(Rome: Ex Typographia Reuer. Camerae Aspostolicae, 1658). 420 x 270 mm. (16 1/2 x 10 3/4").  extra-engraved title, 163 pp.
SPLENDID CONTEMPORARY ROMAN RED MOROCCO, LAVISHLY GILT, BY THE "ROSPIGLIOSI BINDERY" OPERATED BY GREGORIO AND GIOVANNI ANDREOLI, covers divided into multiple compartments filled with stars, a flowering vine, or densely tooled curling vines and flowers, flat spine gilt in compartments with floral centerpieces and curling corner tooling, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. Engraved title page with architectural frame featuring full-length figures of Sts. Peter and Paul and a vignette of the Last Supper, historiated or decorative initials throughout, engraved tailpieces, opening of text with engraved frame containing two vignettes from the life of Christ, engraved frontispiece of the Crucifixion, engraving of the Last Supper, opening of the Confession text with engraved frame featuring the Arma Christi and the Pieta, the Crucifixion engraving repeated before the Communion text, the opening of which is framed by the Arma Christi. Printed in red and black, text within double-rule black frames. For the binding: Foot, "The Henry Davis Gift" I, 323-36. Corners lightly bumped, extremities a little rubbed, boards tending to splay slightly, occasional mild browning or faint foxing, other trivial imperfections, but A FINE AND IMPRESSIVE COPY, internally clean and fresh, and the oversized binding scarcely worn and glistening with gold.
This is a striking example of the celebrated work produced in the heyday of the bindery operated by Gregorio and Giovanni Andreoli, dubbed the "Rospigliosi Bindery" by Hobson because it was the favored atelier of Cardinal Giulio Rospigliosi (1600-69), later Pope Clement IX. In addition to work done for Rospigliosi and other princes of the Church, the Andreolis bound books for merchant princes like the Medici and Borghese, and for real royalty, notably Queen Christina of Sweden, who called on them to bind books for the library she created at her Roman palazzo. Active from about 1630 until the early years of the 18th century, the bindery was at its zenith of production and design in the 1650s through the 1680s. Many of its bindings were done in the "compartment" style of decoration seen here, with multiple, symmetrically placed compartments filled with rows of small tools or ornate filigree tooling. Bindings done for a noble or ecclesiastical client would often have the patron's coat of arms at center; on our copy, that space is filled with a lovely filigree mandorla, suggesting perhaps that this service book for Mass was bound for a church or chapel rather than for an individual. The present volume stands out because it is significantly larger than the typical Andreoli binding. José Ruysschaert was the first to identify the Andreoli brothers as the Rospigliosi binders. In 1665, Gregorio was given a lifetime appointment as binder to the Vatican Library. The number and quality of the bindings produced (Foot reported that she had seen more than 90) and the wide variety of tools employed indicates that the Andreoli brothers' busy and celebrated workshop employed quite a number of skilled artisans, some of whom continued the business after their deaths. Gregorio died in 1696 and Giovanni in 1699, but the atelier continued to produce work for another decade. (ST15115)
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PJP Catalog: BOS19BF.008