(La Haye: Levyn van Dyk, 1679). 146 x 86 mm. (5 3/4 x 3 3/8"). 6 p.l., 185,  pp.
Charming scarlet crushed morocco, gilt, by Fletcher Battershall (stamp-signed on front turn-in with his distinctive bat device), covers with delicate frame of small tools, floral cornerpieces, and large central fleuron, raised bands, spine compartments with ornament formed by leaves and berries, gilt titling, gilt-ruled turn-ins, green silk endleaves, all edges gilt, gauffered, and painted in a floral vine design. With extra engraved title page and six engraved plates by Decker, all hand colored and heightened with gold. With Italian and French text on facing pages. Front pastedown with bookplate of Fletcher and Maude Battershall. Brunet V, 674; Graesse VII, 38. A hint of rubbing to extremities, a faint dampstain to the head margin of two plates, otherwise a very fine copy, the binding lustrous and scarcely worn, and especially clean, bright, and fresh internally, with well-colored engravings.
This is an appealing French edition of Tasso's pastoral drama, in an excellent amateur binding by scholar, collector, connoisseur, and binder Fletcher W. Battershall. A lawyer by trade, Battershall (1866-1929) was the author of "Book-Binding for Bibliophiles" (1905) and several articles on bookbinding. He was perhaps a pupil of Louis Kinder, head binder at the Roycroft Shop, as Kinder dedicated his own book, "Formulas for Bookbinders," to Battershall in admiration of the latter's "love for and unceasing labors in the study of artistic bookbinding." The son of a poet manqué, Torquato Tasso (1544-95) was destined by his father for a legal career, but the publication of his epic poem "Rinaldo" when he was still a teenager won him a place at the court of Alfonso d'Este, Duke of Ferrara, by whom he was paid simply to write poetry and for whom he produced "Aminta" in 1573. The shimmering beauty of this pastoral drama marked its author as the most promising poet of the day, and the work was staged repeatedly to delighted audiences, although it did not find its way into print until 1581. It first appeared in a French prose translation just three years later, and our verse translation, accompanied by annotations and the original Italian text, was published in Paris in 1666. (ST12140a)
Add to Cart Price: $1,900.00
PJP Catalog: Cat 69.232