Science Philobiblon

One Thousand Years of Bibliophily from the 11th to the 21st Century

Astronomy in Turin. The earliest known Italian manuscript of Regiomontanus’ Calendarium

17. Regiomontanus, Johannes (1436-1476)

Calendarium and other related texts. Decorated manuscript on paper and vellum, in Latin. Northern Italy (probably Turin), last quarter of the fifteenth century (perhaps ca. 1474).

206x147 mm. iii + 56 + ii leaves. Complete. Seven quires. Collation: 1-36, 410 (first leaf a parchment insert, pasted to a singleton which forms the last leaf of the bifolium), 54 (last leaf a parchment singleton), 610, 714. Blanks: 1/1r, 6/4v, 6/5r, 7/6v, 7/10v-7/14v. Text block: 140x95 mm, one column, 35 lines. Ruled in light brown ink. Some catchwords present. Text written in a small but clearly legible hand showing the influence of humanist script. Rubrics in red, astronomical symbols in faded purple, two-line initials in simple blue, or red and blue, with contrasting penwork, blank spaces for capitals. Contemporary suede leather over pasteboards, circular marks scored into boards showing places of lost metal bosses. Rebacked. Covers worn and rubbed, a few wormholes, corners damaged. Manuscript in very good condition, slight fingermarks to the lower outer corner of a few leaves, some small stains.


Fols. 1v-36r: Astronomiae kalendarium, cum tabulis astronomicis ab anno. 1475 ad 1513;

fol. 36r: Canon de aspectibus planetarum, carmen (followed by five astronomical symbols);

fols. 37v-43r: Cognitiones naturarum secundum nativitates. Secundum Quidonem Bonactum in tractatu planetarum; apparently unrecorded;

fols. 43v-44r: Ascendentia civitatum et provintiarum [sic] atque regnorum que et feliciter et infortunate disponunt;

fols. 44v-45v: Pronostica Hesdrae;

fols. 46r-48r: Pronostica nativitatum secundum mathematicos; apparently unrecorded;

fol. 49r: Tabula Salomonis;

fols. 49v-50v: Tabula planetarum;

fol. 51r-v: Dispositio Galienis [sic] physici infirmantium; apparently unrecorded.


Ten pages of diagrams illustrating the phases of lunar and solar eclipses for the years 1475-1530, two parchment leaves with four full-page diagrams, one a volvelle (middle ring wanting), others an 'Instrumentum horar[i]um inequalium' with a list of planetary bodies, a 'Quadrans horologii horizontalis' and a 'Quadratum horarium generale' with designations for latitude and longitude. Two pages of calculatory diagrams with text in red and purple ink and two further volvelle diagrams on either side of a paper leaf, a series of near-contemporary calculation numbers added down the side of one diagram.

Provenance: The Augustinian monk Antonius de Lanceo or Lanteo, monastery of San Cristoforo, in Turin (his ownership inscription on the recto of the first leaf of the Calendar, 'S[an]c[t]i Cristofori Taurini Ad usu[m] fr[atr]is Anto[ni]i de lanteo'); Joseff Gregorio from Bologna (seventeenth-century ownership inscription on the lower cover, 'Joseff Greg[o]ri[o] da Bologna'); Guglielmo Libri (1803-1869; see Catalogue of the Extraordinary Collection of Manuscripts, Formed by M. Guglielmo Libri which will be Sold by Auction by Messrs. S. Leigh Sotheby & John Wilkinson ... 28th of March, 1859, London 1859; lot 92); Sir Thomas Phillipps (1792-1872; his pencil note 'Ph' number and the pen note “Phillipps Ms 16242” on the front pastedown; his sale at Sotheby's, 5 June 1899, Bibliotheca Phillippica xi, lot 75; sale catalogue cutting glued to the front flyleaf); Samuel Verplank Hoffmann (1866-1942).

An important testament to the history of astronomy in Turin during the fifteenth century. This precious miscellaneous manuscript was likely written and illustrated for Frater Antonius de Lanceo, an Augustinian monk at the monastery of San Cristoforo, in Turin, as his ownership inscription attests.

The volume opens with the earliest known Italian manuscript of the Calendarium by the pre-eminent German astronomer, mathematician, and instrument maker Regiomontanus (Johann Müller of Königsberg), a pupil of Georg Peuerbach and professor of astronomy at the University of Vienna before being appointed astronomer to King Matthias Corvinus. In 1475 Pope Sixtus IV summoned him to Rome to consult on the calendar reform, which would only come into effect in 1482, six years after Regiomontanus' death in the papal city in July 1476. The Calendarium gives information on lunar and solar eclipses for 1475-1530, as well as the length of days and signs of the zodiac and planets.

