LACTANTIUS (LUCIUS CAECILIUS FIRMIANUS) [Opera] 2 parts in 1 vol., [colophon:] Venice, Heirs of Aldus the Elder, April 1515
Lot 21
[Opera] 2 parts in 1 vol., [colophon:] Venice, Heirs of Aldus the Elder, April 1515
Sold for £4,375 (US$ 7,353) inc. premium
Lot Details
[Opera] 2 parts in 1 vol., Aldine device on titles and final leaf, vellum endpapers with manuscript jottings of "Antonius Watsonus 1576" (paste-down and front free endpaper), verso of front free endpaper with extensive ink notes in another hand (possibly Sam Brentnall, whose name and other notes are on the title), manuscript names on title "Liber Thomas Juxon 1567", "Sam Brentnall 1714/15", "John Barrett..." and another illegible name, one or two margins with contemporary and later ink annotations, light dampstain affecting second part, later calf preserving most of the front and back panels of a contemporary binding, possibly by James Gaver, London, the sides with two panels tooled in blind, enclosing circular vine devices with angels playing lute, harp and other musical instruments, each panel with marginal legend "Laudate domini sono tube laudat eum in psalterio et cythara" (Psalm 150), upper and lower edges with narrow rectangular panels enclosing half human creatures kneeling to face one another and chained together with grass and leaf detail, metal clasps with catch on lower cover, partially lacking, manuscript title on upper and lower edges [Ahmanson-Murphy 132; Renouard 70;2 Adams L16], 8vo, [colophon:] Venice, Heirs of Aldus the Elder, April 1515


  • A CONTEMPORARY LONDON BINDING. James Gaver (van Gavere, d.1545) was a London stationer, originally a book binder from Ghent (from a family of notable Flemish binders), who settled in London and worked as an assistant for Wynkyn de Worde (d.1535). He was one of de Worde's executors and went on to live in his house "At the Sign of the Sun" after his death. For a similar binding design see Weale Bookbindings and Rubbings of Bindings in the National Art Library, South Kensington Museum, no.372.

    Provenance: Anthony Watson (Bishop of Chichester, d.1605), ownership inscription inside upper cover, dated 1576, at which time he was a Fellow and studying for an M.A. at Christ's College, Cambridge, having been ordained in 1573. In 1596 Watson became Queen Elizabeth I's chief almoner, later attending at her death bed.
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