worked to a very similar panel design with the same use of inlays and fine tools, very finely worked silver clasps and catches, catches with grotesques heads and clasps with small musicians and grotesque heads, ‘Louis Du Four 1616’ stamped on verso of upper clasp, “Catherine Franconis” to lower, all edges gilt and finely gauffered, later endpapers.

A rare edition of this finely printed Protestant bible in a beautiful and richly worked contemporary mosaique morocco binding, immaculately preserved, with its original silvers clasps and catches, a most handsome present commissioned for the wedding of in Geneva in1617 of Louis Dufour and Catherine Franconis. The Société Genevoise de Généalogie states that Catherine Franconis married, on 2nd February 1617, at the Temple of Saint-Gervais in Geneva, Louis Dufour and they later had a daughter Madeleine Dufour which confirms that this bible must have been made as a wedding gift. Their names are jointly stamped on the verso of the catches with the date 1616. The lovely Geneva binding is a very fine example of the best bindings of the period, extremely finely and delicately worked for its small size, with tiny inlays of darker morocco, making for a subtle all over design. The shape of the Bible with its large flat spine allowed the binder to create a most unusual panel design on the spine mirroring those of the covers. The silver clasps and catches are very beautifully worked in very fine grotesques and survive in perfect condition, as does the rest of the binding. This Bible was exhibited in the exhibition ‘Ten centuries of the French Book’ (Dix siècles de livres français) organised by the Musée des Beaux-Arts at Lucerne on the 9 July to 2 October 1949 (cat., n°357)

This Geneva Bible, beautifully printed in a very fine minuscule Roman type, imitates, on a small scale, the great Estienne folio Bibles of the previous century. It is completed with the addition of a Psalter, by the same printer, probably intended to accompany this Bible, though they are not always found together. The Psalter is followed with the ‘forme des prières ecclésiastiques’, the catechism, and the confession of faith in 40 articles by the Reformed Church of France. (“Confession de foi faite d’un commun accord par les François qui désirent vivre selon la pureté de l’Evangile de Nostre Seigneur Jésus-Christ”). A finely printed Bible remarkably preserved in a most beautiful contemporary binding.

BM STC Fr. C17th p. 50, B791. Darlowe and Moule. 3744 ‘French Geneva version. A close reprint of the edition of 1588”.

L2196

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