Catalogue de la bibliothèque de son excellence de le Marquis d’Astorga, Comte d’Altamira, Duc de Sesa… vente à Paris … le 24 janvier 1870 et les cinq jours suivants : Première partie § Deuxième partie : Manuscrits importants du XIIe, XIIIe siècle, avec et sans miniatures… vente à Paris le 7 Mai 1870 § Troisième partie : vente à Paris… le 31 Mai 1870, et jours suivants (catalogues for auction sales conducted by Victorien Delbergue-Cormont, commissaire-priseur, with the expertise of Antoine Bachelin-Deflorenne, Maison Sylvestre or Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 24-29 January 1870, 7 May 1870, 31 May-4 June 1870) View larger
Delbergue-Cormont (Paris)

Catalogue de la bibliothèque de son excellence de le Marquis d’Astorga, Comte d’Altamira, Duc de Sesa… vente à Paris … le 24 janvier 1870 et les cinq jours suivants : Première partie § Deuxième partie : Manuscrits importants du XIIe, XIIIe siècle, avec et sans miniatures… vente à Paris le 7 Mai 1870 § Troisième partie : vente à Paris… le 31 Mai 1870, et jours suivants (catalogues for auction sales conducted by Victorien Delbergue-Cormont, commissaire-priseur, with the expertise of Antoine Bachelin-Deflorenne, Maison Sylvestre or Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 24-29 January 1870, 7 May 1870, 31 May-4 June 1870)

Paris, Librairie Bachelin-Deflorenne, 1870
Three volumes (25 and 27 cm), I: xv (1), 152 pp. Lots numbered 1-1085. Publisher's green printed wrappers. II: 32 pp. Lots numbered 1-93. Publisher's beige printed wrapper. III: (4) 176 pp. Lots numbered 1-1512. Publisher's green printed wrappers. - Rare set of auction sale catalogues offering a portion of the vast library of the marquises of Astorga, established by Alonso Osorio, VII marqués de Astorga (c. 1533-1592), and over the next two or three centuries augmented through inheritance of the libraries of the Conde-Duque, Velada, Montemar, Leganés, Sessa, among others. The death in 1816 of the XVI marqués de Astorga required his heir to dispose of properties in Spain, and brought books and paintings onto the London and Paris markets. Another financial crisis, caused by the death in 1864 of Vicente Pío, XVIII marqués de Astorga, XIV conde de Altamira, and XV duque de Sessa, was the occasion for these three sales of books held in Paris in 1870. ¶ Upper covers of parts I and III inscribed by the poet and journalist Jacques-Eutrope Lambert (1842-1910), the latter dated by him 15 May 1870. Otherwise unmarked; small defects to wrappers; insect damage in lower margin of 10 leaves of Part III.
Subjects
Auction sale catalogues - Books - 1870
Authors/Creators
Bachelin-Deflorenne, Antoine, 1835-c.1900
Delbergue-Cormont, Victorien, 1816-c.1880
Owners
Astorga, Alonso Osorio, VII marqués de, c. 1533-1592
Astorga, Vicente Pío, XVIII marqués de, 1801-1864
Dávila y Toledo, Gómez, c. 1535-1616
Dávila y Toledo, Sancho, 1546-1625
Lambert, Jacques-Eutrope, 1842-1910
Auction date
18700124

Delbergue-Cormont (Paris)

Catalogue de la bibliothèque de son excellence de le Marquis d’Astorga, Comte d’Altamira, Duc de Sesa… vente à Paris … le 24 janvier 1870 et les cinq jours suivants : Première partie § Deuxième partie : Manuscrits importants du XIIe, XIIIe siècle, avec et sans miniatures… vente à Paris le 7 Mai 1870 § Troisième partie : vente à Paris… le 31 Mai 1870, et jours suivants (catalogues for auction sales conducted by Victorien Delbergue-Cormont, commissaire-priseur, with the expertise of Antoine Bachelin-Deflorenne, Maison Sylvestre or Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 24-29 January 1870, 7 May 1870, 31 May-4 June 1870)

Paris, Librairie Bachelin-Deflorenne, 1870

Three volumes (27 and 25 cm), I: xv (1), 152 pp. Lots numbered 1-1085. II: 32 pp. Lots numbered 1-93. III: (4), 176 pp. Lots numbered 1-1512.

provenance covers (parts I, III) inscribed by the poet and journalist Jacques-Eutrope Lambert (1842-1910), the latter also dated by him (15 May 1870).

Otherwise unmarked; small defects to wrappers; insect damage in lower margin of 10 leaves of Part III.

Publisher’s green printed wrappers (parts I, III); publisher’s beige printed wrapper (part II).

