Superbly preserved plaquette binding for Marcus III Fugger (1529-1597)
De vita libri tres, recens iam a mendis situq[ue] vindicati, ac summa castigati diligentia, quorum primus, De studiosorum sanitate tuenda. Secundus, De vita producenda. Tertius, De vita coelitus comparanda
Lyon, Guillaume Rouillé, 1560
This beautiful and exceptionally well-preserved binding featuring a medallion portrait of Julius Caesar modelled in high relief is one of a group of seven books acquired by the celebrated patron and connoisseur of luxury bookbindings, Marcus III Fugger, in Lyon or Geneva, in the 1560s. Two other books of this group are decorated by the same plaquette; the others are decorated by well-cut medallion heads of Nero, a young man, a male mask, and Judith. All seven books were printed in small format in Lyon between 1552 and 1560. They are evidence of the fashion for medallion bindings that developed in Northern Europe during the 1550s, just as the taste for them was waning in Italy.