In 1998, T. Kimball Brooker studied a group of seven gold tooled Roman bindings, of which five are in the Bibliotheca Brookeriana.1 All are Greek and Latin classical texts (six are Aldine press editions), printed between 1503 and 1538, bound in brown or black goatskin with the initials L.T. on their covers. The quality of the bindings suggested to him a wealthy patron. The presence on each binding of a gold-tooled title running down the spine suggested a collector within a small circle in Rome that had adopted the modern method of book storage, of standing books upright on shelves, side by side, with their spines outward. From this he surmised that L.T. had probably amassed a large library.
In one of the books, a copy of the 1503 Aldine Euripides (no. 2 below, in the Bibliotheca Brookeriana), a partially-deleted inscription at the head of its title-page reads “[name cut away] D. Ludovicus de Torres hoc munere [a few words obliterated] Ann. MDLXX Cal. Sept.”, indicating that one Luis de Torres had presented the volume in September 1570 to a person whose name was subsequently excised. The entire inscription has been crossed out, except “Ann. MDLXX”, which has been extended to “Ann. MDLXXXIIII” by the hand responsible for the obliteration.2 After investigating the De Torres family, T. Kimball Brooker concluded that “L.T.” on the cover was Luis de Torres (1495-13 August 1553), and the “Ludovicus de Torres” who gave the book away was his nephew, Luis II de Torres (1533-1584). The identity of the recipient remains a mystery.