HORAE, use of Rome, in Latin. Paris: Thielman Kerver the Younger, 1550.
8° (153 x 97mm). 172 leaves. Printed in black and red. Ruled in red by a contemporary hand. Eighteen woodcut vignettes, 9 of which by Geoffroy Tory, the remainder by him or an associate, the title and each page within a variety of woodcut borders containing flowers, fruits, animals and insects, many of the lower panels of these borders with putti, and the crowned initials or emblems of François I and Louise of Savoy, Kerver's device on the title. (Occasional faint marginal dampstain, a few small repairs.) Contemporary French calf by the Cupid's Bow Binder, the sides with a strapwork design outlined in gilt and enamelled black and blue-grey interspersed with curved gilt fillets terminating in enamelled leafy tools, flat spine with an all-over hatched pattern in gilt (rebacked preserving the original spine and expertly repaired); modern morocco case. Provenance: Martin Breslauer (catalogue 110, item 41).
GEOFFROY TORY'S MINIATURE MASTERPIECES, IN A CONTEMPORARY BINDING BY THE CUPID'S BOW BINDER -- one of Jean Grolier's preferred Parisian binders, some of whose work is 'up to the best Parisian standards of the day'; the Cupid's Bow Binder is thought to have bound as much as 10 per cent of Grolier's library (Nixon). The fine woodcuts are from Tory's blocks for the very rare edition of 1529, which Pollard considered an example of Tory's work at its best (Mortimer). Olivier Mallard acquired Tory's establishment by marrying Tory's widow in 1536, and printed an edition from these blocks in 1541. In turn Kerver acquired the blocks upon Mallard's death, and published this edition. All editions are rare: ABPC apparently records no copy of this edition at auction; two copies of the 1541 edition (one of which possibly represents another Mallard edition of 1541 with different woodcuts), and just one heavily defective copy of the 1529 edition with just two of the woodcuts. Bohatta 1236; cf. Hobson, Renaissance Book Collecting, pl.29; Lacombe 441; Nixon, Sixteenth Century Gold-tooled Bookbindings in the Pierpont Morgan Library, p.130; cf. Mortimer, Harvard French 313; cf. Tenschert, Horae, III:135.