PLINIUS Secundus, Gaius (23-79). Historiae mundi. Edited by Jacques Dalechamps. Geneva: Samuel Crispin, 1615.
2° (335 x 212mm). Title printed in red and black, woodcut printer's device. Woodcut headbands, tailpieces, and initials. (Occasional ink-marking, some light spotting or browning, dampstained throughout, neat repair on title, paper flaws affecting text on N4.)
BINDING: French contemporary morocco gilt, boards with central arms of Marie de Médicis [Olivier 2504, fer 2] on a semé of alternate fleurs de lis and 'MM' monograms [8 x 10mm, cf. Olivier 2504], borders of triple gilt fillets, gilt board-edges, spine gilt in compartments, lettered in one, the others decorated with alternate fleurs de lis and 'MM' monograms [8 x 10mm, cf. Olivier 2504], gilt edges (extremities lightly rubbed, a few small scuffs on boards, some skilfully-repaired cracking on spine, short splits on joints, upper joint skilfully repaired).
PROVENANCE: Marie de Médicis (binding) -- [?C--] Rhedonensis, SJ (?18th-century inscription on title, partially erased) -- Dr Lucien Graux (booklabel; his sale, Paris, 20-21 March 1958, part VI, lot 218).
A BINDING FOR MARIE DE MéDICIS, the widow of Henri IV. As Quentin Bauchart states, bindings executed for Marie de Médicis (1575-1642) mark the transition in French binding from the elaborate entrelacs of the 16th century to the bindings of the 17th century, characterised by a simpler style employing a semé, as here (cf. Quentin Bauchart Les femmes bibliophiles, Paris, 1886, I, pp. 178-181). The present volume demonstrates clearly the change to this later style, which would remain predominant through the century, with the simple, densely-packed semé of monograms and fleurs de lis enclosed by a border of fillets and broken only by Marie de Médicis' arms.