Supreme and Restricted Elegance: Just 12 Copies Printed, All on Vellum

IL LAMENTO DI CECCO DA VARLUNGO. [bound with] STROZZI, PIETRO. STANZE DEL POETA SCIARRA FIORENTINO SOPRA LA RABBIA DI MACONE.

([Paris: Renouard, 1810]). 248 x 155 mm. (9 3/4 x 6"). 39, [1] pp.; [12] leaves. Two works in one volume. No. XI OF XII COPIES; No. XII OF XII COPIES.

ELEGANT CONTEMPORARY NAVY BLUE STRAIGHT-GRAIN MOROCCO, GILT, BY F. BOZERIAN JEUNE (stamp-signed in gilt at foot of spine), covers framed by gilt rules and entwined ivy branches, leaf device at corners, raised bands, spine compartments densely gilt in the signature mille-point style, with fleuron of small tools emanating from central circlet on a stippled ground, gilt titling, lettered "IN MEMBRAN" at foot of spine, turn-ins with decorative gilt roll, rose pink watered silk endleaves, all edges gilt on the rough. PRINTED ON VELLUM. Brunet I, 624; Graesse I, 281. Very faint two-inch scratch to front board, a little rubbing to extremities, outer side of vellum flyleaves browned from contact with glue on endpapers, otherwise A VIRTUALLY IMMACULATE COPY, the vellum creamy and bright, and the binding tight and lustrous.

This sumptuous volume demonstrates the truth of Furstenberg's claim that our publisher Renouard deserves to be called "the father of the modern luxury edition." Antoine Auguste Renouard (1765-1853) set the standard for the period of the Empire as publisher, bookseller, bibliographer, and collector. At the time these elegant editions were published, he was among the leading Paris booksellers who were bringing out handsome printings of the best writers. Although Furstenberg says that "the significance of Renouard for the development of the modern book is . . . many sided," it seems that during his lifetime, he was best known as the person "to whom his age owed a number of the most beautiful editions." The binding here is by one of Renouard's favorite artisans, François Bozerian, generally called Bozerian jeune. He was active in Paris from just after the turn of the century until 1818, and for much of that time, he worked with his elder brother Jean-Claude (1762-1840). The Bozerian workshops produced many fine bindings for clients that included the emperor Napoleon I, as well as leading bibliophiles of the day like Renouard. Their works are praised today especially for their technical achievement and refinement of design. The texts here reproduce works from Italian poets of the 16th and 17th centuries. "Il Lamento" is a reprint of Florentine poet Francesco Baldini's most famous work, first published in 1661, while the second work is a burlesque poem attributed to the military leader and sometime poet Pietro Strozzi (1510-58), first printed in 1550. According to Brunet, this "beautiful" and very strictly limited edition was printed entirely on vellum, and in each case, copies of the two works by the Florentine poets were bound together.
(ST15139)

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PJP Catalog: 75.265

IL LAMENTO DI CECCO DA VARLUNGO. [bound with] STROZZI, PIETRO. STANZE DEL POETA SCIARRA FIORENTINO SOPRA LA RABBIA DI MACONE. VELLUM PRINTING, FRANCESCO BALDOVINI, BINDINGS - BOZERIAN JEUNE.
IL LAMENTO DI CECCO DA VARLUNGO. [bound with] STROZZI, PIETRO. STANZE DEL POETA SCIARRA FIORENTINO SOPRA LA RABBIA DI MACONE.
IL LAMENTO DI CECCO DA VARLUNGO. [bound with] STROZZI, PIETRO. STANZE DEL POETA SCIARRA FIORENTINO SOPRA LA RABBIA DI MACONE.