Francesco Colonna

Similar in concept to the “primitive” fanfare bindings in the center cases, this “empty” fanfare binding has minimal decoration in the gilt compartments. It too was executed by the Atelier au Vase, but the workshop sought to make it even more luxurious by treating the leather with powdered gold. This additional distinction reflected the importance of the Hypnerotomachia, already recognized in the Renaissance as one of the greatest illustrated books of all time. For Laubespine, an Italianist and a bibliophile, there could be no better way to express his collecting ambitions than to have this typographic masterpiece in a suitably sumptuous binding. He would have appreciated it all the more for its architectural illustrations.

Francesco Colonna (d. 1527)
Hypnerotomachia Poliphili
Venice: Aldus Manutius [for Leonardus Crassus], December 1499
Collection of Jean Bonna / e-codices - Virtual Manuscript Library of Switzerland