Augsburg, M. Manger 1578.
12mo (129 x 70 mm.). [xxiix], , p. Nearly full-page half-figure woodcut portrait of the author, title in four-block white-line metalcut borders of rabbits, cornucopias and foliage.
CONTEMPORARY GILT-TOOLED CALF WITH SUNKEN PANELS AND PAINTED VELLUM INSETS BY SEVERIN RÖTTER of Wittenberg (insets 90 x 54/51 mm.; minor restoration, endleaves renewed).
The front vellum sheet bears a blind-stamped hand-painted half-figure portrait of August of Saxony with Rötter’s initials, the date 1579 and three lines of text all painted in gold ink (Haebler, Rollen- und Plattenstempel I: 387,VII). The initials H*A*P*S are above the inset and the date 1579 below it. The rear vellum sheet bears the Duke’s blind-stamped hand-painted arms (Haebler I: 388,XVIII), stars and cherubs above and below. The spine compartments have a bloom and foliage roll slightly run over onto the panels; edges are gilt and gauffered with lilies enclosed in half circles and frames painted in red, green, brown and black.
To decorate a binding in this way, the central portion of each pressed paper board is partly removed, the whole covered with thoroughly dampened leather which is pressed into the panels’ recess. The die-sunk relief-printed vellum leaf is then fixed in the hollow, colored and the gold applied.
First Complete Edition of these two hundred eighty verse biographies, dedicated to Emperor Rudolph: one of only a handful of copies to survive. In excellent condition, fourteen-line manuscript verse on Emperor Charles VI on the rear flyleaves, from the library of C. Fairfax Murray (Catalogue 361).
¶VD 16 online ZV 13136; see Davenport’s Cameo Bookstamps XIII-XIV.