1739 · Mediolani
This unassuming "pair" of "books" may contain far more than meets the eye — or nothing at all. Hidden behind a double title-page and a single leaf of text is a hollowed-out compartment fitted with a => neat metal box capable of holding small and valuable objects, such as jewelry, love letters, a flask, or money.
Provenance: Armorial bookplate of Colonel Vesey with the motto "sub hoc signo vinces" on front pastedown. 18th-century polished calf, spines stamped and lettered in gilt, covers triple-ruled; with marbled endpapers, gilt decorated turn-ins, all edges gilt. Front joint (outside) open and loose; binding chipped, abraded, and/or nibbled with some loss of board especially at corners; spine leather (including one label) chipping, with most spine gilt present and bright despite this. Bookplate as above, and a cross-stitched bookmark of floral design and with attached ribbons tucked in. Metal box in excellent shape! => A secret and unpretentious hidey-place for a book lover. (Inventory #: 36351)