Only two manuscript copies of Regiomontanus' Calendarium are known to have come on the market in living memory: the manuscript presented here, and that included in a codex dated variously between ca. 1470 and ca. 1500. The latter seems to have once been preserved in the Lambach Abbey (Austria); it was later bought by Laurence Schoenberg and since 2011 has been held at Princeton University. Neither can be definitively dated to either before or after the first appearance of the Calendarium in print in 1474, with respect to which the present manuscript differs only in the alterations to the Calendar and the later sequential placement of the Quadrans horologii horizontalis and Quadratum horarium generale diagrams. Both manuscripts might be copies of Regiomontanus now-lost original manuscript, which may have been circulated among friends or fellow astronomers. An in-depth study of the relationship between these early manuscripts and the printed text has yet to be undertaken, but it is clear that no such study can afford to ignore the present manuscript.

The additional short texts copied in the last leaves are no less interesting and include a large number of astronomical writings, tabulae, and prognostica that apparently failed to be recorded in Thorndike-Kibre or elsewhere, as with the Cognitiones naturarum secundum nativitates. Secundum Quidonem Bonactum in tractatu planetarum (fols. 37v-43r), and the Pronostica nativitatum secundum mathematicos (fols. 46r-48r), which would seem to be unique examples of these texts.

During the copying of the present manuscript, Regiomontanus' Calendar was adapted to include Augustinian saints and exclude the German and Bohemian ones usually found in the work: this feature strongly indicates that the manuscript is likely to have been assembled on behalf of Frater Antonius, a member of the medieval 'de Lanceo' family from Turin who resided at the Augustinian monastery of San Cristoforo, located near San Solutore in that same city. Inscriptions discovered in two incunables now in the National Library of Turin confirm that San Cristoforo was the first Augustinian monastery established in the town, although it was destroyed by the French in 1536. Antonio de Lanteo, or Lanceo, may well have been an acquaintance of Regiomontanus, who traveled extensively throughout northern Italy between 1461 and 1467, and later in 1472 and 1475.

In the nineteenth century, this fine volume belonged to the well-known bibliophile (or bibliomane) Guglielmo Libri, and in the 1859 sale catalogue of his library the manuscript is described as “a very important collection, with fine diagrams and numerous tables”. Later it caught the attention of Sir Thomas Phillipps – arguably the greatest manuscript collector to have ever lived – and more recently of Samuel Verplank Hoffmann, who studied and taught astronomy at Johns Hopkins University. A member of both the New York Historical Society and the Grolier Club, Verplank Hoffmann intensively collected astronomical books and scientific instruments. His collection of astrolabes was acquired in 1959 by the Smithsonian Institution, and this fine manuscript – such an illustrious monument to the history of astronomy – was probably sold on 28 July 1944, the date pencilled on the front pastedown of the volume.

L. Thorndike - P. Kibre, A Catalogue of Incipits of Mediaeval Scientific Writings in Latin, Cambridge 1963; H. Größing, “Regiomontanus und Italien. Zum Problem der Wissenschaftauffassung des Humanismus”, Regiomontanus Studien, 1980, pp. 223-241; E. Zinner, Regiomontanus. His Life and Work, Amsterdam 1990; K. Mütz, “Der Kalender für Graf Eberhard im Bart und der Kalender von Regiomontanus. Zwei herausragende Werke ihrer Zeit”, Zeitschrift für Württembergische Landesgeschichte, 55 (1996), pp. 65-91; R. Kremer, “Text to Trophy. Shifting Representations of Regiomontanus's Library”, J. Raven (ed.), Lost Libraries. The Destruction of Great Book Collections since Antiquity, Houndsmill 2004, pp. 75-90; M. Wagner, Regiomontanus. Ein fränkischer Astronom, München 2005; M. Folkert, The Development of Mathematics in Medieval Europe: the Arabs, Euclid, Regiomontanus, Aldershot 2006; “Hans Sporer's Xylographic Practices. A Census of Regiomontanus's Blockbook Calendar”, B. Wagner (ed.), Blockbücher des 15. Jahrhunderts. Eine Experiementierphase in frühen Buchdruck. Beiträge der Fachtagung in der Bayerischen Staatsbiblithek München am 16. und 17. Februar 2012, Wiesbaden 2013, pp. 161-188; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 17.

The first printed book on the astrolabe

18. Andalus de Nigro (1270-1342)

Opus astrolabii. Ed. Petrus Bonus Advogarius. Johann Picardus, de Hamell, 8 July 1475.

