AUSONE

Lot 21
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AUSONE

Opera in meliorem ordinem digesta. No place [Heidelberg], In Officina Sanctadreana, 1588. - SCALIGER. Ausonianarum lectionum libri duo. Heidelberg, s.n., 1588. 2 parts in one volume in-8, 8 ff.n.ch., 318 p. and 1 f. white, 255 pp.: pinkish beige calf, gilt fillet, flat pages entirely covered with a sowing of small fleurs-de-lis with repeated laurel wreaths forming a border, in the centre a large medallion of gilt branches around which is stamped a motto, name of the owner in gilt capitals at the head and foot, traces of fasteners, smooth spine decorated with the same sowing and a rebus in gilt capitals arranged in eleven lines, gilt edges (contemporary binding).
Very curious price binding from the very end of the 16th century, in pinkish beige calf.
It bears on the plates, standing out on a semé fleurdelisé, the name of the laureate, in this case a man named Antonius Druellius (Antoine Druel, name repeated in pen on the guards), as well as a legend struck in gilt capitals around a beautiful medallion of flowering branches: this one, paullum sepultae distat inertiae caelata virtus ("Hidden virtue differs little from obscure idleness"), is taken from Horace's Carminum, book IV, 9, c. 29-30.
The rebus on the back refers in short to the awarding of the prize, which we believe emanates from a college in Rouen (rot. for Rothomagii): auson./praem./om. pr./ret./in/c. s. r./rot./r. q. h./anno/M.D./VIC [1594 or 1596?].
The colour of the calf, a pinkish beige, is quite unusual. It is close to the hue of a Rouen binding from the end of the 16th century reproduced in a catalogue of the Chamonal bookstore (cat. Biennale des Antiquaires, 1988, no. 29), covering a manuscript of Hours for the use of Évreux.
This comparison reinforces our intuition concerning the Rouen provenance of our copy.
Old manuscript ex-libris on a guard: D. Alexius Noel [... ?]. Armorial bookplate of the Béthune, Dukes of Sully, engraved by Tardieu (18th century). Stamp of Baron Grandjean d'Alteville on the title. Freckles, small gallery of worms in the margin of several leaves. Some skillful restorations to the binding that do not affect the decoration or the mentions.
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