Parisian bindings for Anselmo Dandini (1546-1608) View larger

Parisian bindings for Anselmo Dandini (1546-1608)

Anselmo Dandini (1546-1608) was a son of Pompeo Dandini of Cesena, Conte Palatino and Cavaliere Aurato, and after 1539, an imperial count, entitled to incorporate the imperial eagle on the Dandini coat of arms (Tre stelle di otto punte dell’uno all’altro poste sulla trinciatura ed il capo d’oro all’aquila spiegata di nero).1 Anselmo studied in Bologna under the supervision of the orator Sebastiano Regoli da Brisighella (1514-1570), then at Bologna university, graduating in 1567 with a degree in utroque jure.2 At age 13, he had obtained from his uncle, Girolamo Dandini (1509-1559), nuncio to the court of François I (1543-1544), created cardinal by Julius III on 20 November 1551, a valuable benefice in Ferrara (Abate commendatario di S. Bartolomeo). Pius V appointed him Protonotario Apostolico and Referendario di Segnatura, which allowed Anselmo the privilege of using the insignia of an amaranth galero with twelve scarlet tassels.3 In 1578, Gregory XIII appointed him Nunzio ordinario to France, where he remained for three years.

While in Paris, Anselmo kept a lavish court in the Hôtel de Sens.4 Among his expenses were gifts to his patrons in the Roman Curia: ruby and emerald rings, hats and leather gloves, eyeglasses, clocks and astrolabes, but especially books. Some details of these gifts are in letters addressed by Anselmo to his agent in Rome, Giovanni Battista Schiani. In February 1579, Anselmo sent a newly-published breviary (Antwerp 1579) to Cristoforo Turretttini, Segretario delle cifre to Pope Gregory XIII. A month later, he despatched twelve liturgical and devotional books bound in blue leather, three volumes of them destined for the pope himself, and three each for officials of the papal household: Lodovico Bianchetti (Maestro di camera pontificio), Paolo Ghislieri (nephew of Pius V), and Aurelio Savignani (Scutifero); plus twelve volumes of the same, these bound in red leather, for Cardinals Tolomeo Gallio (Segretario di Stato), Filippo Boncompagni, and Filippo Guastavillani; two of the same, bound in brown leather, for a Monsignor San Vitali; four of the same in unspecified bindings for Francesco Valdevieso and Schiani himself; and a Bible in sextodecimo format, bound in five volumes, for Scipione Cittadini, canon of Faenza, and Anselmo’s Maestro di casa. These books, together with three pairs of gloves (two for Schiani, one for a certain Annibale Lioni) were conveyed to Rome by the bankers Bandini. The books evidently were well-received, as in February 1580 Anselmo despatched a similar shipment to Rome: five breviaries (two bound in blue leather, for Guastavillani and Boncompagni; three in brown leather, for Bianchetti, Savignani, and Turretttini), plus five diurnals (unbound) and a missal for Turretttini.5

Left Dandini insignia [link] – Right No. 2 Tacitus

Only two books bound in Paris for Dandini himself are recorded, one in the Bibliotheca Brookeriana, the other now untraced. Both were decorated “à la fanfare” in an unidentified shop.

1. Vittorio Spreti, Enciclopedia storico-nobiliare italiana (Milan 1928-1936), II, pp.600-601.

Maria Teresa Guerrini, ‘Qui voluerit in iure promoveri’: i dottori in diritto nello Studio di Bologna (1501-1796) (Bologna 2005), no. 2114.

3. Bruno Katterbach, Referendarii utriusque signaturae a Martino V ad Clementem IX et praelati signaturae supplicationum a Martino V ad Leonem XIII (Vatican City 1931), p.145 no. 42.

Correspondance du nonce en France Anselmo Dandino 1578-1581, edited by Ivan Cloulas (Rome & Paris 1970), pp.9-11.

5. Correspondance du nonce en France Anselmo Dandino, op. cit., pp.13-14 (citing Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Département des Manuscits, Italien, 1676, ff. 97, 109-110, 195) [manuscript digitised, link].


