Landmark Books in All Fields
De Rebus a Iudaeorum
SUPERBLY BOUND FOR THE DUKE OF MEDINA DE LAS TORRES, SPANISH VICEROY OF NAPLES: FINE EXAMPLE OF A SPANISH ARMORIAL AND EMBLEMATIC BINDING
(SPANISH BINDING) (GUZMAN, Ramiro Felipe Núñez de) PSEUDO-HEGESIPPUS. De Rebus a Iudaeorum Principibus in Obsidione Fortiter Gestis… Libri V. Cologne: Joannes Soter, 1530. Small folio (measures 8 by 12 inches), contemporary full crimson goatskin, elaborately gilt-decorated spine and covers, front and rear covers with large gilt-blocked armorial centerpieces, outer roll-tool border of dolphin heads, raised bands, all edges gilt. Housed in a custom cloth clamshell box.
Outstanding example of a 17th-century Spanish armorial and emblematic binding, bound for Ramiro Felipe Núñez de Guzmán, Duke of Medina de las Torres, Spanish Viceroy of Naples from 1637-44, on an anonymous fourth-century Latin history based the Jewish War of Flavius Josephus with a lovely woodcut title page featuring Dionysius and Cleopatra.
The front cover features the arms of Don Ramiro Felipe Núñez de Guzmán, Duke of Medina de las Torres, impaled with those of his second wife Anna Caraffa, Duchess of Sabbioneta, surrounded by an acrologic inscription. Oldham,
Shrewsbury School Library Bindings
, page 120 gives a full description of the arms, the letters in the inscription standing for: ‘Comitatui grandatum ducatum ducatum marchionatum marchionatum arcis hispalensis perpetuam praefecturam magnam Indiarum chancellariatum primam Guzmanorum lineam addidit’ (C and G being transposed towards the end). The centerpiece on the rear cover features the emblematic ‘impresa’ or device of three plants growing between reeds or grass with a starry sky and legend ‘Revolvta Foecundant’ within a shield and the same acrologic inscription.
The Duke of Medina de las Torres (1600-1668), became a favorite minister of King Felipe IV, serving as Viceroy of wealthy Naples from 1637-1644. This book was bound after 1645 when he succeeded to the titles and estates (and began using the acrologic inscription) of his first wife’s father, Gaspar de Guzmán, Conde-Duque de Olivares. The letters ‘FEI’ stand for: ‘Fortuna etiam invidente.’ First published in Paris in 1510. The first four parts, or books, correspond loosely to the first four of Josephus’
, but the fifth (and final) book combines the fifth, sixth and seventh books of
, while inserting some passages from Josephus’
, as well as some Latin authors. Text in Latin. Adams H-148. Early ownership signature on the title page of Sir William Godolphin, Envoy Extraordinary 1669-71 and Ambassador at Madrid 1671-78. Godolphin purchased Guzman’s fine library en bloc. Having been implicated in the Popish plot, he chose to remain in Spain openly professing the Catholic faith, but many books in the library eventually found their way back to England. Quaritch collation note on rear pastedown. Purchased from H.D. Lyon, 1993, by John David Drummond, 17th Earl of Perth (1907-2002), English statesman and banker, who built an outstanding collection of Scottish and English history and literature, fine bindings, and major color plate books of natural history and travel.
Worm traces and chip marks on covers, upper joints slightly rubbed and tender but sound. A beautiful copy, most desirable with such distinguished provenance.
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