PLATO (427-347 B.C.). Opera. Translated from Greek into Latin, with commentary, by Marsilio Ficino (1433-1499), edited by Simon Grynaeus (1493-1541). Basel: Hieronymus Froben, 1539.
2° (335 x 224mm). Italic and greek types. Woodcut diagrams, device on title and final verso, woodcut initials. (Title supplied and with minor worming with loss of a few letters on verso, stains in quire Y causing some loss in Y3, printer’s name deleted from final leaf causing small hole, neat repair at lower margin of r4,5, occasional faint spotting or marginal dampstain, a few marginal paper flaws.) CONTEMPORARY ROMAN BINDING BY NICCOLO FRANZESE FOR AN UNIDENTIFIED COLLECTOR ‘VS’: chestnut morocco tooled in gilt and blind over pasteboard, sides with a central roundel, solid arabesque tools in outer border, volute and fleuron, initials ‘VS’ and stars within roundel and at corners of panels, spine with alternating single and double bands, compartments tooled with a star or flowerhead, ‘60’(?) in contemporary manuscript, edges gilt and line-gauffered, evidence of ties (neat repairs at spine ends just extending onto sides, endpapers renewed); modern cloth box. Provenance: VS (binding; possibly a V. Stella, indicated by the accompanying star motif) – occasional early marginal annotations -- Maggs Bros., 1982 – H.P. Kraus, 1987.
Second edition of the celebrated Froben-Grynaeus edition of Plato's works in Ficino's translation, this edition with an index at end. In a Renaissance binding by ‘the most successful Roman binder of the mid-sixteenth century’ (Hobson Apollo and Pegasus, p.77). Niccolò Franzese (Niccolò Fery of Rheims), was active at Rome, where he played a role in popularising Parisian design. He was binding books for the Pope's private library by 1542, worked for the Vatican from 1549, and in 1556 was appointed by Pope Paul IV to the Vatican staff as its first staff binder, a post he held until his death in 1570-71 (see Hobson, pp. 76ff.). Notable among his private patrons were Grimaldi, Pier Luigi Farnese, and Apollonio Filareto, as well as other patrons known only by their initials, ‘F.T’ and ‘P.F.’. The characteristic corner volute is shared on a number of his bindings (cf. Hobson p.92, fig. 34, plate B). Hoffmann III, 302; VD-16 P-3278; not in Adams.