Skip to main content
Grolier Club Exhibitions

Seventeenth Century

Clement of Alexandria.  Works (Greek).  Leiden: Joannes Patius for Commelinus, 1616. 

This is a classic example of the style of binding that Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc preferred for the books in his very extensive library.  It was created either in Paris or in Aix-en-Provence; if the latter, the binder was Simon Corberan, whom Fabri de Peiresc brought down from Paris.  The double monogram consists of his initials in Greek (Ν Κ Φ). 

Gift of Leonard L. Mackall, 1928. 

Cat. no. 3.4.

Vincent Du Val.  Funeral Elegies for Cardinal Mazarin (French).  Paris: Sébastien Martin, 1664. 

The contemporary Parisian binding is for Paul Philippe Hardouin de Péréfixe de Beaumont, newly installed as cardinal-archbishop the same month of March in which the book completed printing.  It is the dedication copy, containing his etched portrait by Robert Nanteuil (displayed above). 

Gift of Samuel Putnam Avery, 1901. 

Cat. no. 3.11.

Claude Perrault.  The Natural History of Animals (French).  Paris: Imprimerie Royale, Sébastien Mabre-Cramoisy, 1676. 

This Dentelle du Louvre binding is characterized by the armorials of Louis XIV with the collars of the Orders of St. Michael and the Holy Spirit, and especially by the interlaced oakleaf borders surrounding the armorials and forming the outer panels.  The very large scale is an important component of this royal series, the “Cabinet du Roi,” inspired by the chief minister, Jean-Baptiste Colbert. 

Acquired under unrecorded circumstances. 

Cat. no. 3.15.

Terence.  Comedies (Latin).  Paris: Imprimerie Royale, 1642. 

Jean-Baptiste Colbert’s finest books were bound in this fashion: red goatskin, moderately decorated on the spine with his monogram and bearing the final version of his armorials surrounded by the collars of his royal orders.  This binding was completed after 1668.  His device, a green garden-snake on a gold field, is a pun on Colbert’s name: the Latin for this snake is coluber.  A bronze portrait medal of Colbert accompanies the volume; his etched portrait is displayed above. 

Gift of Philip Hofer in memory of Ruth Shepard Granniss, 1955. 

Cat. no. 3.12.

Teodoro Gennaro.  Treatise on the Apostles’ Creed (Latin).  Venice: Giovanni Battista Cataneo, 1674. 

This heavily gilt and decorated binding in maroon goatskin is the work of the brothers Gregorio & Giovanni Andreoli, the finest Roman binders in the latter half of the century.  They worked in the Vatican Library and were sought out by popes, cardinals, and the nobility of the era.  This is the presentation copy for Cardinal Pietro Bassadona, a famous orator and diplomat.  His etched portrait by Isabella Piccini, Franciscan nun and renowned artist, is displayed above in photographic reproduction.  

Gift of H. George & Florence S. Fletcher in memory of Mary K. Young, 2021. 

Cat. no. 3.14.