CICERO, Marcus Tullius (106-43 B.C.). Rhetoricorum ad C. Herennium libri IV, and other works. With scholia of Paulus Manutius. Venice: Paulus Manutius, 1569.
CICERO. De oratore, and other works. With scholia by P. Manutius. Venice: Paulus Manutius, 1569.
2 works in one volume, 8° (150 x 101mm). Each work with dolphin-and-anchor device on title-page and opening initial space with guide-letter. (A few quires browned.)
BINDING: Milanese (?) plaque binding, c. 1569; gold-tooled red-brown morocco over pasteboard, arabesque azured plaque, blind and gilt fillet frames, border of repeated small leaf tool, 4 double spine bands with diagonal lines, gilt compartments, edges gilt and gauffered with knotwork decoration within frames of dotted lines and s-tools, pastedown and two flyleaves at each end, watermark of initials not quite visible (light wear at upper joint); modern folding green cloth case. Hobson/Culot2 20.
PROVENANCE: Pellegrino Pellegrini, alias Pellegrino Tibaldi (title inscription) -- Girolamo Pellegrino, student of rhetoric at Milan (inscriptions dated 1641) -- Paul Fontainas (sale Brussels, 31 March 1973, lot 47).
If, as the early provenance of the volume suggests, the book was indeed bound at Milan, this is one of the earliest plaque bindings executed there. Hobson knew of no other example of this plaque, noting that 'all Italian sixteenth-century gilt plaques of Renaissance ornament are rare' (Hobson/Culot p.55). Three of his four other examples of different plaques of this type are localised to Rome; the fourth may be Venetian.
The present volume bears the inscription of the artist and architect Pellegrino Pellegrini, alias Pellegrino Tibaldi (1527-96). Having assisted in the decoration of the apartments of Pope Paul III in Castel Sant-Angelo, Tibaldi went on to decorate the façade and loggia of the villa of Cardinal Giovanni Poggi; the Vatican Belvedere for Julius III; the Palazzo Poggi at Bologna; and he restored and redecorated the Loggia dei Mercanti at Ancona among many other commissions. He also served as Cardinal Carlo Borromeo and constructed for him the Collegio Borromeo at Pavia. In 1569 work commenced on his 'magnificent and original creation' (Dict. of Art, 30, p.802), the new Jesuit church of S. Fedele at Milan. In 1586 Tibaldi was summoned to Spain by Philip II, where one of his major works was the decoration of the vault of the library at the Escorial with allegorical figures and imaginary portraits of classical poets and philosophers. He returned to Milan in 1596 at the behest of Federico Borromeo but died soon thereafter. His library presumably remained at Milan, where this Cicero was inscribed by a descendant in 1641. Adams C-1690; Renouard Alde 206:5-6.