Small folio (281x218 mm). Collation: [1-210]. 19 of [20] leaves, lacking the last blank leaf. Text in one column, 40 lines. Type: 1:101G. The first page decorated with a five line vinestem initial 'S', illuminated in red and blue on a silver background with extension in half of the margin; sixty-nine three-line initials alternately in red or blue, rubricated throughout. Eighteenth-century speckled boards, possibly recased. A tall copy, still attractive in spite of a waterstain in the lower right corner, heavier on the last quire, not affecting the text apart from the last two leaves. On fol. [2]/8v one initial was lost and a few words of lines of text retouched in ink. A portion of the right side of the last leaf was missing and skilfully laid on an ancient leaf; along the right side some words of twenty-one lines neatly supplied in brown ink. Some other waterstains or spots, old repairs to the penultimate leaf.

One of the earliest printed astronomical texts, and one of the rarest scientific incunables to have appeared in Ferrara: the first and only edition of the Opus astrolabii, here exceptionally presented in the unique copy known with an illuminated initial. Only ten copies of this Ferrarese edition – a landmark in the history of astronomy, especially in the theorica planetarum – are recorded among the institutional libraries (four in Italy and two in the United States).

The famous astronomer and traveller from Genoa Andalo de Nigro succeeded Cecco d'Ascoli to the chair in Florence, and, in about 1330, became the teacher of Giovanni Boccaccio. Geoffrey Chaucer (who, some seventy years later, wrote the first work in English on a scientific instrument – the Treatise on the Astrolabe – and was inspired by Boccaccio for his Tales) may have known Andalo's Opus astrolabii through either the Genealogiae Deorum, which first appeared in 1472 (see no. 16) or the De casibus virorum illustrium, printed in 1474-1475. In the latter, Boccaccio calls Andalo a 'venerable' man, and compliments him on his vast knowledge of the stars, gained 'by direct vision' during his travels around the world; indeed, in 1314, the Genoese was appointed Ambassador to the Emperor of Trebisonda (Trabzon), and Giovanni Battista Ramusio – in his preface to the Viaggi di Messer Marco Polo (which opens the second volume of his Navigationi et viaggi of 1559) – identified Andalo, instead of the Pisan Rustichello, as the prisoner to whom Marco Polo dictated his memoirs.

Andalo's treatise describes the use and construction of the astrolabe, an instrument indispensable for compiling astronomical tables and for solving computational problems in spherical astronomy as well as in astrological predictions. The work also exerted great influence upon Western medicine, with Andalo being considered a theorist of astrological medicine, a discipline which claims to use the study of planetary positions to predict whether a patient would recover or to determine the best times for bleeding or operating.

The Opus astrolabii was edited by the physician and astrologer Pietro Bono Avogario (d. 1506), active – as the colophon states – 'in foelici gymnasio ferrariensi', and was printed by the Frenchman Jean Picard de Hamell who “is not known to have issued at Ferrara any book besides the Nigro” (BMC vi, 608).

HR 967; BMC VI, 608; IGI 456; Goff A-573; Lalande 12; Sarton III, 647; Stillwell, Awakening, 808; Thorndike IV, 465; A. M. Cesari, “Theorica planetarum di Andalò Di Negro. Questioni di astronomia. Indagine delle fonti astronomiche nelle opere del Boccaccio. Edizione critica”, Physis, 27 (1985), pp. 181-235; D. Blume, “Andalo di Negro und Giovanni Boccaccio: Astrologue und Mythos am Hof des Robert von Anjou”, T. Michalsky (ed.), Medien der Macht. Kunst der Anjous in Italien, Berlin 2001, pp. 319-335; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 18.

A Landmark of Geographical Knowledge

19. Ptolemaeus, Claudius (ca. 100-168)

Cosmographia. Tr: Jacobus Angelus. Ed: Angelus Vadius and Barnabas Picardus. Hermann Liechtenstein, 13 September 1475.

