Premium pages left without account:

Auction archive: Lot number 74

Plutarchus, Alcuni opusculi de le cose morali, Venice, 1567, dos-à-dos binding with arms of Alvarez of Toledo

Estimate
US$30,000 - US$40,000
Price realised:
n. a.
Auction archive: Lot number 74

Plutarchus, Alcuni opusculi de le cose morali, Venice, 1567, dos-à-dos binding with arms of Alvarez of Toledo

Estimate
US$30,000 - US$40,000
Price realised:
n. a.
Beschreibung:

Plutarchus. Alcuni opusculi de le cose morali del diuino Plutarco, in questa nostra lingua tradotti. Nuouamente ristampati, et corretti. Con la gionta di una tauola delle sentenze più notabili, che in esse si contengono [part 2:] La seconda parte de gli opuscoli morali di Plutarco; recati in questa nostra lingua, da m. Giouanni Trachagnota. Nouamente ristampati, et corretti. Con vna gionta d’vna tauola delle sentenze piu notabili che in quella si contengono. Venice: Comin da Trino, 1567
The translation by Giovanni Tarcagnota (1508–1566) of Plutarch’s Moralia in a contemporary dos à dos binding. The practice of binding books back to back, sharing one board and having opposing spines, known in France as “reliures jumelle” and in Germany as “Zwillingsbände,” originated in Northern Europe in the 1540s; however, the earliest surviving examples are later: a binding executed in London by the binder of the MacDurnan Gospels, ca. 1567–1577, in the British Library (Henry Davis Gift 26; Foot, The Henry Davis Gift, volume 2 (London, 1983), no. 48); and one made in Germany, dated by the binder 1582, in the Morgan Library & Museum (51588; Needham, Twelve Centuries of Bookbinding, 400-1600 (New York, 1979) no. 91). This is the only known dos à dos binding made anywhere in Southern Europe. A few binders in the north and north-east of Germany were meanwhile developing a related structure, uniting four or six books in a backless binding. These whimsical “Mehrfacheinbände” and dos à dos bindings remained fashionable in England, Germany, and Denmark, until the mid-seventeenth century.
When this binding was in the hands of Bernard Breslauer, it was described as “Neapolitan” and the heraldic insignia was identified as belonging to Don García Álvarez de Toledo y Osorio, 4th Marquess of Villafranca, Captain-General of the Mediterranean fleet, Spanish Viceroy of Sicily (1564–1566), who in 1569 received from King Philip II of Spain the titles Duke of Fernandina and Prince of Montalbán, and died at Naples in 1577. The bookbinder’s block displays the Álvarez de Toledo arms (Escudo de ocho puntos de azur equipolados a siete de plata) on a shield with eight flags (Banderas) won on the battlefield. The plumed and vizored helmet faces left, signifying a gentleman (Hidalgo). If these are indeed Don García’s arms, and the armorial block should be heraldically exact, then the binding must antedate his acquisition in 1569 of the Neapolitan dukedom of Fernandina. Breslauer supposed it might have been executed by an itinerant craftsman from Northern Europe, who brought with him to Italy knowledge of the dos à dos style. Breslauer observed that the vine border roll is also found a red goatskin binding covering a prayerbook printed at Rome in 1573, its covers decorated by unusual stamps of the Annunciation and the Magi derived from Northern European models. (For the prayerbook, Rosario della sacratiss. vergine Maria madre di Dio nostra signora, see Lindberg, “Victor von Stedingks bokbandssamling och modern bokbandsforskning,” in Biblis (1975), pp. 143–144 & Fig. 27).
2 volumes, 8vo (144 x 95 mm). Italic type, with some roman, 30 lines plus headline. (I) collation: a–z8: 184 leaves (z8 blank). Woodcut printer's device on title-page, one woodcut initial. (II) collation: a–z8 a–n8 o4: 292 leaves (o4 blank). Woodcut printer's device on title-page, 2 woodcut initials. (Second volume with some light dampstaining, small repairs to fore-edges of first few leaves.)
binding: Strictly contemporary Neapolitan (?; or Spanish?) light brown goatskin dos-à-dos binding (152 x 100 mm), ca. 1567, the two volumes of the edition bound next to each other, but in opposite directions, sharing one common interior board (covered on both sides with leather covered by white paper), the spine of each being cheek by jowl with the fore-edge of the other, outer covers and spines richly gilt; a border, flanked by gilt and blind fillets, composed of repeated curving branch with 2 pairs of acorn and oak leaf, in centers the richly mantled arms of Alvarez de Toledo (Dukedom of Alba), surmounted by a plumed and vizored helmet, above and below a small lion rampant, in the corners an azured fleuron, traces of 2 pairs of alternating blue and white silk ties, 3 bands on spine, title lettered vertically down spine (P[hilosophia] Del Plutarco), flanked by acorn and oak leaf roll; edges gilt and gauffered with pointillé tendrils, leaves, flowers and arabesques, partly picked out with red, green, and blue enamel paint. (Slight rubbing to extremities.) Brown cloth folding-case.
provenance: possibly García Álvarez de Toledo y Osorio, 4th Marquis of Villafranca del Bierzo (1514–1577; armorial supralibros) —shelf label on pastedown (an unidentified English library, ca, 1900) — Sotheby’s, London, 26 April 1990, lot 203, purchased by — unidentified owner (£19,800). — Martin Breslauer Inc., New York (Catalogue 110, [1992], item 54, $85,000). acquisition: Purchased from Martin Breslauer Inc., 1995. 
references: Edit16 24792; USTC 850012; for the binding, see Macchi, “Legature di forma bizzarra,” in Misinta 30 (December 2007), pp. 63–72 (p. 71). For more on Mehrfacheinbände and dos à dos bindings, see Köster, “Mehrfachbände und Vexierbücher: Materialien zu Einbandkuriosa des sechzehnten und siebzehnten Jahrhunderts,” in Archiv für Geschichte des Buchwesens 14 (1973–1974), pp. 1879–1936; Boinet, “Une reliure jumelle allemande du 16e siècle,” in Gutenberg-Jahrbuch (1959), pp. 271–276; Juntke, “Unbekannte Zwillingsbände,” in Gutenberg-Jahrbuch (1964), pp. 389–393.

