Paris, A. L'Angelier 1586.
12mo. Etched title, 412, , [1 blank] leaves and TWO PLATES — St. Catherine of Alexandria (namesake of Catherine de’ Medici) and King David. Large roman type (?120 mm. for 20 lines) PRINTED IN RED AND BLACK, decorative initials and ornaments, divisional title. The etched architectural title has Time, Justice and Catherine de’ Medici’s arms.
CONTEMPORARY RICHLY GILT CALF DECORATED IN THE DUODO-STYLE WITH NINETEEN DIFFERENT TOOLS. The outer borders have three double-rules with olive branches, trefoils, curved rules and a floral roll between. Sewn with S fermés, quatrefoils and open circles, the central field has twenty ovals, each with one of six small tools in it. A single compartment, the flat spine presents the same decor but with additional tools, its base and crown ruled on the bias; board edges ruled (one slightly defective), all edges gilt.
THICK PAPER COPY. The binding, ?by Clovis Ève, adopts the design favored by the Venetian ambassador to Paris, Pietro Duodo (1554-1611). The chic S fermé symbolizes love (sage, seul, secret, soucieux). Fresh inside and out (one lower corner neatly restored).
¶Balsamo & Simonin, A. L’Angelier 163; Delaveau & Hillard, Bibles imprimées du XVe au XVIIIe siècle 3417; BnF, Enrichissements 1961-1973 (1974) 1051; Brun, Le Livre français illustré 130 & 278 “gravés très délicatement”.
For similar Duodo-style decor, see Nixon’s Sixteenth-Century Gold-Tooled Bookbindings 59 and Esmerian’s Bibliothèque I (6.VI.1972) 59-61 and Hobson & Culot’s Italian and French 16th-Century Bookbindings 68-9.