Folio (304x205 mm). Collation: aa10, bb8-1, a10, b-g8, h10, A-F8, G10. 142 of [143] leaves, lacking fol. aa1 blank. Text in one column, 39 lines. Type: 102R. Finely painted initials alternately in red or blue, the one on fol. aa8v with extension. Seven-line blank space on fol. aa1r. Rubricated in red and blue, the capital letters touched with yellow. Four woodcut diagrams on fols. bb5v, bb6v, bb7v, and F3r. Contemporary wooden boards, one (of two) original oyster clasp preserved. Spine covered in calf, with three raised bands. A few wormholes to the upper cover, loss to the upper outer corner; joints slightly abraded. In a black morocco box, title and imprint in gilt lettering on the spine. An exceptional, and unsophisticated copy, with wide margins. Two small wormholes to the blank outer margin of the first leaf repaired, without any loss. The front and rear flyleaves both reinforced at an early date with a fragment from a manuscript. Pencilled bibliographical notes on the rear pastedown. A typewritten French description of this copy tipped in on the front pastedown, '142 feuillets, sans le premier blanc. Le F. bb8 ne fait pas partie du cahier. Reliure de l'époque en ais de bois, un fermoir HC 13536. Klebs 812.1 Rarissime'.

Outstanding copy – still in pristine condition – of the first Latin edition of the most celebrated geographical treatise of classical antiquity. An edition of the greatest rarity, and a monumental achievement of geographical knowledge and a cornerstone of the European tradition.

The Latin Ptolemy of 1475 was issued from the printing house established in Vicenza by the German printer Hermann Liechtenstein, also known by his surname 'Leuilapis'. A native of Cologne, he began his career as a printer in Vicenza, publishing the undated Historiae by Orosius in 1475, as well as the first edition of Ptolemy, completed on 13 September. Ptolemy's Geographia is one of the first books ever printed in Vicenza, where printing was first introduced in the spring of 1474 by Leonardus Achates de Basilea. The text was set in a roman type, which seems to derive from the font used by Achates.

The present work, divided into eight books, was produced by Ptolemy in the second century AD and describes the known inhabited world (or oikoumene), divided into three continents: Europe, Libye (or Africa), and Asia. Book i provides details for drawing a world map with two different projections (one with linear and the other with curved meridians), while Books ii-vii list the longitude and latitude of some 8,000 locations, Book vii concluding with instructions for a perspectival representation of a globe. In Book viii, Ptolemy breaks down the world map into twenty six smaller areas and provides useful descriptions for cartographers.

The work was brought to Italy from Constantinople around 1400, and its translation into Latin was made by Jacopo Angeli (or Angelo da Scarperia) in Florence between 1406 and 1409. He was a pupil of Manuel Chrysoloras (ca. 1350 1415), the exiled Byzanthine scholar who had possibly begun the translation himself, on the basis of a hitherto unidentified Greek manuscript. Angelo's translation is mainly based on a composite text deriving from two different manuscripts.

This volume was edited by Angelus Vadius and Barnabas Picardus and contains only the text of Ptolemy's Geographia. No maps were issued in this first edition of 1475, which were probably not present in the manuscript which served as copy-text, and the only illustrations included are the three diagrams in chapter xxiv of Book i (fols. bb5v, bb6v, and bb7v), showing the ‘modus designandi in tabula plana', and that on fol. F3, depicting the Polus antarcticus. The first illustrated edition of Ptolemy appeared in Bologna in 1477, under the title of Cosmographia and supplemented with copperplates drawn and engraved by the famous illuminator Taddeo Crivelli.

The Latin edition of this landmark geographical text enjoyed wide and enduring popularity. The editio princeps in Greek appeared in Basel only in 1533, and the circulation of the Latin text throughout Europe in the fifteenth century greatly influenced (both directly and indirectly) the shaping of the modern world. As Angeli writes at the end of his dedication: “Now, I repeat now, let us listen to Ptolemy himself speaking in Latin”.

HC 13536*; GW M36388; BMC VII, 1035; IGI 8180; Goff P-108; Flodr Ptolomaeus, 1; Sander 5973; F. Mittenhuber, “The Tradition of Texts and Maps in Ptolemy's 'Geography'”, A. Jones (ed.), Ptolemy in Perspective. Use and Criticism of his Work from Antiquity to the Nineteenth Century, Dordrecht 2010, pp. 95-120; B. Weiss, “The Geography in Print. 1475-1530”, Z. Shalev - C. Burnett (eds.), Ptolemy's “Geography” in the Renaissance, London 2011, pp. 91-120; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 19.

The first book with a title-page

20. Regiomontanus, Johannes (1436-1476)

Kalendarium. Bernhard Maler, Peter Loeslein and Erhard Ratdolt, 1476.

