❧ The figures explained: Armorial binding covering
Ogier Ghislin de Busbecq, Legationis Turcicae epistolae quatuor.
Frankfurt, A. Wechels Erben, C. de Marne et J. Aubry 1595. Call number (Ex) 1789.229.13.
J. Basil Oldham in Shrewsbury School Library Bindings (Oxford, 1943) notes the following regarding one such book bound for Ramiro de Guzmán, Duque de Medina de las Torres (ca. 1600-1668): On both covers there is a “narrow border formed by a simple conventional foliage roll, with a foliage ornament in each angle; in centre, an heraldic stamp 96×75 mm; a shield, surrounded with the following letters in circles CGDDMMAHPPMIGPCLA, and surmounted by a coronet under which is a scroll bearing the letters FEI. On the upper cover: arms: two coats impaled: Dexter (arms of Felipe Ramirez de Guzman, Duke of Medina de las Torres, Marquis of Torrel): Two caldrons checky with snakes issuing therefrom, flanked in saltire by ten ermine-tails (5 and 5), within a bordure gobony of Castile and Leon; Sinister (arms of Anna Caraffa, Duchess of Sabbioneta, Mondragone and Trajetto, Princess of Stigliano): Quarterly of six (two in chief and four in base): 1. Per fesse (a) three bars (Caraffa) and (b) a band counter-embattled between six stars (Aldobrandini); 2. a cross patty between four eagles crowned, and over all an escutcheon quarterly of three bars and a lion rampant (Gonzaga); 3. four pallets (Aragon); 4. per fesse a castle (Castile) and a lion (Leon); 5. four pallets flanked in saltire by two eagles crowned (Sicily); 6. a column ensigned by a crown (Colonna). On the lower cover: arms (unidentified): Upon a terrace in base, a plant growing between reeds or tufts of grass; in chief an arched band inscribed REVOLUTA FOECUNDANT, with, beneath it, and ranged in the same manner, three rows of stars.”
Ramiro de Guzmán’s arms impale those of his second wife, “Anna Caraffa, daughter of Antonio Caraffa, Duke of Mondragone, and Elena Aldobrandini. He had previously married Marie de Guzman, daughter of Gaspar de Guzman, Count of Olivares, Philip IV’s minister, to whose titles, through his marriage, he succeeded on Olivares’ death in 1645, for which reason he used the acrologic inscription round the shields which Olivares had used as an adjunct to his armorial insignia. The letters (C and G being transposed towards the end) stand for: ‘Comitatui grandatum ducatum ducatum marchionatum marchionatum arcis hispalensis perpetuam praefecturam magnam Indiarum chancellariatum primam Guzmanorum lineam addidit.’ The letters FEI stand for: ‘Fortuna etiam invidente.’
As the owner of the book would not be likely to use the boastful inscription of his father-in-law until he had, by the latter’s death, succeeded to his titles, the book was probably not bound till after 1645, and in Spain, not Naples, because by that time the owner had ceased to be Viceroy of Naples. A larger variant of these heraldic stamps is found on some books.” (p. 120-121; Shrewsbury School Library example illustrated on plate XXVI)
❧ Figure 2 • Two inscriptions on titlepage:
Alongside right margin, “[Guil.] Godophin” [See a comparable example at the University of Pennsylvania.] This is the signature of English diplomat, Sir William Godophin (1634?-1696) •
At bottom:”Ex libris bibliothecae Domus S[anct]ae. M[ari]ae M[ontium] Piorum Operariorum” From the library of the Congreation of the Pii Operarii, a group of religious founded at Naples in 1602.For comparable provenances, see exemplars at Cambridge University Libraryand at
Universitats de Catalunya.]
❧ Figure 3 • A remarkable survival • 17th / 18th century slip case custom made for this book. Why would such a case have been made? Perhaps to protect the book during travel — Busbecq’s Turkish Letters provided important detailed information about the Ottoman state and were highly prized (and still are.)
Figure 2 (above) ❧ Figure 3 (below)