Anne Robinson, Karen Saxby
Our Golden Trefoil design is inspired by a 16th-century French binding that originally housed a printing of the Opera Omnia of Giovanni Pontano. Thought to be created by Claude de Picques, it features a classic trefoil (clover) motif, popularly found in some of the world’s most iconic logos, crests, insignias and flags.
Inspired by the 16th-century French binding that originally housed the Opera Omnia, or complete works, of Giovanni Pontano (1426–1503), this design, thought to be created by the influential French bookbinder Claude de Picques, features a classic trefoil (clover) motif. This design is popularly seen in some of the world’s most iconic logos, crests and flags. Today this Golden Trefoil design can be found in the Davis Collection of antique bindings at the British Library.
Pontano was a poet and humanist from central Italy who arrived in Naples a penniless scholar. He then went on to become the trusted friend and advisor to Alfonso the Magnanimous, King of Aragon and Naples and one of the most prominent figures of the early Renaissance.
Claude de Picques was also closely connected with royalty, namely the court of King Henry II of France, serving as the personal bookbinder to Queen Catherine de’ Medici and the King himself.
Totally devoted to his first wife, Adrianne Sassone, Pontano was a deeply romantic man, and this permeated throughout his writing of the time. It is only fitting, then, that his work was adorned with the trefoil motif – an enduring symbol of the power of interlocking relationships.
Pontano led the first modern academy of learning, the Accademia Pontaniana, which still exists today. It is a centre for learning in mathematics, sciences, history, literature, fine arts and more studies of humanity. Much like his work throughout his career, a celebration of life in all its broad emotions characterizes the poet’s distinguished life and legacy.