Sperone Speroni

This copy of Speroni’s Dialoghi is an excellent example of Laubespine’s interest in Italian literature. Quite possibly it first belonged to one of his elders, an ambassador to Venice who could have commissioned its painted strapwork binding after having returned to Paris in 1550. An ironic twist in its later history attests to the quality of the binding. Sometime before 1883, an unscrupulous member of the book trade deemed it good enough to be a Grolier binding and “improved” it by tooling the Grolier motto on the spine. It was identified as a fake Grolier in the 1950s, but the binding itself is authentic—and the inventory number makes it genuine insofar as its Laubespine-Villeroy provenance.

Sperone Speroni (1500−1588)
Dialoghi (Dialogues)
Venice: Sons of Aldus Manutius, 1546
Barbier-Mueller Foundation for the Study of Italian Renaissance Poetry (University of Geneva) / e-codices - Virtual Manuscript Library of Switzerland