Rare set of auction sale catalogues offering a portion of the vast library of the marquises of Astorga, established by Alonso Osorio, VII marqués de Astorga (c. 1533-1592), and over the next two or three centuries augmented through inheritance of the libraries of the Conde-Duque, Velada, Montemar, Leganés, Sessa, among others. The death in 1816 of the XVI marqués de Astorga required his heir to dispose of properties in Spain, and brought books and paintings onto the London and Paris markets.1 Another financial crisis, caused by the death in 1864 of Vicente Pío, XVIII marqués de Astorga, XIV conde de Altamira, and XV duque de Sessa, was the occasion for these three sales of books conducted in Paris in 1870.2

Although many volumes from the Astorga library can be readily identified by a printed label, added in the late 18th or 19th centuries (‘Biblioteca del excmo. Señor Marques de Astorga’; link), their earlier ownership must be detected from other external signs of provenance, or ascertained from inventories. The collection assembled in the Castle of Astorga by the VII marqués de Astorga is documented by inventories conducted in 1573 and 1589/1593 (1203 volumes).3 From these it appears that little of this ‘core collection’ travelled to London or to Paris: the large majority of the books remained in Madrid, where they were acquired about 1880 by the Librería ‘Antigua y Moderna’ of Marcos Sánchez, and later sold by Gabriel Sanchez to Marcelino Menéndez Pelayo (1856-1912).4

This label is customarily pasted in the margin of the first or second folio

The ‘Première partie’ contains a preface declaring this to be the first Spanish library offered for sale in Paris, extolling its value and naming some collectors, including Antonio Pedro Sancho Dávila y Osorio (c. 1615-1689), X marqués de Astorga, and Vicente Joaquín Osorio de Moscoso y Guzmán (1756-1816), XII conde de Altamira, XVI marqués de Astorga, the latter enriching those parts of the library concerning ‘la théologie et d’l’érudition’.5 The anonymous author, presumably the sale expert, Antoine Bachelin-Deflorenne, states he that not been able to resist including books from other sources, specifically manuscripts, books on vellum, and Books of Hours.6 The first lot in the sale, a 12th-century Commentary of Beatus on the Apocalypse, appears to be one such addition;7 lot 11, a 14th century manuscript of Guido de Columnis, Historia destructionis Troiae,8 and lot 14, a c. 1280 manuscript of Decretum Gratiani,9 are others. These cases of equivocal provenance might be resolved by examination of the inventories and manuscript catalogues of the Altamira-Astorga library: at least two manuscript catalogues were made, one in 1789 by the canon and royal chaplain, Pablo Recio y Tello, in two volumes, now in Paris;10 the other reputedly written by an anonymous hand late in the late 18th century, in four volumes, still untraced.11

The origin of a great many books in the Paris sales was the marquesado de Velada, whose libraries became subsumed in the Astorga library sometime after 1784. The finest of these books had been collected by don Gómez Dávila y Toledo (c. 1535-1616), II marqués de Velada, a major figure at court from the 1590s until his death in 1616,12 and by his younger brother, Sancho Dávila y Toledo (1546-1625), Bishop of Cartagena (1591), Jaén (1600-1615), Sigüenza (1615-1622), Plasencia (1622-1625).

Gómez Dávila assembled a traditional humanist library, containing not only books in Spanish, but also in Latin, Italian and Portuguese, Greek and Hebrew.13 He divided his library between a private study in his residence, known as the ‘Camarin de los azulejos’, on account of its decoration by ceramic tiles from Talavera, and the Franciscan convent of San Antonio in Velada. Gómez was friendly with the King’s architect, Francisco de Mora, who in 1603-1607 designed a galería for a new library in the convent, a ‘biblioteca museo’ emulating the Laurenziana, in which Gómez arranged paintings, scientific instruments, and works of art, displaying his books (as in in El Escorial) with their fore-edges facing into the room.14 On the fore-edges of Gómez’s books, two armorial shields were painted, representing Davila (en campo de oro seis roeles de azur) and Toledo (equipolado de quince piezas, ocho de azur y siete de plata),15 each shield surmounted by a corona marquesal, with the abbreviated title of the book in between. An inventory of Gómez’s books conducted after the death of his wife, Doña Ana de Toledo y Colonna (15 February 1596), records about 300 books;16 the next surviving inventory, made in 1624, seven years after his death, lists 2506 volumes, however the majority of these were collected by Bishop Sancho.17

Sancho Dávila, the author of at least twelve works, was a passionate collector.18 He had planned to donate his library to his brother,19 however before the donation occurred, Gómez died, and the gift was transferred in 1617 to a nephew, Antonio Sancho Dávila (1590-1666). Sancho’s books also were installed in the convent of San Antonio, where they stood on the blue and gold shelves (estanterías de madera dorada y azul, these being the heraldic tinctures of the Dávila) with their fore-edges turned into the room. On Sancho’s books, a tasselled galero indicating his ecclesiastical rank was painted above the insignia of the Dávila and Toledo families. An unusually detailed inventory of Sancho’s books was taken in 1617;20 besides the aforementioned inventory of 1624, inventories of the conventual library and of books in the family residences taken in 1648, 1678, 1689, 1698, 1737, and 1782 also survive.21

The Parisian sale cataloguer was attracted to the Dávila books and often notes the presence of their fore-edge decoration, as for example

