Uffizio della B.V. Maria. Per tutti i tempi dell’anno coll’uffizio de’ morti, della SS. Croce, e dello Spirito Santo: e co i Sette Salmi Penitenziali, ed altre divotissime Orazioni. Rome, Vatican Press [Giovanni Maria Salvioni], 1725.
Two parts in one volume, 8vo (198 x 128 mm), second with separate title-page and continuous pagination, engraved frontispiece by Arnold Westerhout after Joseph Passarus and pp. , 336, [xxxviii], , printed in red and black throughout, engraved printer’s device on title-pages, 14 engraved plates by Jo. Hieronymus Frezza after Joseph Passarus, engraved tailpieces and woodcut initials, slight browning and light marginal dampstaining to first four gatherings and a handful of other leaves, including blank margins of frontispiece and first plate, verso of last leaf a bit soiled, in crimson morocco, covers bordered with gilt chain roll and feather and star roll, with gilt urns to corners, spine gilt in compartments, pink and blue marbled endpapers, all edges gilt, gauffered and painted in red and green to a floral pattern, green silk marker, extremities a little bumped, a trifle dusty, ownership inscription of Tammaro de Marinis pencilled on front endpaper.
An exquisitely bound copy of the ‘horae’ of the Virgin Mary, once in the library of the great Neapolitan collector, bibliophile, bookseller and bookbinding scholar, Tammaro de Marinis (1878-1969).
It was printed by Giovanni Maria Salvioni (1676-1755), who was in charge of the Vatican Press from 1717. The elegant binding was probably produced after the style of the Salvioni workshop, known for its use of painted edges - ‘a revival of a form of decoration unknown in Rome since the reign of Pius V’, who died in 1572 (Hobson, French and Italian Collectors and Their Bindings, p.190). In it, the gilt and lavishness of the Roman fashion merges with the charming modesty of provincial workshops.
The ‘Uffizio’ includes a calendar of mobile feasts and saints’ days, instructions on recitation, the psalm, readings and hymns for each hour of the day during the liturgical year, followed by the Office of the Dead, the Seven Penitential Psalms and others prayers and orations. Although it was originally intended for the religious, lay people were also encouraged to devote part of their day to the recitation of the ‘horae’ to the Virgin Mary. The handsome engraved illustrations in this edition, both delightful and useful as aides-mémoire, were produced by Arnold Westerhout, Joseph Passarus and J. Hieronymus Frezza. They portray key scenes from the Old Testament, such as Adam and Eve being banned from Eden (in the frontispiece), and scenes from the life of the Virgin.
OCLC lists a handful of copies in Italy, and V&A, Harvard and Brown.