8vo (208 x 133 mm). , 407,  pp. 2 parts, the Office of the Dead separately titled. Printed in red and black. Engraved frontispiece and 12 full-page engravings by Arnold Van Weserhout and Jacob Frey after Joseph Passarus (Giuseppe Passaro), two engraved title vignettes, 12 engraved tailpiece vignettes, most unsigned, a few signed by M. Schedi (engraver), 3 engraved capital initials, numerous red-printed woodcut initials. Foxing, occasionally severe, short marginal tear to fol. Z7.
Later 18th-century Roman gold-tooled red goatskin, covers with large dentelle border composed of a triple neo-classical roll-tooled outer frame enclosing six large ornaments each with a web-like field of diagonally crossing gilt fillets framed in volutes and leafy sprigs, a few tiny petal or star tools, board edges protected with a narrow frame of silver or silver-plated metal discreetly nailed to the binding, two elaborately chased silver fore-edge clasps and catches, spine in six uniformly gold-tooled compartments, gilt edges with gauffred border design, pair of green ribbon page markers, marbled endpapers; 20th-century black morocco felt-lined case. Provenance: Maurice Burrus, bookplate, purchased from Gumuchian in 1934, as noted on his purchase notes at end.***
An unusual and striking rococo binding, in fine condition, on a luxuriously printed and illustrated Office of the Virgin, from the official Vatican press.
From the mid- to late eighteemth century, the Salvioni press used a bookbinding workshop, or several workshops, that produced finely gold-tooled bindings for their Vatican publications. Although often referred to as the “Salvioni bindery,” this appellation is circumstantial: ”the Salvioni firm was responsible for promoting the bindings, but it is not known which workshop produced them” (BL Database of Bookbindings). Some of these “Vatican” bindings incorporated variously colored or mottled leather. This example, with its net-like cartouches, relies purely on tooling for its effect. An example evidently from the same workshop, on a book printed at Rome in 1791 by Salomini, using analogous cartouches as corner-pieces as well as a similar “spiraling” border design and some of the same leafy spray and star tools, is reproduced in Legature papali, no. 264.
Although describing a different binding, the following comment by B. Breslauer applies equally to this example: “whereas the ... more flamboyant bindings produced by the Salvioni Bindery rely frequently on polychrome enamel heightening, these Vatican bindings strike a somewhat more sober note with their very fine dark-red morocco and rich gold-tooling of high quality” (Martin Breslauer, Catalogue 107/428),
Gumuchian, Catalogue de Reliures du XVe au XIXe siecle, no. 225, plate 68. Cf. British Library Database of Bookbindings, Shelfmark c27e18; For other “Salvioni” bindings see Miner / Walters Art Gallery, The History of Bookbinding, no. 523; Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Legature papali da Eugenio IV a Paolo VI, no. 264, plate CXCIII. Item #2896