Not a bad way to end a day

The first leaf of the Library's copy of the 1476 Venetian printing of Paolo Veneto's Expositio librorum naturalium Aristotelis, with an illuminated initial 'P' and floral three-quarters border. A 17th century owner's inscription, that of Antonio de Bellis à Venafro, is in the wreath at the foot of this page.

This very pretty book was the last book off my shelf today for cataloguing. Not a bad way to end a day, eh?

This is the Library’s copy of Paolo Veneto‘s Expositio librorum naturalium Aristotelis, printed in Venice by Johann von Köln and Johann Manthen in 1476. It is decorated throughout with blue and red initials and paragraph marks, and has an ornate opening page (above) with an illuminated initial ‘P’ decorated in red and blue and green, with green, blue and red floral patterns, incorporated within an illuminated three-quarters border with pen flourishes, including, at foot, a laurel wreath containing a later owner’s inscription. This book passed through many hands that, from the 18th century, are traceable, including: Antonio de Bellis à Venafro (an early 18th century vicar and founder of a public library housed in the Convent of the Carmelites in Venafro), John Eustace Anderson, Louis Thompson Rowe and Sir D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson.

From page to web, a view from the everyday cataloguing work-station.

It it hardly uncommon to find illuminated intials and borders in early printed books, but this was so pleasing to work on that I thought I would share. Enjoy!


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