Première partie
Lot 63 (cuir gaufré, tranche peinte, aux armes de Don Sancho Davila, évêque de Carthagène),22 64 (mar. vert., milieu tranche dor. et peinte aux armes de Don Sancho Davila y fil., Toledo, évêque de Carthagène),23 65 (tranche avec le titre et les armes peintes), 71 (avec titre et armes peintes sur la tranche), 83 (tranche peinte et armoriée), 86 (tranche armoriée), 87 (tranche peinte et armoriée), 90 (tranche peinte et armoriée), 94 (tranche peinte et armoriée aux armes de Don Sanche Davila), 97 (tranche dorée et ciselée. Armoiries du cardinal Don Sanche Davila, archevêque de Tolède), 112 (tranche armoriée), 185 (tranche peinte aux armes de Don Sancho Davila, évêque de Carthagène), 329 (aux armes de don Sancho Davila, évêque de Carthagène), 355 (cuir, gaufré, tranche peinte aux armes de Don Sanche Davila),24 379 (tr. peinte et armoriée), 404 (tranche peinte et armoriée), 458 (tranche peinte et armoriée), 600 (tranche peinte aux armes de Don Sanche Davila), 601 (armoiries peintes sur les tranches), 602 (tr. peinte),25 709 (tr. dor. peinte, ciselée et armoriée), 885 (aux armes d’un marquis de Davila), 938 (tranche peinte, aux armes de Don Sanche Davila, évêque de Carthagène), 998 (tranche peinte, aux armes de Don Sanche Davila, évêque de Carthagène)26

Troisième partie
Lot 6 (tranche armoriée), 14 (tranche armoriée), 27 (tranches dorée, ciselée et damasquinée), 30 (tranche armoriée), 32(tranche armoriée), 33 (tranche armoriée), 47 (tranche armoriée), 48 (tranche armoriée), 63 (tranche armoriée), 82 (armes, tranche dor. et ciselée), 145 (tranche armoriée), 149 (tranche armoriée), 150 (tranche armoriée), 153 (tranche armoriée), 158 (tranches peintes aux armes de Don Sancho Davila, évêque de Carthagène), 160 (tranche armoriée), 161 (tranche armoriée), 170 (tranche armoriée), 182 (tranche armoriée), 185 (tranche armoriée), 188 (tranche armoriée), 192 (tranche armoriée), 199 (tranche armoriée), 202 (tranche armoriée), 204 (tranche armoriée),27 206 (tranche armoriée),28 215 (tranche armoriée), 241 (tranche armoriée), 247 (tranche armoriée), 250 (aux armes de don Sanche Davila, évêque de Carthagène), 253 (tranche armoriée), 258 (tranche armoriée), 266 (tranche armoriée), 288 (tranche armoriée), 337 (tranche armoriée aux armes de Don Sancho Davila, évêque de Carthagène), 345 (tranche peinte aux armes de Don Sancho Davila), 355 (tranche armoriée), 358 (tranche armoriée), 382 (tranche armoriée),29 409 (tranche armoriée), 431 (tranche armoriée), 435 (tranche armoriée), 447 (tranche armoriée), 459 (tranche armoriée),30 461 (tranche armoriée),31 469 (tranche armoriée), 470 (tranche armoriée), 479 (tranche armoriée),32 494 (tranche armoriée),33 530 (tranche armoriée), 578 (tranche armoriée), 652 (tranche armoriée, aux armes du marquis d’Astorga), 673 (tranche armoriée), 728 (tranche armoriée), 778 (tranche armoriée), 781 (tranche armoriée), 785 (tranche armoriée), 797 (tranche armoriée), 845 (tranche armoriée), 846 (tranche armoriée), 859 (tranche armoriée), 914 (tranche ciselée), 930 (tranche peinte), 936 (tranche armoriée), 937 (tranche armoriée), 943 (tranche armoriée), 990 (tranche armoriée), 994 (tranche armoriée), 998 (tranche armoriée), 1004 (tranche armoriée), 1010 (tranche peinte et ciselée aux armes de la famille d’Astorga), 1022 (tranche armoriée), 1027 (tranche peinte), 1028 (tranche ciselée), 1058 (tranche armoriée), 1060 (tranche armoriée), 1061 (tranche armoriée), 1066 (tranche armoriée), 1330 (tranche armoriée), 1356 (tranche arm.), 1359 (tranche armoriée),34 1361 (tranche armoriée), 1365 (tranche armoriée), 1409 (tranche armoriée), 1410 (tranche armoriée), 1448 (tranche armoriée), 1450 (tranche armoriée), 1466 (tranche armoriée),35 1471 (tranche armoriée), 1484 (tranche armoriée)

Seneca, Opera et ad dicendi facultatem, et ad bene vivendum utilissima (Basel [c. 1541]), sold by Alde, Livres anciens et modernes, Salle Rossini, Paris, 13 December 2011, lot 124 (€10,200; link)

Diego de Villalobis, Concordia euangelistarum seu sanctum Iesu Chrisiti Euangelium secundum quatuor (Valladolid 1555), sold by Fraysse & Associés, Paris, Hôtel Drouot, 6 March 2013, lot 6 (€3000; link)

Decorated fore-edges are not invariably recorded. Although no mention of fore-edge decoration is made in the sale catalogue, these are likely to be copies sold in 1870:

Première partie
● Lot 73: Diego de Villalobos, Concordia euangelistarum seu sanctum Iesu Christi euangelium secundum quatuor (Valladolid: Sebastián Martinez, 1555), described only as ‘v. gaufré’. Apparently the copy sold by Fraysse & Associés, Livres anciens & modernes, Paris, 6 March 2013, lot 25 (‘écussons et blasons peintes sur les tranches’; link)

● Lot 726: Angelo Poliziano, Opera : quae quidem extitere hactenus, omnia (Basel: Apud Nicolaum Episcopium juniorem, 1553), described only as ‘bas.’ (i.e., calf). Apparently the copy now Cambridge, MA, Harvard University, Houghton Library, *IC.P7595.C553o (‘Full 18th-century mottled sheep; 2 coats-of-arms painted on fore-edge’ with Marques of Astorga printed label; image of fore-edge)

