Venice: Ferd. Ongania, 1906. One of 500 copies. Original red velvet, embossed gilt medallion on front cover, top edge gauffered, uncut pages. 7.25" x 9.5", irregular pagination, 6 color plates and 100 numbered black and white numbered plates. Gilt dulled, 1.5" smudge to velvet of front cover, re-hinged. Ivor A.B. Ferguson bookplate adhered to front pastedown. Reprint woodcut of "Adam and Eve in Paradise" adhered to verso of ffep, leaving a ripple from adhesion on ffep. Spine split along frontispiece and title page. Full color Madonna image in rear adhered facing colophon. Very Good. Item #1550
A wonderfully recreated sampling of facimilies from the Grimani Breviary, an outstanding example of Flemish Renaissance manuscript illustration. From Nicola Shilliam of Princeton, "Purchased around 1520 by the Venetian Cardinal Domenico Grimani (1461–1523) for the enormous sum of 500 ducats, the prayer book was considered so precious that the cardinal specified in his will that this “noble and beautiful object” was to be shown only to “people of extraordinary standing and only in exceptional circumstances” (quod Breviarium, tanquam rem nobilissimam et pulcherrimam, ostendere debeat personis honorificis, quandocunque oportunum fuerit). Grimani further ensured that this luxurious devotional book would never be sold, and it was left in testamentary trust to the Republic of Venice. Today it is preserved in the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana in Venice, and is still seldom on display, for reasons of conservation.