FLORIMI, Matteo Gioello della corona per le nobili, e virtuose donne

Siena, Matteo Florimi, 1604


Oblong 4to, ff. [34]. Italic letter; title within typographical border, including tailpiece; typographical headpiece and decorated initials on dedication, 32 xylographic plates of lace designs, mostly in strong impression, two repeated; lower and outer margin of title shaved and repaired, minor repairs to blank margins in places, small marginal oil stain to one upper margins. A good copy in modern limp paperboards.

Most complete copy of a very rare collection of lace patterns, first published in 1594. The only other copy known (Berlin Kat.) has only 23 plates. Matteo Florimi (c. 1540-1615) settled in Siena about 1598 and rapidly became a respected publisher of books, city maps and religious and allegorical engravings. Artists such as Andrea Boscoli, Agostino Caracci, Pieter de Jode, Maerten de Vos, and Cornelis Galle worked for him. He also produced this lace book, drawing extensively from two masterpieces in the fields: Gian Battista Ciotti’s Prima parte de’ fiori (Venice 1591) and Cesare Vecellio’s collection in four volume (the latter even bearing the same title as Florimi’s Corona). This combined use of visual sources gives reason to the sudden changes in style from one plate to another. As typical of this genre, the book is dedicated to the noble, most virtuous and ingenious women, who were invited to make the best out of the complex motifs in their lacemaking. The challenging patterns ranges from luxurious architectural and decorative designs to grotesque and mythological themes.

Extremely rare.Berlin Kat., 1645 (only 23 plates); Lotz, Bibliographie der Modelbücher, 127d.
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