(Breslau und Leipzig: Michael Hubert, 1738, 1743). 187 x 69 mm. (6 1/2 x 2 3/4"). 4 p.l., 548,  pp.; 2 p.l., 370,  pp. Two separately published works bound in one volume.
SUPERB CONTEMPORARY GERMAN SILVER REPOUSSÉ BINDING, covers elaborately tooled with large central basket of fruit and flowers resting on an ornate pedestal of strapwork and botanical ornaments, surrounded by an architectural frame similarly adorned and topped with a large scallop shell, spine with strapwork design accented with botanical and shell ornaments, guards at head and tail of spine, large silver clasp engraved with two sets of initials on back: "C * D * R" (the letters separated by flowers) and "S T G," Dutch gilt endpapers, all edges gilt, with gauffering at corners of text block. Each work with engraved frontispiece. Front flyleaf with bookplate of Hans Fürstenberg. A touch of tarnishing to edges, margins trimmed a bit close (but no loss), isolated small smudge or corner crease, otherwise A SPLENDID SPECIMEN, the silver binding glistening with no signs of wear, and the text quite clean and fresh.
Among 18th century German silver bindings, the present example stands out for its use of elements from nature, rather than religious images, in its very attractive design. As Hayward notes in his survey of the silver bindings in the J. R. Abbey collection, these bindings "were more frequently decorated with embossed subjects taken from the Scriptures." Here, the garden and the sea have provided inspiration, the central component being a basket bursting with fruit and flowers, surrounded by acorns, acanthus leaves, floral buds, and seashell-inspired details. Particularly pleasing are the compartments stamped with repeating crescent tools that suggest the sea. Covering a Lutheran prayer book and hymnal, our binding was perhaps a gift to the person whose initials are separated by flowers, from the owner of the simpler set of initials. Or the two sets of initials could belong to a couple who received it as a wedding gift. Our early owners clearly treasured this volume, which remained in the shining condition demanded by the great collector Hans (or Jean) Fürstenberg (1890-1982), who put together one of the finest libraries of 18th century books ever assembled. In 1974 the Fürstenberg collection was sold en bloc to Dr. Otto Schäfer, whose marvelous library had already become distinguished for its fine and historic bindings. (ST15101)
Add to Cart Price: $7,500.00
PJP Catalog: SE19BF.033