4° (270x203 mm). Collation: [18, 210, 314]. [32] leaves. Text in one column, 37 lines. Type: 109R, 50G (for a few words and the letters in the plates). Title-page printed in red and black, within three-sided woodcut border consisting of symmetrical floral and foliate designs, in this copy lavishly illuminated on gold ground. The shield included in the lower panel of the border filled in with a small coat of arms, a standing lion painted in blue; the same coat of arms in larger size and painted on silver ground in the lower margin, within laurel wreath and flanked by two cornucopias. On the same leaf the large initial 'A' printed in red. Fourteen large illuminated initials with acanthus leaves on gold ground. The twenty-four-page Calendar with initials, names of the saints and figures printed in red. Sixty woodcuts depicting the various stages of lunar and solar eclipses (fols. [2]/6-[2]/8; some repeated), many of which are hand coloured in yellow. Four hand-coloured instruments printed on two double sheets glued together: the 'instrvmentvm horarvm inaeqvalivm' (fol. [3]/1r) and the 'instrvmentvm veri motvs lvnae.minve' (fol. [3]/1v) are lacking two moveable volvelles (only a piece of string with a small black pearl and one of silk survive), while both the 'qvadrans horologii horizontalis' (fol. [3]/14r) and the 'qvadratvm horarivm generale' (fol. [3]/14v) include a brass pointer (a portion is missing). Late seventeenth-century calf, over pasteboards. Covers within blind-tooled border. Spine with five small raised bands, with title 'kal 1476' lettered in gilt. A handsome, wide-margined copy. Minor loss at the outer blank corners of the first leaf and at upper outer corner of the opening border; very tiny holes at the margins of first fifteen leaves, partially affecting the opening border and text, decreasing towards the second half of the volume; the gold illumination showing through slightly on the verso. Traces of red wax seals on four leaves, including the verso of the first plate; some fingermarks. The ninth line of text on the title-page bearing the name of the author – “Hoc Ioannes opus Regio de Monte probatum” – has been censored but is still readable. Early inked foliation in the upper margin. A few contemporary marginalia.

Provenance: Blue lion coat of arms, on the recto of the first leaf, possibly relating to the Sforza family; the Alsatian mining entrepreneur Edouard de Turckheim (1829-1909; his rich library was kept at the Turckheim castle in Dachstein, in the Lower Rhine region).

An extraordinary illuminated copy of the Calendar by Regiomontanus, first issued in Latin in 1474 from the Augsburg press of Erhard Ratdolt, who moved to Venice in 1476. It is the first book he printed there, in partnership with Bernhard Maler, also of Augsburg, and Peter Löslein, of Langencen (in Bavaria), and represents – to borrow the words of Gilbert R. Redgrave – a 'marvellous improvement' upon the Kalendarium printed by Regiomontanus himself in Nuremberg in 1473.

This Venetian publication is rightly famous for bearing the earliest known example of an ornamental title-page in the history of printing: even if in verse, it gives date, place and the names of the printers responsible for the publication:

Aureus hic liber est: non est preciosior ulla / Gema kalendario: quod docet istud opus./ [...] Hoc Ioannes opus Regio de Monte probatum / Composuit: tota notus in Italia. / Quod Veneta impressum fuit in tellure per illos / Inferius quorum nomina picta loco. 1476. Bernardus Pictor de Augusta, Petrus Loslein de Langencen, Erhardus Ratdolt de Augusta.

Further, this Venetian Calendar is the first Italian book to feature extensive use of woodcut initials.

Regiomontanus was one of the first to realize the impact printing would have in disseminating scientific knowledge and in 1472 he established his own private press in Nuremberg for the production of the Calendar and other mathematical and astronomical works. The German astronomer “incorporated in his productions the first solutions to a host of typographical problems: tabula data [...]; pioneering printed geometrical diagrams, illustrations of eclipses and planetary models (some systematically coloured by hand under the supervision of the press); the first volvelles and sundials with built-in brass arms in a printed book” (M. H. Shank, “The Geometrical Diagrams”, p. 27). In Venice, Ratdolt replicated Regiomontanus' pioneering results and simultaneously produced a Latin and an Italian edition of the Calendar for the years 1475-1530, a veritable instrument-book for calculating moon phases, eclipses, and other astronomical events. The publication included charts for daylight hours and seasonal locations of the sun in the sky, phases of the moon, and conversions of planetary hours to equal hours, an essay on the true date of Easter, and a table indicating its incidence for each year up to 1531.

The border framing the title-page is designed in the purest Renaissance style. As Goldsmith states, the floral and foliate motifs recall the ornaments carved in relief by Lombardi in the marble pilasters of the Venetian church Santa Maria dei Miracoli. In the copy presented here, the border is illuminated. In this Ratdolt's Venetian edition “one recognizes an undeniable Italian Renaissance influence in both the borders and initials [...] Here, a new harmony is achieved by Ratdolt's congruous design in both initials and borders, which seem to have been executed by the same cutter, resulting in some of the most beautiful borders ever included in a printed book” (D. Laube, The Stylistic Development of German Book Illustration, p. 54).

