SENECA, Lucius Annaeus (the Younger, c.4 B.C.-A.D. 65). Tragoediae septem. Lyons: Sebastianus Gryphius, 1541.
8° (163 x 107mm). Woodcut printer's device on title, another version on final verso, woodcut historiated initials. (Occasional light spotting, a little light browning.)
BINDING: Roman binding of c.1545-57 by Marcantonio Guillery for G.B. Grimaldi; gold-tooled light olive morocco over thin pasteboard, sides panelled with blind and gilt fillets, horizontal Apollo and Pegasus medallion impressed at centre with remains of green paint and gold, motto lettered around edge and author's name lettered above, solid foliate tools, 3 double and 4 single spine bands edged lined with blind fillets, gilt edges, a pair of endpapers at each end with anchor watermark of the type Piccard Anker V:325-331 but chainlines measuring c.45mm (minor expert repairs at corners and spine ends, small tear at foot of spine, a little splitting at front joint); modern green cloth folding box. G.D. Hobson, Maioli, no. LXXXII; De Marinis, 740; A.R.A. Hobson, Apollo and Pegasus, no. 123; Cinq siècles d'ornements, no. 3. Hobson/Culot2 6; Musea Nostra, p. 24.
PROVENANCE: Giovanni Battista Grimaldi (binding) -- 'Ego jnes Tabi' (early deleted title inscription) -- Domenico Ardizzone (16th-century title inscription) -- Fr. Thomas Elias, O.P. (16/17th-century title inscription) -- Charles Spencer, 3rd Earl of Sunderland (1674-1722, pressmark D.12:79 on front pastedown, his sale Puttick and Simpson, 10 March 1883, lot 11353) -- Louis Lebeuf de Montgermont (sale Paris 1914, lot 337, sold privately to:) -- Edouard Rahir (bookplate; sale Paris 7 May 1930, lot 226) -- Mortimer L. Schiff (bookplate; sale Sotheby's 7 July 1938, lot 1235, £100) -- sale Sotheby's 28 February 1966, lot 87, £800 to Sawyer -- John Goelet (sale Sotheby's, 16 May 1977, lot 37, £2,400 to Quaritch).
The Grimaldi Seneca is in fine condition, with a strong, clear impression of the Apollo and Pegasus device retaining much of its original gold and green paint. 'The best designer of Grimaldi's three craftsmen' (Hobson/Culot2 p.25), Marcantonio Guillery was the son of the French printer working at Rome, Etienne Guillery. Marcantonio bound 71 books for Grimaldi (c.1524-c.1612), more than half of the surviving number, and is also known to have bound four consignments of books in 1551-53 for Pope Julius III's private library in his summer palace (cf. Hobson, p.87). Hobson characterised Guillery as more bookseller than bookbinder, specialising in books printed in northern Italy and beyond, and indeed few bindings by him for patrons other than Grimaldi or Julius III are known. Adams S-904.