Vives, Joannes Ludovicus
Excitationes animi in Deum … — Lyon 1550
Excitationes animi in Deum … — Apud Seb. Gryphium Lugduni, 1550 [Lyon, Seb. Gryphius].
12mo (116 x 72 mm). a-x8: 336 p. Ruled in red throughout. Contents toned. Lacking endpapers. Several Exlibris on paste-down, name and scribblings on title.
Contemporary calf, some restorations; gauffered edges. Gryphius’ griffin and an unidentified blind stamp on both covers; seems to be an early publisher’s binding. Princeton (GRY 555.07) shows a binding with a „Griffin tool on the front cover of a Gryphius imprint“, but this tool shows a lion, and has nothing to do with the device of the Gryphius shop. The Gryphius device shows a griffin – a reference to his original German name Gryff – holding an ashlar with is right claw; to the bottom of the ashlar a winged globe is fixed by a chain. The device is surrounded by a motto from Cicero: Virtute duce, comite fortuna. Virtus is represented by the ashlar, Fortuna by the winged globe; together with the griffin (i.e. Gryphius himself) the device says: I live and act under the leadership of virtue accompanied by luck. The binding is – at least to me – a rare example of a binding with the publisher’s signet stamped on both covers. Another example of a binding with Gryphius‘ signet was sold at auction in 2015 (Ader/Paris; blank leaves only); it came from the collection of Leon Gruel (Manuel historique et Bibliographique de l’Amateur de reliures, part II, page 89). The cataloguer of the auction writes that bindings as these are ordered by the client and executed by the printer/publisher for him. This is hard to believe, since the usual practice would be either to stamp the customer’s name on it or to order a binding with a pattern to the taste of the customer. Goldschmidt’s assumption that bindings like ours with the printer/publisher’s signet on the covers are „specimens of a bookseller’s stock [or the stock of a printer/publisher, JD] kept ready bound on his premises for the inspection of his books by the customer“ (Gothic & Ren. Bookbindings, p. 40), seems to be much more convincing. – Estelrich no. 86.