(Parisiis: Apud Nicolas Chesneau, via Jacobaea, sub scuto Frobeniano, & quercu viride, 1565). 117 x 83 mm. (4 3/8 x 3 1/4"). 230,  leaves.
LOVELY CONTEMPORARY LIMP VELLUM FANFARE BINDING IN THE STYLE OF NICOLAS EVE, covers laced through, each cover with two frames, one of palms, the other flowers, enclosing a field of 15 ovals, the central oval with monogram "M M" surrounded by four closed "S's," remains of ties; smooth spine tooled with a palm branch frame and six smaller ovals containing a flower, faint ink titling near head. In a sympathetic modern vellum box. Front free endpaper with bookplate of Michel Wittock; each page of text within ink-ruled frame. Hobson & Culot 69 (this copy). A few creases to covers, small chip to tail of spine, the gilt just a little muted or eroded, occasional light foxing, other trivial defects, but still A LOVELY COPY, the binding completely solid and very clean, and the text with only the most minor defects.
Full of elegance, beauty, and charm, this is a fine early example of what has come to be called a fanfare binding, and this particular volume has occasioned the attention of more than one eminent commentator. The main features of the fanfare style, in Glaister's words, "are interlacing ribbons" that form "compartments of various shapes, with emphasis given to a central compartment. This interlacing ribbon is bounded by a double line on one side and a single one on the other." Ornaments made with small hand tools "fill all the compartments except the central one and almost completely cover the sides." The fanfare style is perhaps most frequently associated with the work of Nicolas and Clovis Eve, court binders and booksellers to successive kings of France from about 1578 to 1634. It is generally believed that the term "fanfare" actually came from an early 17th century music book (the title of which begins with the word "fanfare") acquired by the bibliophile Charles Nodier in 1829. The book was bound for Nodier by the famous Parisian binder Joseph Thouvenin, using an appropriately retrospective design in imitation of the Eves' style, which from that point forward came to be known as "fanfare." Of the present binding, Hobson & Culot point out similarities in design and tooling to those on a binding likened by Gumuchian to the work of Nicolas Eve (see XII, 119 and Plate XLIV). Hobson & Culot also note the binding's similarity to those done for Pietro Duodo, with its repeating ovals and myriad small tools, but conclude, in the end, that it comes from the same workshop as the binding shown in Gumuchian, and not the workshop employed by Duodo. If this binding was not done by Eve himself, it was likely produced by someone who trained with him or worked for him. The delicate tooling emerges here as even more lacy and perhaps more sophisticated and lovely against its ivory vellum background than it would against the darker morocco used in the Gumuchian binding and in others of the period. The contents here, the famous anti-Lutheran tract "Enchiridion" (first printed in Cologne in 1525), is probably the most important work by Johann Eck (1486-1543), a leading force of the Counter-Reformation and the person largely responsible for procuring Luther's excommunication via the bull "Exsurge Domine" in 1520. This work is primarily a collection of theological arguments directed against Luther and other "enemies of the Church," but Eck also includes proposals for reform within the Church, such as improving the training of priests and addressing the abuse of indulgences. Our volume was recently part of the wonderful library of Michel Wittock, whose collection of European bindings was one of the grandest ever assembled. (ST13053)
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PJP Catalog: 73.028