● Lot 727: Marcus Antonius Coccius Sabellicus, Opera omnia (Basel 1560), four volumes bound as three, described only as ‘anc. rel., v. gaufré’). Apparently the copy sold by Bernard Galateau, Montignac, 24-26 August 2006, lot 821 (‘tranches peintes de motifs représentant des fleurs, ainsi que le titre, la tomaison et les armes du premier possesseur. Ex-libris du marquis de Astorga au titre, et cachet “BB” couronné et armorié au titre’; link)

● Lot 758: Historiarum domini Antonini archipresulis Florentini (Lyon: J. Cleyn, 1517), in three volumes, described only as ‘rel. peau de daim. … L’exemplaire a été fortement mouillé’. Apparently the copy sold by Pierre Bergé, Autographes & Manuscrits, Livres, Paris, 18 June 2013, lot 63 (‘Les armes appartiennent probablement à un ancêtre du XVIe siècle du marquis d’Astorga. Le premier tome manqué. Mouillures par endroits’; link)

● Lot 855: Procopius of Caesarea, De rebus Gothorum, Persarum ac Vandalorum libri VII (Basel: ex officina J. Hervagii, 1531), described only as ‘cuir gaufré’. Apparently the copy sold by Puttick & Simpson, The Library of Major F. Bennett-Golney, 14-15 April 1920, lot 422 (‘fore-edge painted with arms and title, the Marques de Astorga copy, with ticket; link)

● Lot 1057: Johannes Magnus, Historiae (qua uix alia lectu iucundior) de Gothorum Sueonomque rebus gestis, lib. XXIIII (Cologne: Apud Ioannem Birckmannum, 1567), described only as ‘v.’ (i.e., veau). Apparently the copy offered in Le Miroir des livres antiques et nouveaux. Bulletin périodique de la Maison du bibliophile (Paris 1922), p.49 no. 342 (‘v. br. … Aux armes sur la tranche du Marquis D’Astorga dont l’ex-libris figure sur le titre. Reliure en mauvais état’; link)

Troisième partie
● Lot 37: Tomus primus [- secundus] Paraphraseon Des. Erasmi in Nouum Testamentum (Basel 1541), described only as ‘rel. en bois, recouvert de cuir gaufré’. Apparently the copy now Paris, Bibliothèque du protestantisme français, André 47 (‘Exemplaire expurgé… Tranches peintes avec le titre et les armoiries d′un propriétaire précédent, traces de fermoirs, reliure estampée à froid, dos restauré. Ex-libris gravé de la Biblioteca del excmo. señor Marques de Astorga. Ex-libris Alfred André’; link)

● Lot 570: Boethius, Arithmetica, duobus discreta libris (Paris: Simonem Colinœum, 1521), described only as ‘n. rel.’ (i.e., disbound). Apparently the copy now Cambridge, MA, Harvard University, Houghton Library, Typ 515.21.224 (OPAC). See Harvard College Library: Department of Printing and Graphic Arts: Catalogue of books and manuscripts part I: French 16th century books, compiled by Ruth Mortimer (Cambridge, MA 1964), I, p.139 no. 107: ‘labelled in ms. on fore-edge (this title and the title of another work on arithmetic which apparently followed this in an earlier binding), coats of arms sketched and painted in brown and yellow on fore-edge, other edges yellow, with Astorga label’

● Lot 1071: Tacitus, Annalium ab excessu Augusti … siue Historiæ Augustæ (Basel 1533), described only as ‘v. gaufré, anc. rel.’. Apparently the copy sold by Christie’s, The Boeder Library, London, 17 June 2014, lot 187 (‘an Italian noble collection: fore-edge arms, marginalia in an attractive contemporary hand’; link)

Several books with decorated fore-edges cannot be found in the Paris sale catalogues, and it is unclear how these first entered the market:

● Joannes Boemus, Mores, leges, et ritus omnium gentium ([Lyon]: Franciscus Perrinus, 1570), sold by Auction Art Rémy Le Fur & Associés, Livres & manuscrits, Paris, 28 March 2017, lot 74 (‘tranche extérieure ornée d’un décor à deux figures héraldiques dessinées à l’encre encadrant le titre… De la bibliothèque Marques de Astorga, avec ex-libris’; link)

● Felipe Díez O.F.M., Quadruplicium concionum super Evangelia omnium Sanctorum, quibus etiam funebres conciones accesserunt, tomi tertii secunda pars (Salamanca: Excudebat Ioannes Ferdinandus, 1584), in Lyon, Bibliothèque municipale, Chomarat 5432 (‘peintes avec titre: “Sermones ff. Philippe Diez…” et deux blasons 16e siècle’; link)

● Erasmus, Epistolae familiares (Lyon: Sébastien Gryphius, 1542), sold by Artcurial, Livres et manuscrits, Paris, 31 May 2016, lot 6 (‘Sancho Dávila y Toledo (armes peintes sur la tranche de gouttière). - Marquis d’Astorga (ex-libris au verso du titre)’; link)

● Isocrates, Orationes omnes, quarum nomina in sequenti inuenies pagina : addita variae lectionis annotatione (Frankfurt: para Petroi toi Broubachioi, 1540), offered by Patrick King Rare Books, Catalogue 14: Sixteenth century books (Stony Stratford 1988), p.18 item 25 (illustrated p.23)

