The fifth known copy

Leonicenus, Omnibonus (1412-1474).

Brevis et utilissimus ad scandendum tractatus [De arte metrica]. [Venice, Adam de Ambergau, ca. 1471].

Leonicenus, Omnibonus (1412-1474) Brevis et utilissimus ad scandendum tractatus [De arte metrica]. [Venice, Adam de Ambergau, ca. 1471].

4° (193x132 mm). Collation: [16, 28]. [14] leaves. Text in one column, 24 lines. Type: 112R, 112Gk. On the first leaf the initial 'P' drawn in ink, by a contemporary hand. Modern green morocco over pasteboards. Spine with five small raised bands, underlined by gilt fillets. A very fine copy, the first leaf slightly browned, some foxing. Contemporary marginalia in red ink. On the verso of the last leaf a note written in brown ink by a contemporary hand: 'pedi accedunt [?] sex eleuatio de p[re]sio n[ostr]us silabar[um] te[m]p[us] resolutionis fig[ura?]'.

The extremely rare first edition of one of the earliest books printed in Venice to contain Greek types.

This short handbook on Latin metrics by the humanist and pupil of Vittorino da Feltre Omnibonus Lonicenus (Ognibene Bonisoli, or Ognibene da Lonigo, near Vicenza) enjoyed large and enduring popularity in the fifteenth century, and is often included as an appendix to his grammar De octo partibus orationis, first issued in 1473.

The first edition of the De arte metrica presented here was published by the skilled printer Adam from Ambergau (Bavaria), whose Venetian activity can be dated to the years 1471-1472. The 'doctus Adam' – as he identified himself in the colophon of some editions – set the Greek words occurring in Leonicenus' work in the same types he had used in 1471 for the first edition of the Έρωτήματα, the famous elementary Greek grammar composed by Manuel Chrysoloras (ca. 1350-1415).

Only three copies of the De arte metrica of 1471 are recorded in institutional libraries; they are preserved in the University Library in Padua, Biblioteca Vaticana, and Bayerische Staatsbibliothek München, respectively.

H 10028; GW M27811; IGI 6995 and pl. XLII; P. C. Martin, 525 Jahre Adam von Ambergau. Der Inkunabeldrucker und seine Heimat. Versuch einer Rekonstruktion. 1472-1997, Oberammergau 1997; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 14.

$ 16.000
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