The Venetian library collected at the close of the XVI century by Doctor Odorico Pillone and the sides and edges painted by Cesare Vecellio (trade catalogue, hors série, issued by Alan Keen Ltd, London, [1947]) § Bibliothèque Pillone. Préface de Lionello Venturi (trade catalogue, hors série, issued by Pierre Berès, Paris, [1957]) View larger
Alan Keen Ltd (London)
Pierre Berès (Paris)

The Venetian library collected at the close of the XVI century by Doctor Odorico Pillone and the sides and edges painted by Cesare Vecellio (trade catalogue, hors série, issued by Alan Keen Ltd, London, [1947]) § Bibliothèque Pillone. Préface de Lionello Venturi (trade catalogue, hors série, issued by Pierre Berès, Paris, [1957])

London, Alan Keen, [1947]; [1957]
Two works in one volume (26 cm), I: 30 pp., [4] plates (mounted on pp.2, 18, 26, 28). 164 entries. II: [95] pp., portrait-frontispiece, illustrations (mounted, some in colour). 160 entries. In a collector’s quarter-morocco binding (original publisher’s wrappers retained). - Sale catalogues for a portion of the renowned library formed at Belluno from c. 1490 to c. 1590 by Antonio (1462-1533) and, later, Odorico Pillone, and his son Giorgio, having bindings or fore-edges decorated by Cesare Vecellio (c. 1521-1601). These books (170 volumes, later enlarged to 172) had been acquired from the Venetian bookseller Ferdinando Ongania by Sir Thomas Brooke (1830-1908), and incorporated in his library at Armitage Bridge House, near Huddersfield. In 1947, a nephew, Humphrey Brooke, instructed the bookseller Alan Keen to sell the “Venetian Library”, and it was offered by Keen “as a collection and the price will be Thirty thousand pounds” (p.3). Keen’s catalogue, issued in an edition of just 50 copies, failed to attract a buyer; the collection remained intact until February 1957, when it was sold by Humphrey Brooke to the Parisian bookseller Pierre Berès. Berès organised an exhibition of the books in Paris (18 June-13 July 1957) and published the lavish, illustrated catalogue, entitled “Bibliothèque Pillone”, in an edition of 600 copies. Once again, no buyer emerged for the whole collection, and it was broken-up, the volumes sold individually. Cf. The Book Collector, Summer 1957, pp.119-120 (stating that Keen’s undated pamphlet appeared “before the last war”); and The Burlington Magazine, September 1947, p.262 (listing Keen’s pamphlet among “Publications received”); A.R.A. Hobson, “The Pillone Library” in The Book Collector, volume 7 (1958), pp.28-37; Giovanni Grazioli, “La dispersa biblioteca dei conti Piloni di Belluno: notizie storiche e traversie di un capolavoro del Rinascimento” in Biblioteche oggi: Mensile di informazione aggiornamento dibattito, volume 17 (January-February 1999), no. 1, pp.20-26. ¶ Fine, well-presented copies. Occasional offsetting in Berès catalogue owing to absence of tissue guardsheets.
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