● Sidonius Apollinaris, Epistolae et carmina (Milan: Uldericus Scinzenzeler for Hieronymus de Asula and Johannes de Abbatibus, 4 May 1498), ex-John Francis Naylon (1885-1960), his sale Sotheby & Co., London, 28 May 1962, lot 173: ‘the title of the work, two coats of arms, and leafy sprays painted on the fore-edge’; now University of Iowa Libraries, Folio PA6694 .S7 1498 (‘Fore-edge painting enclosing title’; link, images)

● Gaietanus de Thienis, Super libros de anima (Venice: Gregorius de Gregoriis, 1505) – Saint Thomas Aquinas, Commentarius in librum Aristotelis De anima (Venice: Antonello di Barasconi and Guilelmus Anima Mia, Tridinensis, 1485) – Johannes de Janduno, Quaestiones de caelo et mundo ([Venice]: Bonetus Locatellus for Octavianus Scotus, 1501), now Cambridge University Libraries, Inc.3.B.3.81[1624] (‘Book label “Biblioteca del exc[ellentissimo]. Señor Marques de Astorga” on leaf A2 recto of item no. 1… Penwork decoration on fore-edge with coats-of-arms (1. six bezants; 2. checky), foliate and titles’; link)

The sale catalogue was described by Andrés in 1986 as ‘obra muy rara en España, al parecer’, locating only the photocopy in the Instituto de Valencia de don Juan (Sign. 51-1).36 Our search for copies in available online public access catalogues locates many odd parts, but few sets (none in the Grolier Club library):

● Amsterdam, Universiteitsbibliotheek, UBM: 757 J 6 (link) ● Barcelona, Biblioteca Nacional de Catalunya, Bon. 3-I-3 (link) ● Bourges, Bibliothèque municipale, Coll. 8. 67- 3, 1 (part I; link) ● Brussels, Bibliothèque royale de Belgique, VI.88.225 A295, A408 (parts I and III)37 ● Cambridge, Harvard College Library, B 1604.1 (link) ● Copenhagen, Det Kongelige Bibliotek, 184, 187c (parts I and III; link) ● Edinburgh, National Library of Scotland, AB.3.200.007 (2 parts; link) ● Geneva, Bibliothèque de Genève, Aa 725 (2 parts; link) ● Heidelberg, Universitätsbibliothek, F 9531 (part I and II; link) ● Livorno, Biblioteca comunale Labronica F.D. Guerrazzi, TOR 1996-O- 0767 (parts II and III; link, link) ● London, British Library, Department of manuscripts (part II only) ● Madrid, Biblioteca del Ateneo, T-104-F-11 (Part I; link) ● Montreal, Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, 017.2 As88c (Part I; link) ● Naples, Biblioteca universitaria, C 0207 29 5 (part III; link) ● New Haven, Yale University, X349 As331 1870/5/7 (part II; link) ● New York, New York Public Library, *GO Astorga, D’. Catalogue de la bibliothèque (part I only?; link) ● New York, Columbia University, Bookart 018.31 As8 (part III; link) ● Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Delta-51089 (part III; link), Delta-51060 (part I; link), YD-1 (1870-01-24)-8 (part I; link), Delta-32064 (part II; link), Delta-32065 (part III) ● Stockholm, Kungliga Bibliothek, 107 E 21 a Astorga (link) ● The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, KW Verz Cat 4217-4219 (link) ● Vienna, Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek, 110938-B.1-3 (link)

1. For these sales in England, see Nigel Glendinning, ‘Spanish books in England 1800-1850’ in Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society 3 (1959), pp.70-92; Geoffrey West, ‘Where are They Now? The Dispersal of Spanish Printed Book Collections, 1810-1850’ in Migrations in Society, Culture and the Library, edited by Tom Kilton and Cires Birkhead (Chicago 2005), pp.208-215; Pedro M. Cátedra, Nobleza y lectura en tiempos de Felipe II. La biblioteca de don Alonso Osorio marqués de Astorga ([Valladolid] 2002), pp.50-51. Books from the Astorga library were entered in an auction conducted by Sotheby on 9 June 1825 (as ‘Altamira Library’, 1354 lots) and quietly introduced into other sales (see West, op. cit., p.210). A determined buyer in the Sotheby sale was the London bookseller Thomas Thorpe, who had recently purchased – apparently in Paris – several thousands of books from the Astorga library. Thorpe offered some of these volumes in an undated catalogue, entitled ‘Bibliotheca Hispana: catalogue of the extensive and very valuable library of the marques of Astorga, many years celebrated as being one of the richest in all Spain’ (copy in British Library, SC 108/4). In 1826, facing bankruptcy, Thorpe consigned to Evans ‘Mss, autographs, charters with seals… from the Astorga, Yriarte, and other celebrated collections’ (2-4 March 1826) and ‘Spanish & Portuguese books… collection of Thomas Thorpe’ (28 November 1826, 1320 lots). In 1827, Thorpe sold to the Library of the Faculty of Advocates, Edinburgh, some 3600 volumes of Astorga provenance; see James Hamilton Loudon, ‘The Astorga Collection of Spanish Books now in the National Library of Scotland’ in Revista de Archivos, Bibliotecas y Museos 70 (1962), pp.179-185; reprinted in Asociación de Bibliófilos de Barcelona, 25 años de la Asociación de Bibliófilos de Barcelona, IIIème Congrès International de Bibliophilie. Actes et communications (Barcelona 1971), pp.89-93.

