A beautiful and unique binding, in protective slipcase, houses this beautifully printed French example of The Imitation of Christ. Printed in quarto (larger), with beautiful woodcut borders to every page, and each chapter with an illustration. The binding is exceptional, with marbled leather, beveled boards, a central cutout, silk doublures and marbling hiding under the gilt edges (exposed when the pages fan when the book is opened). The illustrations and borders are signed Gallieni, Pessani, Deleidi, and a period advertisement states that Galleini produced the woodcuts after compositions by Pessani and Deleidi. This French translation of the original Latin work was completed by Lamennais.
About The Imitation of Christ -
"The Imitation of Christ (Latin: De Imitatione Christi) by Thomas à Kempis is an important 15th century Christian devotional book, first composed in Latin ca. 1418–1427; a handbook for spiritual life. The Imitation is perhaps the most widely read Christian devotional work next to the Bible, and is regarded as a devotional and religious classic. Its popularity was immediate; apart from the Bible, no book has been translated into more languages than the Imitation of Christ." - Wikipedia
Physical Attributes -
Measures 26.5 x 19 x 4.5 cm. Marbled leather binding with decorative touches. Beveled boards, with a central cutout. Four ribs of double cords to spine; title on red Moroccan in one compartment, others with gilt decoration. Board corners have some fillet design. Inner silk doublures framed by gilt, and silk flyleaves. All edges gilt, with marbling underneath (exposed when pages are fanned). Woodcut borders to every page, some illustrations and decorative initials.
See pictures. Wear to slipcase. A little wear noticeable at the joints, and a few rubbing marks on spine (small). Thanks to the case, the boards and edge gilding are clean. A tiny bit of fraying to silk flyleaf at bottom. Leather hinges inside cracked at front and rear; this is causing the front board to feel a little shaken (loose). Library stamp on verso of flyleaf, as well as number. Several bookseller notes on blank front endpaper. No other writing that I find. No tears. Despite some wear of time, a very unique and attractive binding housing a beautifully laid-out book. Due to the hinges, I recommend this book is handled with care and only opened when in a cradle of some sort (two rolled towels, one under each board will cradle the book and limit its opening to a safe v-shape).
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