(1) Horatius Flaccus, Opera (Antwerp: Christophe Plantin, 1566)

● Anselmo Dandini (1546-1608), armorial supralibros with cappello prelatizio
● Charles Carmichael Lacaita (1853-1933)
● Sotheby & Co., Catalogue of valuable printed books, illuminated and other manuscripts, London, 20-22 July 1936, lot 117 (illustrated opposite p.14; “16th-Century olive morocco, tooled to an elaborate fanfare design, arms in centre of sides, g. e. (rebacked) … The arms on the sides are those of a prelate of the Dandini family. He probably owned a set of pocket classics in similar bindings. His Tacitus (Lyons 1576) in an almost identical fanfare binding from the same workshop is No. 522 in Mr. H. W. Davies’s Catalogue of C. Fairfax Murray’s French Books, and 101 in the list of published fanfare bindings given by Mr. Hobson in ‘Les reliures à la fanfare. Le problème de l’S fermé’, 1936. The bindings are not much later than 1576”)
● Vicomte Louis de Pardieu - bought in sale (£26)
● Sotheby & Co., Catalogue of valuable printed books, autograph letters, manuscripts, London, 20-22 December 1937, lot 406 [RBH 20Dec1937-406]
● Stratford - bought in sale (£14 10s)
● Sotheby & Co., Catalogue of valuable illuminated manuscripts, printed books and autograph letters, London, 25-26 March 1941, lot 329a
● Pimms (?) - bought in sale (£15 10s)
● Sotheby & Co., Catalogue of valuable printed books, Western & Oriental manuscripts, London, 31 March-1 April 1952, lot 258
● Maggs Bros, London - bought in sale (£30); their Catalogue 830: Printing, illustration, binding & illumination (London 1955), item 68, £48 (“olive morocco gilt, sides decorated à la fanfare, arms of a prelate of the Dandini family in centre. Original sides relaid”) [RBH 830-68]

(2) Publius Cornelius Tacitus, C. Corn. Taciti Annalium et Historiarum libri qui extant, Iusti Lipsii studio emendati et illustrati. Eiusdem Taciti liber de Moribus Germanorum. Iulii Agricolae vita. Incerti scriptoris Dialogus de Oratoribus sui temporis. Cum notis Iusti Lipsii & Vertranii Mauri. Accesserunt huic editioni appellationes nationum & prouinciarum Germaniae (Lyon: Antoine Gryphe, 1576), bound with Marcus Vertranius Maurus, Ad P. Cornelii Taciti Annalium et historiarum libros. M. Vertranii Mauri Iurisc. Notae (Lyon: Heirs of Sébastien Gryphe, 1569)

● Anselmo Dandini (1546-1608), armorial supralibros with cappello prelatizio
● Charles Fairfax Murray (1849-1919)
● Raphaël Esmerian (1903-1976), exlibris
● Antoine & Étienne Ader, Jean-Louis Picard, Jacques Tajan & Claude Guérin with Georges Blaizot, Bibliothèque Raphaël Esmerian. Première partie : Manuscrits à peintures, livres des XVe et XVIe siècles, 6 June 1972, lot 112 (“Maroquin rouge”)
● unidentified owner - bought in sale (FF 7000)
● Armand Notter (1912-1997), exlibris
● Ivoire (Jean Chenu, Antoine Bérard, François Péron) & Jacques Van Eecloo, Photographies - Livres anciens et modernes, Lyon, 25-26 May 2011, lot 83 (“maroquin havane à la fanfare … Exemplaire Raphael Esmérian (Cat. Vente 1972, Première partie, No 112). Premier plat détaché ainsi que les 2 feuillets de garde, large papier collant au dos du titre et sur le second feuillet, la colle a traversé le papier et macule ce feuillet, petite restauration sur le second plat, coiffes un peu frottées, feuillets de garde reliés par du papier collant moderne. Étui bordé. Exlibris Raphael Esmérian et Armand Notter”)
● Ivoire (Jean Chenu, Antoine Bérard, François Péron) & Jacques Van Eecloo, Livres anciennes & modernes, Lyon, 27 September 2012, lot 319
● Librairie Amélie Sourget, Paris
● T. Kimball Brooker (purchased from the above, 2013) [Bibliotheca Brookeriana ID #2373; Sotheby’s 20231011 lot 84]

Charles Fairfax Murray, A list of printed books in the library of Charles Fairfax Murray ([London?] 1907), p.221 (“French olive morocco, the back and sides gold tooled, with leaf sprays and other ornaments, with a Cardinal’s arms”)
Hugh W. Davies, Catalogue of a collection of early French books in the library of C. Fairfax Murray (London 1910), no. 522 (illustrated; “arms of a cardinal”)
Geoffrey Hobson, Les Reliures à la fanfare le problème de l’s fermé: une étude historique et critique de l’art de la reliure en France au 16 ème siècle fixée sur le style à la fanfare et l’usage de l’s fermé (London 1935), p.19 (“Troisième Liste: Les reliures ‘à la fanfare’ proprement dites”, no. 101: “un prélat de la famille Dandini”)