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Florentine Portfolio Binding
On: Lanfredino Lanfredini. Libro segreto biancho. Manuscript on paper. [Florence, 1516].
230 x 305 mm
PML 78802. Purchased as the gift of Julia P. Wightman, 1986.
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Light brown goatskin, with overlapping edges in a wallet style,
blind-tooled using a variety of knotwork and arabesque tools,
with goatskin appliqués employing blue and pink stitching and
silk ribbon interlace. As is customary with such bindings, an
extended fore edge flap wraps around from the lower cover
and closes over the upper. The two grommets in the flap served
to channel fabric or leather ties that secured the flap.
Account books, customarily bound in this fashion for centuries
to permit their use in the open air and in any weather, were
subjected to very hard use. Consequently their survival rate is
poor. Sumptuous examples such as the present one, however,
constituted luxury versions used by the wealthiest merchants
and bankers of Renaissance Florence, and the fresh state of its
preservation is nothing short of extraordinary. The manuscript
of Lanfredino's "White Confidential Book" is highly important
to accounting historians.
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