In 1476, probably after this Latin edition, the Calendar was also issued in Italian by Ratdolt. The Italian edition omits the disquisition on the true date of Easter and table of its incidence from 1488 to 1531, and thus has thirty leaves instead of thirty-two. Both editions have the same border pieces, and the first ornamental frame bestowed on a title-page.

While the Latin Calendarium is not so rare among public libraries, it is scarcely seen on the market and a copy in this condition is unique. It is extremely unusual to find a scientific book – or, better still, an instrument-book – with illuminations of such high quality, clearly executed for a very distinguished patron: as suggested by the blue lion coat of arms, the as-yet-unidentified original owner of this copy may well have been a member of the Sforza family.

Hain 13776*; GW M37455; BMC V, 243; IGI 5310; Goff R-93; Essling 247; Sander 6400; G. R. Redgrave, Erhard Ratdolt and His Work at Venice, London 1899, pp. 6-9, and no. 1; E. Ph. Goldsmith, The Printed Book of the Renaissance, Amsterdam 1974, pp. 63-66; D. De Simone (ed.), A Heavenly Craft. The Woodcut in Early Printed Books. Illustrated Books Purchased by Lessing J. Rosenwald at the Sale of the Library of C. W. Dyson Perrins, New York-Washington, DC 2004, pp. 54-55; M. H. Shank, “The Geometrical Diagrams in Regiomontanus's Edition of His Own Disputationes (c. 1475). Background, Production, and Diffusion”, Journal for the History of Astronomy, 43 (2012), pp. 27-55; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 20.

The Biblical Art of Memory

24. Petrus of Rosenhaym (1380-1432)

Roseum memoriale divinorum eloquiorum. [Southern Germany, probably Cologne, Ludwig von Renchen (?), ca. 1480-1490].

4° (210x142 mm). Collation: [1-68]. [48] leaves. Text in one column, 32 lines. Type: 80G. Initials painted in red, rubricated in red ink throughout. Late eighteenth-century quarter-vellum, covers backed with marbled paper. Smooth spine with title inked on paper label. A very good copy, old repair to the first blank leaf, a few spots, pale stain at the lower blank corner of the first quires. A contemporary hand has inked the title on the recto of the first leaf, 'Rosaeum sup[er] bibliam'; two blind impressions on the same leaf. Leather leaf-tabs on the outer margins of the first and last leaves, suggesting the copy was originally bound in a composite volume.

Provenance: Wigan Free Public Library, United Kingdom (bookplate on the front pastedown, and embossed stamps on fols. a2 and f8; small label on the upper cover, with shelfmark 'Case 13:2'; the note on the recto of the front flyleaf 'Bought January 1908', and a signature now barely legible, probably in the hand of the librarian Henry Tennyson Folkhard (1850-1916); deaccessioned by 2002 at the latest.

One of the earliest printed books on the ars memorativa or mnemotechnic: the rare first edition of the Roseum memoriale composed by the German Benedictine monk Petrus of Rosenhaym (Upper Bavaria), written between 1423 and 1426 for Cardinal Giulio Branda di Castiglione. Petrus of Rosenhaym composed numerous treatises, sermons, and verses: the Roseum memoriale is surely his most famous work, enjoying wide popularity during the fifteenth century and first half of the sixteenth century. It is a poem composed of 1, 194 verses followed by an epilogue of seventy-three hexameters, in which every chapter of the Bible (excluding the Psalms) is summed up in a distich. The mnemotechnic method here employed is extremely complex: the hexameters of each section of the summary form an acrostic of the letters of the alphabet.

After studying at the University of Vienna, Petrus de Rosenhaym, along with his friend Nikolaus Seyringer, moved to Subiaco, where he entered the Benedectine order. In 1413, he was appointed prior to the cloister of Rocca di Mondragone near Capua. In 1416, he took part in the Council of Konstanz, and later he was prior in Melk (Lower Austria). After 1423, he was appointed 'cursor biblicus' and 'magister studentium'.

The edition is assigned by Proctor to the printer Ludwig von Renchen, active in Cologne from 1483 to ca. 1495, while ISTC gives Southern Germany between 1480-1490 and GW tentatively suggests Oberrhein, 1483.

