Paris: Regnault and Claude Chaudiére, 1549. 4to (230 x 158 mm). Collation: a-y8. 176 leaves. Roman types, printed in red and black. Ruled in red. Renaissance woodcut title-border of termini and festoons, printers' device (Colines' Time with his scythe); 14 FULL-PAGE WOODCUTS, combining illustration and architectural frame on a single block, from the Tory atelier (perhaps Jacquemin Woeiriot, three blocks signed with the Lorraine cross, four others similarly signed in the prior Colines state); every text-page within a four-block woodcut or metalcut border, repeated throughout: 12 are outline borders in Geoffroy Tory's Italianate style, 8 black arabesque borders in the niello manner.
Binding: contemporary Parisian gold-tooled calf over pasteboard, the sides decorated to a complex design of intersecting curved double fillets, with gouges and open tools, the ribbons painted black, green and white à la cire, name of the original owner, IANE PETITROUX, lettered in gilt in the center of both covers, flat spine decorated with the repetition of a large hatched floral tool, gilt and gauffered edges; gilt morocco pull-off case. Paint flaked, extreme corners repaired or worn, joints restored, renewed split in front joint.
Provenance: Jeanne Petitroux (binding); Henri-Auguste Brölemann (armorial bookplate, shelf label and inscription); Maggs Bros. (cat. 484, no. 354); Fritz Kreisler (Parke-Bernet Galleries 27 Jan. 1949, lot 170); purchased from John F. Fleming 1962. From the Collection of Arthur & Charlotte Vershbow. Item #401672
RARE EDITION of the Tory-inspired Book of Hours that was first published by Simon de Colines in 1543, reissued by his successors Regnault I and his son Claude Chaudiére. The same blocks were used for the illustrations and borders, from four of which the Lorraine cross signature was removed, presumably because Tory's shop was no longer active. These two editions are among the finest examples of French Renaissance printed book decoration. Particularly striking are the black arabesque borders, which recall niello-filled metal engraving as well as artists' pattern books of the period. The male portrait in the border of the Raising of Lazarus cut on m1v represents François I, according to Mortimer, the female portrait probably Eleanor of Austria. No other binding executed for the original female owner, Jeanne Petitroux, has been found. Similar designs and the large open tool above and under the name can be seen on bindings by Wotton Binder B and the Cupid's Bow Binder, but do not allow a positive identification. Adams L-1046; Fairfax Murray French 280; cf. Harvard/Mortimer French 306.