Cardano, Girolamo (1501-1576).
In Cl. Ptolemaei de astrorum iudiciis... lib. IIII commentaria... Hic accesserunt... De septem erraticarum stellarum qualitatibus atque viribus... Geniturarum item XII... Cunradi Dasypodii... scholia et resolutiones... in... Apostelesmaticos Cl. Ptolomaei. Basel, Heinrich Petri, September 1578.
Folio (320x195 mm). Collation: a8, A-Z8, Aa-Ll8, 2Aa-Ff8, 2Gg10, 3Aa-Bb8, 3Cc6, 3Dd2, 3Ee-Ff8, 3Gg6, 3Hh4, 3Ll10. , 510, , 602-838 [i.e. 834],  pages. Roman, italic, and Greek type. Woodcut printer's device on the verso of the last leaf. Title-page with woodcut portrait of Cardanus within a cartouche. Woodcut animated and decorated initials. Numerous woodcut diagrams in the text. Fine contemporary French olive morocco over pasteboards, executed for Charles Cardinal de Bourbon. Covers within triple gilt fillet border. Smooth spine with the cardinal's arms and his device with the motto 'SVPERAT CANDORE ET ODORE'; title lettered in gilt at the head. Board edges with single fillet, gilt edges. A few old abrasions to the covers, repair to the upper ones, joints a little rubbed, corners lightly bumped. In a modern green cloth solander box. A very fine copy, minor loss to the lower outer corner of the title-page, not affecting text; tears to fol. Aa6, without any loss. On the verso of the rear flyleaf a cutting taken from an unidentified sale catalogue, describing this copy as lot 99, 'folio, olive morocco, gilt leaves, with Arms and Device of Charles de Bourbon (Charles X. of the League) on back'.
Provenance: Cardinal Charles de Bourbon, Archbishop of Rouen (1520-1590; armorial binding); from the library of William Beckford (1760-1844; the pencilled shelfmark '353-31'; see the sale at Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge, The Hamilton Palace Libraries. Catalogue of The First Portion of the Beckford Library, removed from Hamilton Palace, London, June 1882, lot 1579, “olive morocco, gilt edges, with arms and device of Charles de Bourbon (Charles X of the League) stamped in gold on back”; lot description is pasted into the front pastedown of this copy); purchased by Dodgson for £55; Henry J. B. Clements (1869-1940; ex-libris on the front pastedown); Edwards (signature on the verso of the front flyleaf 'Edwards June 1895.'); the Paris bookseller Georges Heilbrun (Catalogue 37, 1972, no. 37); Michel Wittock (ex-libris on the front pastedown; see The Michel Wittock Collection. Part I: Important Renaissance Bookbindings, Christie's London 2004, lot 31).
A magnificent copy – bound for the French cardinal Charles de Bourbon – of the third edition of this compilation of astrological works by the renowned physician, natural philosopher, mathematician, and astrologer from Milan Girolamo Cardano. The first part consists of his translation into Latin of Ptolemy's Tetrabiblos, along with his commentary. The first edition of Cardano's collection issued from Heinrich Petri's press appeared in 1554; the 1557 publication is the first to be supplemented with commentary by the mathematician Conradus Dasypodius (1532-1600), who suppressed, from the section Genitura exempla devoted to individual horoscopes of great men, the famous horoscope of Jesus Christ and inserted instead a short description of the clock in the cathedral of Strasbourg, which Dasypodius had constructed in collaboration with the Habrecht brothers from Schaffhausen.
The edition is presented here in a splendid copy once owned by Charles de Bourbon, Archbishop of Rouen, who was proclaimed Charles X of France by the Catholic League in 1589 following the assassination of Henry III. For his exquisite library, Charles de Bourbon commissioned bindings of the greatest elegance, executed by renowned binders in the soberer style in vogue in the last decades of the sixteenth century: the covers of this volume are simply tooled with three gilt fillets, and the spine bears his coat of arms, along with the his device with the motto 'SVPERAT CANDORE ET ODORE'.
Most of de Bourbon's library eventually went to the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, with a few books remaining in private hands. In the nineteenth century, this copy was in possession of the great bibliophile and art collector William Beckford, whose impressive library was sold in 1882. “Mr. Beckford's exquisite taste and judgement rendered him a perfect enthusiast in collecting literary bijoux, especially of works exhibiting the bibliopegistic skill of the most eminent binders [...] Mr. Beckford was indefatigable in watching all the great sales in London and Paris, eagerly securing copies of works bearing the arms and devices of eminent collectors [...] His collection is rich in works bearing the arms or devices of Francis I, of Henry II and Diane de Poitiers, Henry III [...] including excessively rare specimens of Cardinal de Bourbon” (The Hamilton Palace Libraries. Catalogue of The First Portion of the Beckford Library, pp. iii-iv).
Adams C-682; STC German 719; Houzeau - Lancaster 4856; Riccardi I, 254.7; Olivier 2617 (tools 2, 3); Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 153.