Sabellico, Decades, 1486

SABELLICO (Marco Antonio Coccio,
c. 1436-1506).
Decades rerum Venetarum.
Venice: Andrea Torresano de Asula, 21 May 1487.

The painted coat-of-arms added to the first page of this official history of Venice depicts the two-faced god Janus, who signifies the ability to look to the past and the future. This armorial belonged to the influential Banda family of Verona. Another clue that the book was illuminated in Verona is provided by its spectacular white-vine initial Q. The initial’s complicated decoration closely matches that of the Q found in a copy of the 1475 edition of the Statuta Veronae, printed in Vicenza by Hermannus Liechtenstein, which bears the arms of the Bonasuti family, also of Verona. This similarity suggests that these books, despite coming from different presses, were decorated in Verona in the same illuminator’s workshop.

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Similar initial Q in the Statuta Veronae, 1475

Printing in Italy
Sabellico, Decades, 1486