‘Francisci Cecchinij Pisciensis’ on the upper flyleaf


Agacio Guidacerio, Ad Paulum III. Pontificem maximum agathii guidacerii sacrae theologiae Regii professoris. Parisiis: Apud collegium italorum, 1537. 8vo.
U.v.A. call number OTM: Band 1 E 13.

‘Francisci Cecchinij Pisciensis’, followed by an equally mysterious ‘I.V.N’. Does the latter have a religious connotation? Francesco Cecchini of Pescia, owned this book and inscribed his name in a very neat, regular handwriting. Top left corner of lower pastedown: [Antiquarian Bookseller Bernard] ‘Breslauer £ 300’.
This, and some structural annotating inside the book, is the sum of the evidence of former owner and readership. No further clues other than Cecchini being a common enough name in Pescia to keep me looking and finding ‘CECCHINI Francesco (? 1750-Roma 1811) – Incisore e disegnatore, allievo di G. Volpato. Autore anche di un ritratto di Ennio Quirino Visconti’. Same name, but not from Pescia, and around 1800, may be a little late? The binding could be later than 16th century, it has been rebacked with use of parts of the old spine and the pastedowns seem to have been replaced by more or less contemporary paper.

No room for hinein interpretieren, what you see is what you get and what I get are a lot of questions about the former ownership of this binding. Can anyone help? The high quality leather and the simple, but delicate, expert gold tooling on the binding, point to a reasonably affluent, but not very showy, first owner. On the covers a well balanced design of floral cornerpieces, elegant voluted centerpiece, small solid vine leaf tools, and to top it off, gilt edges.



Structural annotation Highlighting and underlining of (parts of) the text. Crossed out passages. A variety of symbols, e.g. manicules, ticks, stars, crosses, squiggles and lines drawn in the text and in the margins.

Pastedown sheet pasted on the inside of the upper and lower cover of the book. May be paper or vellum; blank or decorated.

Gilt edges gold paint, or the more expensive gold-leaf, applied to all three sides of the book block to keep the dust out. Sometimes, probably to cut the cost, only covering the top edge. A more common, and certainly less costly solution, was to paint the edges, often in red or blue, but other colours have been noted.


Pearson 2014. Colour plate 8.1 and 8.2

Volute scroll shaped curl, often with a larger and a smaller curl. May be part of an arabesque pattern.

Arabesque a pattern of volutes and floral and leafy tooling, in solid and azured shapes. Can be infinitly expanded to cover the surface of a book cover. The elements do not cross over each other as they do with strapwork (which will be included when pertinent in a future glossary).

David Pearson, English Bookbinding Styles, 1450-1800: a Handbook. New Castle DE: Oak Knoll Press, 2014.



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