2. Gregorio de Andrés, ‘La dispersión de la valiosa colección bibliográfica y documental de la Casa de Altamira’ in Hispania 46 (1986), pp.587-635 (pp.606-614). Andrés speculates that the intermediary was Paul Chapuy, Vicente Pío’s librarian, and cites a statement made much later (1898) by Vicente Poleró, alleging that the library had been sold for 20,000 pesetas to Bachelin-Deflorenne.

3. Both inventories are published by Cátedra (op. cit.) and digitised as part of the IBSO project (Inventarios y Biblotecas del Siglo de Oro): ‘Inventario A’ 1573 (link), ‘Inventario B’ 1589/1593 (link).

4. For an instance of this transmission, see Ricardo Pichel Gotérrez, ‘De la Casa Astorga-Altamira a la Biblioteca de Menéndez Pelayo. El itinerario final de la Historia Troyana (BMP Ms. 558)’ in Boletín de la Biblioteca de Menéndez Pelayo 90 (2014), pp.213-229 (pp.216-217).

5. ‘…qui vécut à la fin du siècle dernier, enrichit à son tour la collection de ses ancêtres d’ouvrages sur toutes les parties de la théologie et d’l’érudition alors en crédit’ (p.ix).

6. La première série, celle des manuscrits, ouvrages sur vélin, livres d’heures, était apparue si intéressante et si digne d’attirer l’attention des amateurs les plus difficiles, qu’on n’a pas cru devoir résister au désir de l’enrichir encore davantage en y ajoutant quelques beaux livres du même genre provenant d’une autre collection; c’était, ce semble, comme un devoir de satisfaire d’une manière plus ample les désirs des collectionneurs conviés à cette vente.’ (p.ix).

7. According to Seymour de Ricci, the manuscript had been bought by Bachelin-Deflorenne in ‘a small curiosity shop in Madrid’; see Montague Rhodes James, A descriptive catalogue of the Latin manuscripts in the John Rylands library at Manchester, edited by Frank Taylor (Manchester 1980), p.9* and pp.17-26 no. 8.

8. Now Cologny, Fondation Martin Bodmer, Cod. Bodmer 78; for intermediate provenance, see Elisabeth Pellegrin, Manuscrits latins de la Bodmeriana (Cologny & Geneva 1982), pp.144-147 (link to e-codices).

9. Now Baltimore, Walters Art Gallery, W. 133; Lilian M.C. Randall, Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts in the Waters Art Gallery (Baltimore & London 1997), III/1, no. 218.

10. Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Ms. Espagnol 608-609. The manuscript had been offered in the Foulché-Delbosc sale, 12-17 October 1936, lot 1580. Andrés, op. cit., pp.597, 611, 614. Cátedra, op. cit., pp.49, 101 (Ms L).

11. Offered in the ‘Troisième partie’ as lot 1436 was ‘Bibliotheca del Marquese de Astorga (Indice de la), 4 vol. In fol., bas. Manuscrit de la fin du dernier siècle, formant le catalogue général de la bibliothèque du marquis d’Astorga, duc de Sesa’.

12. See the recent biography by Santiago Martínez Hernández, El Marqués de Velada y la Corte en los Reinados de Felipe II y Felipe III: Nobleza Cortesana y Cultura Política en la España del Siglo de Oro (Salamanca 2004), developed from the author’s dissertation: ‘Don Gómez Dávila y Toledo, II Marqués de Velada, y la corte en los reinados de Felipe II y Felipe III (1553-1616)’, tesis doctoral, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 2002 (link).

13. Santiago Martínez Hernández, ‘Los libros del Ayo y Mayordomo Mayor del Rey: La biblioteca del Marqués de Velada, don Gómez Dávila y Toledo (c. 1535-1616)’, memoria de licenciatura inédita, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 1998; S. Martínez Hernández, ‘Semblanza de un cortesano instruido: El Marqués de Velada, ayo del príncipe Felipe (III), y su biblioteca’ in Cuadernos de Historia Moderna 22 (1999), pp.53-78 (link). On Gómez’s trade sources, see Alfredo Alvar Ezquerra, ‘Enrique Cock: un humanista holandés en la España de Felipe II’ in Hispania 52 (1992), pp.521-557 (p.524); S. Martínez Hernández, ‘Nuevos datos sobre Enrique Teller: de bibliotecario del Conde de Gondomar a agente librario del Marqués de Velada’ in Reales Sitios: Revista del Patrimonio Nacional 38 (no. 147, 2001), pp.72-74.

14. Jesús Gómez Jara, ‘Francisco de Mora, arquitecto del convento franciscano de Velada (Toledo)’ in Anales Toledanos 31 (1994), pp.319-330 (link); Santiago Martínez Hernández, ‘La biblioteca del convento de San Antonio de Padua de Velada (Toledo): origen y fortuna de la Librería Grande de los marqueses de Velada’ in Archivo Ibero-americano. Estudios históricos sobre la Orden Franciscana en España y sus misiones 60 (no. 235, 2000), pp.35-68; S. Martínez Hernández, ‘Obras… que hazer para entretenerse: la arquitectura en la cultura nobiliario-cortesana del Siglo de Oro: a propósito del marqués de Velada y Francisco de Mora’ in Anuario del Departamento de Historia y Teoría del Arte 15 (2003), pp.59-77. Graham Pollard, ‘Changes in the Style of Bookbinding, 1550-1830’ in The Library, series 5, 11 (1956), p.73, wrongly associates the fore-edge decoration with Pedro Álvarez Osorio, VI marqués de Astorga (d. 1589).