Auction archive: Lot number 74
Auction:
Datum:
11 Oct 2023
Auction house:
Sotheby's
34-35 New Bond St.
London, W1A 2AA
United Kingdom
+44 (0)20 7293 5000
+44 (0)20 7293 5989
Beschreibung:

Plutarchus. Alcuni opusculi de le cose morali del diuino Plutarco, in questa nostra lingua tradotti. Nuouamente ristampati, et corretti. Con la gionta di una tauola delle sentenze più notabili, che in esse si contengono [part 2:] La seconda parte de gli opuscoli morali di Plutarco; recati in questa nostra lingua, da m. Giouanni Trachagnota. Nouamente ristampati, et corretti. Con vna gionta d’vna tauola delle sentenze piu notabili che in quella si contengono. Venice: Comin da Trino, 1567
The translation by Giovanni Tarcagnota (1508–1566) of Plutarch’s Moralia in a contemporary dos à dos binding. The practice of binding books back to back, sharing one board and having opposing spines, known in France as “reliures jumelle” and in Germany as “Zwillingsbände,” originated in Northern Europe in the 1540s; however, the earliest surviving examples are later: a binding executed in London by the binder of the MacDurnan Gospels, ca. 1567–1577, in the British Library (Henry Davis Gift 26; Foot, The Henry Davis Gift, volume 2 (London, 1983), no. 48); and one made in Germany, dated by the binder 1582, in the Morgan Library & Museum (51588; Needham, Twelve Centuries of Bookbinding, 400-1600 (New York, 1979) no. 91). This is the only known dos à dos binding made anywhere in Southern Europe. A few binders in the north and north-east of Germany were meanwhile developing a related structure, uniting four or six books in a backless binding. These whimsical “Mehrfacheinbände” and dos à dos bindings remained fashionable in England, Germany, and Denmark, until the mid-seventeenth century.
When this binding was in the hands of Bernard Breslauer, it was described as “Neapolitan” and the heraldic insignia was identified as belonging to Don García Álvarez de Toledo y Osorio, 4th Marquess of Villafranca, Captain-General of the Mediterranean fleet, Spanish Viceroy of Sicily (1564–1566), who in 1569 received from King Philip II of Spain the titles Duke of Fernandina and Prince of Montalbán, and died at Naples in 1577. The bookbinder’s block displays the Álvarez de Toledo arms (Escudo de ocho puntos de azur equipolados a siete de plata) on a shield with eight flags (Banderas) won on the battlefield. The plumed and vizored helmet faces left, signifying a gentleman (Hidalgo). If these are indeed Don García’s arms, and the armorial block should be heraldically exact, then the binding must antedate his acquisition in 1569 of the Neapolitan dukedom of Fernandina. Breslauer supposed it might have been executed by an itinerant craftsman from Northern Europe, who brought with him to Italy knowledge of the dos à dos style. Breslauer observed that the vine border roll is also found a red goatskin binding covering a prayerbook printed at Rome in 1573, its covers decorated by unusual stamps of the Annunciation and the Magi derived from Northern European models. (For the prayerbook, Rosario della sacratiss. vergine Maria madre di Dio nostra signora, see Lindberg, “Victor von Stedingks bokbandssamling och modern bokbandsforskning,” in Biblis (1975), pp. 143–144 & Fig. 27).
