Parisian Greek-Style Binding for Marcus Fugger

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Parisian Greek-Style Binding for Marcus Fugger

On: Plato. Opera (Greek). Basel: Johann Walder, 1534

ca. 1555
Black goatskin over wooden boards, bound à la grecque with lavishly dotted gilt backgrounds, exuberant gilt interlaces, and varicolored goatskin onlays; painted armorials on center; edges gilt and goffered in an arabesque pattern with red and green paint

Purchased with the assistance of the Fellows, 1951

PML 42590
Item description: 

This exceptionally elaborate and splendid binding was created for Marcus, or Marx, Fugger (1529–1597), a member of the Augsburg banking family, who shared the family’s passion for learning, the arts, and elegance. It is abundant in its luxury, especially considering that the ensemble has been made up entirely of very small tools, repeated endlessly. Gommar Estienne, the royal binder at Paris, 1555–59, is probably responsible for this tour de force.