(Illuminated Manuscripts).

Facsimile with accompanying hardcover commentary

  • Modena: Franco Cosimo Panini, 2011.
  • small 8vo
  • full velvet, all edges gilt, metal book casing, enamel designs, leather slipcase
  • 235, 223 pages
  • ISBN: 9788857003450

Price: $11,500.00  other currencies

Order Nr. 108859

Towards 1485, Lorenzo de 'Medici commissioned the most successful miniature painters of Florence for which they were to create three luxurious Books of Hours to be allocated to his daughters as wedding presents. Of these little books, the first, now housed in Monaco, was given to Lucretia, who married Jacopo Salviati. The second, currently at the Laurentian Library, was designed for Luisa, betrothed to Giovanni di Pierfrancesco de 'Medici and died before the wedding. The third was a wedding present for Mary Magdalene, married to Count Franceschetto Cibo, natural son of Pope Innocent VIII. The story of his gift to his three daughters, commonly referred to as The Three Moons, is the touching testimony of the loving gesture of a great Renaissance master. Magdalene de 'Medici in Florence, born July 25, 1473, was the favorite daughter of Lorenzo the Magnificent . Her marriage to Franceschetto Cibo, the son of Pope Innocent VIII, was of fundamental importance for the Florentine family. The significance of the marriage was to gain more prestige and have closer relations with the pope. With this wedding, the second son of Lorenzo, John, would later become Pope under the name of Leo X. On the occasion of the wedding, Lorenzo gave Mary Magdalene a small, refined prayer book which is now preserved in the Rothschild collection of Waddesdon Manor, located in England. The book was designed with more beauty in mind than the other two books, but unfortunately it is now devoid of the original binding which was lost centuries. The Franco Cosimo Panini Editore has miraculously restored the appearance of this book in every detail, thus bringing to light this extraordinary jewel dedicated to Mary Magdalene de 'Medici.

In the usual iconography of the annunciation, the book is accompanied by the figures of Mary Magdalene and St. John the Baptist, patron saint of Florence, depicted on the front and back plates in polychrome enamels. The clasps are redesigned in the form of twisted ropes and five raised bands adore the spine of the binding.

The illustrations are the work of several artists, among them being the great Florentine miniaturist Mariano del Buono.

The Rothschild Hours Doctors are the twelfth in the series entitled "The Library Can Not," the most authoritative and valuable collection of facsimiles dedicated to the Renaissance. Like all facsimile editions, the Rothschild Hours Doctors has been fully reproduced to all of the features of the original manuscript. Maximum attention was given to the color details of the illustrations. The binding of the book was entrusted to expert workshops, which used the same techniques used in the late fifteenth century. Skilled workers such as binders, silversmiths, goldsmiths, and engravers have brought to light one of the most valuable books of the Florentine period. It was reproduced in a limited edition of only 550 numbered copies.

This lovely facsimile is accompanied by an additional volume with lovely illustrations and a detailed history of the family, marriage, and 15th century techniques used to produce this book.