The Roman breviary – part made for winter – printed in 1533 in two strong 8vo volumes sumptuously bound in the second half of the 16th century for the prior of the Benedictine nuns of Saint Susan, with his name « Chastellain » stamped in gilt letters in the center of the back cover and illustrated by Geoffroy Tory.
Printed on two columns in red and black, it begins with the calendar of the year and is illustrated with beautiful full-page woodcuts in the text, the first bearing the Cross of Lorraine, signature of Geoffroy Tory (1480-1533), and the date 1533.
The detailed reading of Geoffroy Tory’s biography by A. Bernard teaches us that the signature of a woodcut at that time of the Cross of Lorraine only means that Tory drew and engraved the piece bearing it (Ref: Geoffroy Tory - Peintre et graveur par Auguste Bernard, Paris, 1865, p. 241).
« Geoffroy Tory is the most formerly known of these excellent artists to whom typography owes its first splendor.
The man who most contributed to the triple evolution that I just mentioned is Geoffroy Tory, who received in 1530, as a reward to his works, the title of the King’s printer, that Francis I of France had never given to anybody, we owe to Tory the renovation of engraving in France.
The main point of my work is to make Tory known as one of the most skilled engravers we ever had. I could not forget in him the erudite editor of the Cosmographie du pape Pie II, of the Itinéraire d’Antonin, etc.; the bookseller of good taste who published the Hours of 1525, 1527, etc.; the elegant printer of the Sacre de la reine Éléonore ; the eminent philosopher of Champfleury, to whom we owe, as we shall see, the invention of orthographical signs particular to the French language, but what especially got me interested in Tory was his career as an engraver. In this, he was without predecessor or disciple, because, those that some might have been connected to him as such, only were his pupils. Jean Duvet only is able to refuse this title; but even if he lived in Tory’s time, he was not his master, because he had gone to learn about art in its very sources, in Italy, before Duvet produced anything. As for Jean Cousin, de Laulne, du Cerceau, Léonard Gauthier, etc., they only came after Tory. The honor of having renovated engraving in France belongs to Tory only, between two centuries, the fifteenth and the sixteenth. » A. Bernard.
A magnificent copy of the breviary of the Benedictine nuns of Sainte Susan illustrated by Geoffroy Tory and preserved in its remarkable and extremely rare 16th century fanfare bindings extremely well-preserved.