Regulae Cancellariae Apostolicae Innocentij octavi, Iulij secundi ac Clementis septimi, cum Commentarijs & scholijs longe quam olim castigatiores. His accessere, Regulae, Ordinationes & Constitutiones Cancellariae S.D.N.D. Pauli Divina providentia Papae tertij.Lyons, Jean & François Frellon, 1545.

CATHOLIC CHURCH Cancellaria Apostolica (1545)



Frellon's crab and butterfly device on title-page, woodcut initials.

16mo (125 x 80mm). 394pp. [42]ff. Ruled in red. Contemporary Lyonnese brown calf gilt, covers with fine strapwork design of interlacing ribbons coloured in dark green, green and off white, central device of a flowering branch held by a hand, spine rebacked with two original panels laid down, a star stamp in each compartment and date 1545 at foot, gauffered edges (expertly rebacked, corners restored, minor loss to paint).

A finely bound edition of the rules and regulations of the Apostolic Chancery of Rome, the administrative branch of the Church responsible for preparing and expediting papal documents, printed in Frellon's elegant type. 

As noted by Nixon, in the mid-1500s "printers in Lyon were specialising in the small octavo or duodecimo, which was often very handsomely bound in gold-tooled calf with painted interlaces." This characteristic Lyonnese strapwork binding has a gilt device of a flowering branch held by a hand in the centre of the covers. The device is similar to a number used in mid to late, 16th-century France, for bibliophiles such as Marcus Fugger, some like his with a bird on top of the branch. Goldschmidt (GRBB, no. 220) notes that "various attempts at an explanation of its allegorical significance have been made; but I cannot advance one of my own".  One possible source, however, might be found by referring to Paradin's Devices Heroiques (Lyon, 1551) illustrated by Bernard Salomon. The woodcut for the device "Semine ab aetherio" (From the heavenly seed), shows a hand emerging from a cloud holding a flowering branch, and the verse added to the 1557 edition gives the source for this device in the Old Testament story of Aaron's Rod (Numbers 17:1-12), which blossomed and bore almonds. 

Provenance: From the Barbet library, with signature and shelf-mark '177f' in ink on fly-leaf, Louis-Alexandre Barbet (1850-1931), railway engineer and owner of a magnificent library which was sold in Paris, 1932 (see: Catalogue de la Bibliothèque de feu M. L.-A. Barbet... Paris, Hôtel Drouot, 1932). Inscription at head of title, ex-libris inside front cover.

Baudrier V, p. 200. Ref: Howard M. Nixon, Sixteenth-century gold-tooled bookbindings in the Pierpont Morgan Library (1971).

Stock Code: 241656

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