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Bound by Law: Piccolomini

L’institvtion morale dv Seignevr Alexandre Piccolomini

Alessandro Piccolomini

L’institvtion morale dv Seignevr Alexandre Piccolomini, Mise en francois par Pierre de Lariuey Champenois

Paris : Chez Abel l’Angelier, 1581

In addition to adding beauty and stability to a book, bindings can serve many other purposes.  In the case of L'institution morale, the stamping on the vellum cover also gives us a clue to the provenance of the book, and when it was originally owned.  The crowned H and MV that cover the binding are the devices used for King Henry IV of France and most likely his first wife, Queen Marguerite de Valois.  It seems likely that this item was acquired by the couple between its publication in 1581 and 1592, when the couple began proceedings to annul their marriage.