HC(+Add) 13988*; GW M32724; BMC I, 312; IGI 7668; Goff R-336; Young 278; S. Tiedje, “The Roseum Memoriale divinorum Eloquiorum Petri de Rosenheim: A Bible Summary from the Fifteenth Century”, L. Dolezalová – T. Visi, Retelling the Bible. Literary, Historical, and Social Contexts, Frankfurt a.M.-Berlin et al. 2011, pp. 335-353; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 24.

The first Italian translation of Valturio

27. Valturio, Roberto (1413-1484)

De re militari [Italian]. Opera dell’arte militare. Tr: Paolo Ramusio. Boninus de Boninis, de Ragusia, 17 February 1483.

Chancery folio (302x208 mm). Collation: [*]6, a-d8, e6, f–g8, h10, i-u8, x-y6, z8, &8, cum6, rum6, A-B6, C-E8, F-G6, H-I8, K10, L-N8, O10. 312 of [314] leaves, lacking fols. [*]1 and O10 blanks, whereas the blank a8 is present. Text in one column, 36 lines and headline. Type: 2:114R, 1:90G. Two- to nine-line blank capital spaces, a few with printed guide letters. Ninety-five woodcuts, many full-page (including one repeat). Sixteenth-century limp vellum, inked title on the spine. A fine, wide-margined copy, repair to the lower gutter of the first five leaves. Numerous marginalia in a sixteenth century hand; the same hand has annotated an index of subjects on four added leaves.

A fine copy of the very rare first Italian translation of the most famous treatise on military art ever written. It is the first vernacular edition of one of the earliest scientific works ever printed, and the earliest to contain technical illustrations, showing in detail the equipment necessary for ground and naval warfare. “The historical importance of the De Re Militari lies in the fact that it is the first book printed with illustrations of a technical or scientific character depicting the progressive engineering ideas of the author's own time. The woodcuts illustrate the equipment necessary for the military and naval engineer [...] The Verona Valturius and its reprints were the handbooks of the military leaders of the Renaissance, and Leonardo da Vinci, when acting as chief engineer to Cesare Borgia, possessed a copy and borrowed some of its designs” (PMM).

The De re militari was composed between 1455 and 1460 by Roberto Valturio, a military engineer and technical adviser at the Rimini court, on behalf of his patron Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta (1417-1468). The treatise enjoyed immediate success and was widely circulated in manuscript form (see no. 178). The work first appeared in print in 1472, from the Verona press of Johannes Nicolai: this was a splendid volume supplemented with eighty-two woodcuts illustrating an astonishing array of tools and war machines. These illustrations were likely executed after designs by the medalist Matteo de' Pasti (ca. 1412 - after 1467), who had been a pupil of Leon Battista Alberti, and was also in the service of Sigismondo Malatesta. A second edition appeared on 13 February 1483, followed four days later by the first Italian translation; both these editions were likewise printed in Verona. Their printing may have been financed by the Veronese Bassano Medici, son of Niccolò, the wealthy patron of the arts. The edition in Italian vernacular is rarer than both Latin publications.

The volume opens with a dedicatory epistle by the editor and translator from Treviso Paolo Ramusio – active as a magistrate 'ad banchum Regine Leone' at Verona, and father of the more famous geographer Giovanni Battista – to the well-known condottiero Roberto di San Severino (1418-1487). The text is illustrated with reduced copies of the woodcuts used in the first edition of 1472, apart from one woodcut on fol. r1r, which is entirely new and depicts two soldiers seated in a tent; their sequence does however differ slightly from that first Veronese edition. The woodblocks were likely cut by one of the artists then active in the city, such as Fra' Giovanni Olivetano, Giovanni Zebellana, or a member of the Golfino dynasty.

The Italian Valturio was skilfully printed by Bonino de Boninis from Ragusa (Dalmatia), who was active in Verona between 1481 and 1483. It is the last of the seven books printed by him in Verona, before his move to Brescia, where he printed the famous illustrated edition of Dante's Commedia.

HC 15849; GW M49416; BMC VII, 952; IGI 10116; Goff V-90; Rhodes Verona 19; Norman 2127; Sander 2483; PMM 10; T. Radakiewicz, “The editio princeps of R. Valturio's De re militari”, Maso Finiguerra, 18-19 (1940), pp. 15-82; A. Campana, “Felice Feliciano e la prima edizione del Valturio”, ibid., pp. 211-222; S. Ricossa – P.L. Bassignana (eds.), Le macchine di Valturio nei documenti dell'Archivio Storico AMMA, Torino 1988; A. Brumana, “Nota su Bonino Bonini”, Commentari dell'Ateneo di Brescia, 1991, pp. 95-121; A. Contò, “Da Rimini a Verona: le edizioni quattrocentesche del De re militari”, P. Delbianco (ed.) Roberto Valturio, De re militari. Saggi critici, Rimini-Milano, 2006, pp. 95-104; D. Frioli, “Da Rimini a Verona: Roberto Valturio, Domenico Foschi e Felice Feliciano”, R. M. Borraccini – G. Borri (eds.), Virtute et labore. Studi offerti a Giuseppe Avarucci per i suoi settant'anni, Spoleto 2008, pp. 1073-1109; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 27.