2 volumes, 8vo (144 x 95 mm). Italic type, with some roman, 30 lines plus headline. (I) collation: a–z8: 184 leaves (z8 blank). Woodcut printer's device on title-page, one woodcut initial. (II) collation: a–z8 a–n8 o4: 292 leaves (o4 blank). Woodcut printer's device on title-page, 2 woodcut initials. (Second volume with some light dampstaining, small repairs to fore-edges of first few leaves.)
binding: Strictly contemporary Neapolitan (?; or Spanish?) light brown goatskin dos-à-dos binding (152 x 100 mm), ca. 1567, the two volumes of the edition bound next to each other, but in opposite directions, sharing one common interior board (covered on both sides with leather covered by white paper), the spine of each being cheek by jowl with the fore-edge of the other, outer covers and spines richly gilt; a border, flanked by gilt and blind fillets, composed of repeated curving branch with 2 pairs of acorn and oak leaf, in centers the richly mantled arms of Alvarez de Toledo (Dukedom of Alba), surmounted by a plumed and vizored helmet, above and below a small lion rampant, in the corners an azured fleuron, traces of 2 pairs of alternating blue and white silk ties, 3 bands on spine, title lettered vertically down spine (P[hilosophia] Del Plutarco), flanked by acorn and oak leaf roll; edges gilt and gauffered with pointillé tendrils, leaves, flowers and arabesques, partly picked out with red, green, and blue enamel paint. (Slight rubbing to extremities.) Brown cloth folding-case.
provenance: possibly García Álvarez de Toledo y Osorio, 4th Marquis of Villafranca del Bierzo (1514–1577; armorial supralibros) —shelf label on pastedown (an unidentified English library, ca, 1900) — Sotheby’s, London, 26 April 1990, lot 203, purchased by — unidentified owner (£19,800). — Martin Breslauer Inc., New York (Catalogue 110, [1992], item 54, $85,000). acquisition: Purchased from Martin Breslauer Inc., 1995. 
references: Edit16 24792; USTC 850012; for the binding, see Macchi, “Legature di forma bizzarra,” in Misinta 30 (December 2007), pp. 63–72 (p. 71). For more on Mehrfacheinbände and dos à dos bindings, see Köster, “Mehrfachbände und Vexierbücher: Materialien zu Einbandkuriosa des sechzehnten und siebzehnten Jahrhunderts,” in Archiv für Geschichte des Buchwesens 14 (1973–1974), pp. 1879–1936; Boinet, “Une reliure jumelle allemande du 16e siècle,” in Gutenberg-Jahrbuch (1959), pp. 271–276; Juntke, “Unbekannte Zwillingsbände,” in Gutenberg-Jahrbuch (1964), pp. 389–393.

Auction archive: Lot number 74
Auction:
Datum:
11 Oct 2023
Auction house:
Sotheby's
34-35 New Bond St.
London, W1A 2AA
United Kingdom
+44 (0)20 7293 5000
+44 (0)20 7293 5989
Try LotSearch

Try LotSearch and its premium features for 7 days - without any costs!

  • Search lots and bid
  • Price database and artist analysis
  • Alerts for your searches
Create an alert now!

Be notified automatically about new items in upcoming auctions.

Create an alert