15. Jumilla: repertorio heráldico, Repertorio de Heráldica de la Región de Murcia, edited by José Miguel Cutillas de Mora (Murcia 2003), pp.94-95 (link).

16. Madrid, Archivo Histórico de Protocolos, Prot, 1810, ff. 1291r-1353v. The inventory records about 300 books; some are listed by Fernando Bouza Álvarez, ‘Leer en palacio. De aula gigantium a museo de reyes sabios’ in El libro antiguo español. Vol. III: El libro en Palacio y otros estudios bibliográficos, edited by María Luisa López Vídriero and Pedro M. Cátedra ([Salamanca] 1996), pp.29-42 (p.42; link); others are listed by S. Martínez Hernández, ‘Semblanza’, op. cit., pp.75-78.

17. Madrid, Archivio del Instituto Valencia de Don Juan, Ms. 26-V-13, ff. 1-27: Ynventario de los libros, pinturas, estantes dorados y otras cosas de la librería que el Marqués de Velada mi señor tiene en Velada en su convento de San Antonio de la horden de san francisco descalços. An inventory of the library in the residence follows: ff. 211-240v: Inventario de los libros y pinturas que había en la librería de la Villa de Velada propia de los señores de ella. Velada, 25 de abril de 1624.

18. Jacobo Sanz Hermida, ‘Un coleccionista de reliquias: don Sancho Dávila y el Estudio Salmantino’ in Via spiritus 8 (2001) 59-93 (link).

19. Madrid, Archivio del Instituto Valencia de Don Juan, Ms. 26-V-13-14, ff. 313-314: Donación de los libros y cuadros del Obispo de Sigüenza, Sancho Dávila y Toledo, al Marqués de Velada en 1610. S. Martínez Hernández, ‘Semblanza’, op. cit., p.69.

20. Madrid, Archivio del Instituto Valencia de Don Juan, Ms. 26-V-12, ff. 139-210: Donación que hizo D. Sancho Dávila y Toledo, obispo de Sigüenza de toda la librería que tenía con sus estantes y pinturas que en ella había a su sobrino Antonio Sancho Dávila, Marqués de Velada y San Román. Sigüenza, 14 de mayo de 1617. S. Martínez Hernández, ‘La biblioteca del convento’, op. cit., pp.51-62: ‘Este inventario de 1617 es incluso más valioso que los posteriores, debido a que, en numerosas ocasiones, se mencionaba, completo, el pie de imprenta’ (p.53).

21. S. Martínez Hernández, ‘La biblioteca del convento’, op. cit., pp.49-51, 62-64; Cátedra, op. cit., pp.47-48, 87-88; Santiago Martínez Hernández, ‘Gusto, afición y bibliofilia. Prácticas de lectura en la nobleza española: a propósito de los marqueses de Velada y los libros’ in La memoria de los libros: estudios sobre la historia del escrito y de la lectura en Europa y América, edited by Pedro Manuel Cátedra García, María Isabel Páiz Hernández, María Luisa López-Vidriero Abello (2004), I, pp.781-801.

22. Biblia sacra ad vetustissima exemplaria castigata, necnon figuris & chorographicis descriptionibus illustrata (Lyon: Guillaume Rouillé, 1569); subsequently in the library of Ricardo Heredia, comte de Benahavis (1831-1896), his sale: Bibliothèque de M. Ricardo Heredia, comte de Benahavis, Paris, 12 April-11 May 1894, lot 3832: ‘Exemplaire du duc de Sessa, avec les armes de don Sancho Davila, évêque de Carthagène, peintes sur la tranche’.

23. The Plantin polyglot Bible (1569-1573), subsequently in the Heredia sale (op. cit.), 22-30 May 1891, lot 3 (link). Cf. S. Martínez Hernández, ‘La biblioteca del convento’, op. cit., pp.53-54 (entry for this work in 1617 inventory).

24. Georg Agricola, De re metallica libri XII (Basel 1556). Cf. Manfred von Arnim, ‘Otto Schäfer – Ein Sammlerporträt’ in Philobiblon 26 (1982) p.137; Fünf Jahrhunderte Buchillustration : Meisterwerke der Buchgraphik aus der Bibliothek Otto Schäfer, catalogue by Eduard Isphording and Manfred von Arnim ([Nuremberg] 1987), no. 95, incorrectly identifying the armorial insignia on fore-edge (‘Ex. Cosimo I Medici’).

25. Publius Vergilius Maro, Bucolicorum, Georgicorum et Aeneidos : cum accurata simul & fideli Seruij Mauri Honorati expositione (Basel: Johannes Walder, 1534), sold by Alain & Evelyne Morel de Westgaver, Brussels, 27 September 2014, part lot 456: ‘étiquette de la Biblioteca del excmo. Senor Marques de Astorga dont les armes ont été dessinées à l’encre sur la tranche’ (link).

