Jean Grolier (1479-1565) was among history’s most discerning collectors of beautiful books, and the first to develop a unique ornamental style of designs that became one of the most emulated worldwide. Although French, he preferred that his bindings follow the design principles of his Italian friend Aldus Manutius, the greatest printer of the Renaissance. The majority of the brilliant works were executed in Paris by two remarkable binding houses. Grolier’s collection of books was split between books he commissioned for himself and books he acquired or was given. At the time of his death, he possessed one of the greatest and most extensive private libraries in the world. Each of his books was of extraordinary quality, in a style described as both “quiet and simple, yet rich and flowing.”
This Grolier Ornamentali series is based on one of his last great commissions, a gold-tooled marbled brown leather creation with an interlaced curving design of single-line fillets and floral tools filling out the six-pointed star.