ASCONII PAEDIANI expositio in IV. orat.M. T. Ciceronis. Venetiis 1522.Marburg IV b. C. 637-
Binding: thin, white millboard covered with black morocco too, 165, 3o mm. 4 strings, edges uncoloured. 3 double cords and kettle-stitch.
Sewing as usual. Through the kettle-stitch hole of each sheet a second and thinner thread has been passed over the end of the paper, wound several times round the headband and then passed in again through the hole of the next sheet. The pad thus formed has then been neatly spun over with red and green silk. The fly-leaf without watermark has an entry of the end of the 17th century, which, however, is valueless for determining- the provenance.
The decoration is identical on both sides, except the inscription, which runs on the front cover: ASCON. I II PAE I DIANI. Block and inscription are in gold, the border is blind-tooled. The oriental character of the ornaments is unmistakeable I consider the binding to be Venetian of the same date as the book, probably the publisher’s binding. An examination of a number of Aldines in contemporary bindings has led me to the’ conviction that Aldus himself had no share in the artistic development of binding, and particularly not in the rise of the Maioli and Grolier type. As all that he cared for was the legibility of his types, good paper, and handy size, and as the tastelessness of his titles, the absence of initials and even of paragraphs in his books show his lack of artistic feeling (nothing else could indeed be expected from a bookworm), it is inconceivable that the same man should have distinguished himself as a creative artist in his bindings. He may, however, when occasion arose, have employed the services of independent artists, whose names the reknowned and wealthy publisher then suppressed or eclipsed.
RANGOVZE, Lettres panegyriques aux heros de la France. Paris 1647.
Cassel, philolog. 8°o. 346.
Detached letters without pagination. At the head of this copy is a letter to the Landgraf of Hesse, after which comes the preface “au favorable lecteur”.
Binding: strong pasteboard, morocco, 170, 135, 15 MM, covered with dark red decoration: the shield, of leather mosaic, shows a scarlet fesse with 3 golden stars on a field of dark green’ ovals are also green Each panel of the back contains the saT., monogram as the ovals with laurel twigs. At top and bottom a panel powdered with stars.
The shield is the coat of Cardinal Mazarin (cf. that .givehte‘ be Luthmer [from: les armes du bois, du tissu et du papier] in the Kunstgewerheblatt 1885, p. 84). Fronm what has been said above it would seem that Mazarin had the book bound in his own style and presented it to the Landgraf.
That the book must at one and the same time have stood in some relation to both the position of the letter (in view of the fact that The book belongs to the Hessian library) and of the shield.