CICERO, Marcus Tullius (106-43 B.C.). Epistolae ad familiares. Commentary by Hubertinus clericus. Venice: Andreas Torresanus, de Asula, and Bartholomaeus de Blavis, 31 January 1483/84.
Median 2° (313 x 205mm). 261 (of 265) leaves. Contemporary north Italian illumination, opening page with illuminated initial with white vine decoration, an incomplete armorial shield in lower border, book initials in gold on pink, blue and green ground with white highlights, other initials alternating red or blue, printer's device printed in red below colophon. 58 lines of commentary. Types: 5:111R, 6:83R, 111 Greek, 83 Greek. (Defective, worming and tears with some loss, stained, soiled, quires g and h reversed in binding.)
BINDING: contemporary central Italian binding; olive morocco over wooden boards bevelled slightly inwards, tooled in gilt and blind, sides with two joined knotwork medallions ('dumb-bell' design) within concentric frames of repeat tools, spine diapered with hatched circle in each compartment, plain edges, missing 4 fore-edge clasps and catches (worn).
PROVENANCE: annotations in a contemporary humanist hand -- '0627' (modern ink stamp).
With its fine illumination and handsomely decorated binding, this was originally a magnificent copy. It is a relatively early use of gold, and its design is characteristic of central Italy (see Hobson, Humanists, p. 20 for similar bindings). In its current unrestored state it retains strong impressions of the tooling and design and virtually all the gold. H *5190; GW 6838; BMC XII, 22 (IB.21605); IGI 2836; Polain(B) 4284; Goff C-524.