[n.p.]: , 1820. Item #04264
A Rare Cross Patée Shaped Book
[CROSS PATÉE BINDING]. SCRAP-BOOK. Twenty-six leaves of mainly white paper with a few blue paper leaves, all with steel engraved views, hand colored cut-out flowers, etc. ca. 1820.
Size: (4 3/8 x 5 3/16 inches; 111 x 132 mm). Bound ca. 1820 in full dark blue straight grain morocco in a 'Cross Pattée' design. Covers bordered and elaborately gilt decorated enclosing a central blind-stamped 'Lyre' design. Blue watered silk liners and end-leaves, all edges gilt.
A near fine, very rare and unusual shaped example. Only a very few bindings in unorthodox shapes have been recorded, an unusually high number were in the Hauck collection but none were in a 'Cross Patée' shape. The Hauck collection did however contain an octagonal shaped binding on a German Hymn Book printed in Nuremberg in 1601. "This is one of the very few books that is printed and bound in an octagonal shape. Other known bindings have the text mounted on octagonal cut paper, but not printed octagonally. W.H. Blumenthal writes of octagonal books that they are "precious both in print and of age in small proportions." (Bookman's Bedlam, p. 118). Blumenthal knew of four such specimens, but only one of them is a printed book, the others are oriental manuscripts. The specimen described by Blumenthal seems to be one of a few known specimens of a printed book in octagonal shape. (Christies New York, The Cornelius J. Hauck Collection, 27-28 June 2006. Lot 326 sold for $3,120).
A cross pattée (or "cross patty" or "cross Pate", known also as "cross formée/formy" or croix pattée) is a type of Christian cross, which has arms narrow at the center, and often flared in a curve or straight line shape, to be broader at the perimeter. The form appears very early in medieval art, for example in a metalwork treasure binding given to Monza Cathedral by Queen Theodelinda (d. 628), and the 8th century lower cover of the Lindau Gospels in the Morgan Library. An early English example from the start of the age of heraldry proper (i.e. about 1200) is found in the arms of Baron Berkeley.
The word pattée is a French adjective in the feminine form used in its full context as la croix pattée, meaning literally "footed cross", from the noun patte, meaning foot, generally that of an animal. The cross has four splayed feet, each akin to the foot, for example, of a chalice or candelabrum. In German it is called Tatzenkreuz from Tatze, foot, paw. Planché provides a dubious suggestion that the term comes from the Latin verb pateo, to lie open, be spread. He states it to be discernible on the standard of King Stephen (1135–1154).