AESOP (early 6th century B.C.). Fabulae. Geneva: Jean de Tournes, 1619.
12° (114 x 71mm). Woodcut title vignette depicting Aesop. Woodcut illustrations, head- and tailpieces and initials. Parallel text in Greek and Latin. (Scattered light spotting, a few leaves torn at foot affecting catchwords.)
BINDING: Parisian late 16th-century red morocco gilt, design of different flowers interspersed with smaller flower tools, enclosed within borders of leafy sprays, front cover with gilt armorial [Olivier 65], back cover with gilt plant device enclosed by motto [Olivier 65], board edges and turn-ins gilt, spine decorated with smaller variants of the floral tools, central title cartouche lettered 'LEO , IMP' and over-stamped in blind 'AESOP', gilt edges (a remboîtage, a few unobtrusive wormholes, joints partially split). Musea Nostra, p.40.
PROVENANCE: early manuscript correction in Greek on p.346 [volume] -- Pietro Duodo (binding) -- John H. Howard (leaf tipped onto flyleaf, with inscription recording his ownership, and the subsequent gift of the volume to his grandson:) -- Geoffrey Charles Howard.
A BINDING FROM THE FRENCH LIBRARY OF THE SCHOLAR AND DIPLOMAT PIETRO DUODO (1554-1611), for whom see lot 81. The binding originally covered Duodo's copy of Leo IV's De bellico apparatu (Basel: 1554), but the original volume was removed, the Aesop inserted, and the title cartouche on the spine re-lettered. Volumes on different subjects in Duodo's library were distinguished by the colour of the leather used on the binding: red morocco for theology, philosophy, history and law (as here); olive morocco for literature (cf. lot 81, Maximus of Tyre's Sermones); citron for medicine and botany (cf. lot 86, Oribasius Sardinius' Synopseus ad Eustathium filium).