26. Pietro Bizari, Rerum persicarum historia, initia gentis, mores, instituta : resque gestas ad haec tempora complectens (Frankfurt: typis Wechelianis apud Claudium Marnium, & heredes Ioannis Aubrii, 1601), sold by Marie-Françoise Robert, Bibliothèque de M. Dubourg: libraire à Avignon dans les années 20, Paris, 2 February 2007, lot 530: ‘relié veau époque estampé à froid… Tranche peinte aux armes du Marquis de Astorga’ (link).

27. Guillermus Altissiodorensis, Summa aurea in quattuor libros Sententiarum Petri Lombardi (Paris: François Regnault, [c. 1514]), now University of Glasgow Library, Sp Coll BD7-d.19 (‘pen-work decoration on fore-edge: two coats of arms, foliage and title “Sũma || Alchiſio || dorenſ”; link, image).

28. Saint Jerome, Divi Hieronymi stridoniensis Opera omnia quae reperiri potuerunt (Paris 1578-1579), described as ‘9 tom. en 4 vol.’, now University of Toronto Libraries, F-11 00145 (‘9 v. in 4… with the book label “Biblioteca del excmo. Señor Marques de Astorga”. Finely executed titles and shelfmarks inscribed on edge of each volume with two unidentified coats of arms’; link).

29. Barnabé Brisson, De Verborum Quae ad jvs Pertinent Significatione Libri XIX (Paris 1596), sold by Alde, Livres anciens du XVe au XIXe siècle, 4 March 2016, lot 3 (‘Tranche de gouttière ornée à l’encre brune d’un cartel central contenant le titre de l’ouvrage et le double écu d’armes de Sancho Davila Toledo’; link).

30. Gregor Reisch, Margarita philosophica, rationalis, moralis philosophiae (Basel: excudebat Henricus Petrus, 1535), sold by Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge, Catalogue of the valuable and extensive library of the late John Scott, Esq. London, 27 March-6 April 1905, lot 1949; returned (as imperfect), resold in the same rooms, Catalogue of valuable, rare and interesting books and important illuminated and other manuscripts, 6-9 December 1905, lot 370 (‘old Spanish calf, with coat of arms (Marques de Astorga?) on fore-edges’; link).

31. Ricardus, de Mediavilla, In secundum Sententiarum questiones solidissime (Venice: Per Lazarum Soardum, die xxviij. Martij [1509]), apparently the copy offered by Bruce McKittrick Rare Books Inc., Catalogue 40: Recent acquisitions, Narberth, PA [2001?], where decoration interpreted as the insignia of Cosimo I de’Medici and his wife Eleanora of Toledo.

32. The sale cataloguer describes three Basel editions of Seneca’s Opera in folio, printed in 1523 (lot 479: rel. en bois, cuir gaufré, tranche armoriée), 1529 (lot 480: rel. en bois, cuir gaufré), 1548 (lot 481: bas.). One of these may be identical with the copy of an undated folio edition of Seneca, Opera et ad dicendi facultatem, et ad bene vivendum utilissima (Basel: [Johann Herwagen, c. 1541]), sold by Alde, Livres anciens et modernes, 13 December 2011, lot 124: ‘gouttière peinte… La tranche de gouttière de cet exemplaire a été ornée à l’encre brune: outre le titre de l’ouvrage au centre, deux écus d’armes se répartissent en haut et en bas de la tranche, séparés du titre par de grands motifs végétaux. Le premier écu porte les armes des Davila, marquis de Velada, et le second celles des Alvarez de Toledo, ducs d’Alba de Tormes, et tous deux sont surmontés d’une couronne de marquis et d’un chapeau ecclésiastique. Cette réunion suggère que l’exemplaire aurait appartenu à Sancho Davila Toledo (1546-1625), évêque de Carthagène, de Jaén, de Sigüenza et enfin de Plasencia, qui descendait des deux familles. De la bibliothèque du marquis d’Astorga (1870, III, n° 480), avec ex-libris sur le second feuillet’ (link).

33. Constitutiones tam commodae aptaeque : quam sanctae almae salmanticensis scademiae toto terrarum orbe florentissimae (Salamanca: Excudebat I.M. à Terranoua, 1562), now Cambridge, MA, Harvard University, Houghton Library, Typ 560.62.766 (Marques of Astorga’s printed label, link; OPAC); Spanish and Portuguese 16th century books in the Department of Printing and Graphic Arts : description of an exhibition and a bibliographical catalogue of the collection, compiled by Anne Anninger (Cambridge, MA 1985), p.69 no. 151.

34. Jacques de Meyer, Commentarii siue annales rerum Flandricarum libri septendecim (Antwerp: In aedibus Ioannis Steelsii, 1561), sold by SVV Jean Emmanuel Prunier, Livres anciens et modernes, Louviers, 14 February 2016, lot 29 (‘tranche de gouttière avec titre manuscrit et pièces d’armes peintes au lavis… Ex libris du Marquis de Astorga’; link).

35. Michael Stifel, Arithmetica integra (Nuremberg 1544), sold by Pierre Bergé, Pierre Berès, 80 ans de passion : fonds de la librairie Pierre Berès, des incunables à nos jours. 1ère partie. 28 October 2005, lot 46 (‘armes espagnoles et titre du livre calligraphié sur la tranche de gouttière’; link).

36. Andrés, op. cit., p.610 (note 54).

37. Jeanne Blogie, Répertoire des catalogues de ventes de livres imprimés, II : Catalogues français (Brussels 1985), cols.119, 120.

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