HISTORICAL AND CULTURAL ANECDOTES FROM ANCIENT ROME, IN FINE LYONESE BINDING

Dictorum factorumque memorabilium exempla

Lyon, Sebastian Gryphium, 1547.

£3,250

16mo. pp. 517 (xxv), final three leaves blank. Italic letter, printer’s graffia device on title page. Woodcut initials, ruled in red throughout. Light age gilting, with an oil stain to blank inner margins in places. C17 autograph ‘Thiballier’ at foot of title page. A good clean copy in contemporary dark brown calf, slightly glazed, covers with double ruled borders gilt enclosing intricate interlacing ribbons, tooled in gold with gouges and dots, spine with three raised and two semi-raised bands, gilt hatched and dotted, gilt diagonal line borders indented at head and tail, all edges gilt. Lower joint cracked, modest wear to one compartment and band at joint, small surface crack to lower corner, gilt somewhat faded but generally good.

A handsome little mid-C16 French binding, elaborately decorated in an unusual perhaps transitional style, neither pre-fanfare nor arabesque, but owing something to each. The printer Gryphius had his own bindery where a number of his standard publications were relatively richly bound, presumably to customers’ orders. It is likely that this is an example of the work of that atelier.

The Thiballier family, seigneurs de Toury and Thurelles, were French provincial nobility often in royal service. The owner of the volume, by date, may have been Francois Thiballier, leader of the first official French expedition to the Indies, mounted by Colbert in 1670. Two years later it arrived at Trincomali (via Madagascar and La Réunion) where Francis died suddenly, aged 50.

Not in BM. STC Fr. Adams V110 (UL copy only, listed as a ‘binding’). Baudrier VIII p. 218.

L1141

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