The first collection of Bembo’s Latin prose

85. Bembo, Pietro (1470-1547)

De Aetna ad Angelum Chiabrielem Liber. Venice, Giovanni Antonio Nicolini da Sabbio and Brothers, 1530. (bound with:) Idem. Petri Bembi ad Herculem Strotium De Virgilii Culice et Terentii Fabulis Liber. Venice, Giovanni Antonio Nicolini da Sabbio and Brothers, 1530. (bound with:) Idem. Petri Bembi ad Nicolaum Teupolum De Guido Ubaldo Feretrio deque Elisabetha Gonzagia Urbini Ducibus Liber. Venice, Giovanni Antonio Nicolini da Sabbio and Brothers, 1530. (bound with:): Pico della Mirandola, Giovanni Francesco (1469-1533). Io. Francisci Pici Ad Petrum Bembum De Imitatione Libellus. Giovanni Antonio Nicolini da Sabbio and Brothers, 1530.

Four works in one volume, 4° (210x150 mm). I. Collation: AA-BB8. [16] leaves, the first leaf is a blank. Italic and roman type. One blank space for initial, with printed guide letter. II. Collation: a-d8, e4. [36] leaves, with the first and the two final blanks, and the extra line printed at the bottom of fol. b1r. Italic and roman type. III. Collation: A-G8. [56] leaves, with the first and final blanks. Italic and roman type. One blank space for capital, with printed guide letter. Small loss to the lower right corner of fol. E5, the first four lines of fol. B1r are only partially printed with loss of some letters. IV. Collation: aa-cc8. [24] leaves, the first and last leaf are blank. Italic and roman type. Two blank spaces for capitals, with printed guide letters. Contemporary limp vellum, title inked vertically, traces of ties. Upper joint cracked, upper cover almost detached. A very fine, unsophisticated copy, with wide margins. A few small stains, insignificant waterstain to the upper blank margin of the last leaves. On the verso of the front flyleaf a bibliographical note in an eighteenth-century hand: 'I never saw any other copy of this reprint of the Aetna of Bembus, printed by Aldus 1495 & exceptionally rare [...]'.

First edition of the Sabbio collection of prose writings by Pietro Bembo, which includes – alongside the second edition of the celebrated De Aetna – the first editions of the dialogues De Virgilii Culice et Terentii fabulis Liber and De Guido Ubaldo Feretrio deque Elisabetha Gonzaga Urbini ducibus Liber, as well as the first official edition of De Imitatione. The four works were issued as a set, but bearing a different series of signatures and separate colophons, and thus can sometimes also be found separate.

The dialogue De Aetna relates Bembo's famous 1493 stay in Sicily and his ascent of Mount Etna in that same year, and was printed for the first time by Aldus Manutius in 1495/96. The text published in 1530 differs in some points from that of the Aldine edition and was possibly revised by Bembo himself, who is known to have reworked his writings in view of new editions.

Particularly noteworthy is the fourth text bound here, representing the first authorized edition of Bembo's De imitatione, which had previously appeared in Rome around 1513 without the author's approval. Bembo's ardent Ciceronianism comes to the fore in this work, which is of the greatest significance, representing as it does the critical, and foundational position of Cicero's prose within the Latin humanist tradition. Bembo wrote this short text, dated 1 January 1513, in response to a letter from another outstanding humanist, Giovanni Francesco Pico della Mirandola, the nephew of Giovanni, which is dated 19 September 1512. A second letter from Pico della Mirandola followed, but is not included in the Sabbio edition of 1530. “One of the most popular of Pico's writings, De imitatione consists of a letter addressed to Pietro Bembo, Bembo's reply to this, and a second letter by Gianfrancesco which apparently was never actually sent to Bembo. These letters date from the years 1512-13, which Pico spent in Rome with Bembo. The originals seem to have been lost [...] The first printed edition dates from 1518 [ie c.1513] and contains all three of the letters. Many of the later editions omit Pico's second letter” (Ch. B. Schmitt, Gianfrancesco Pico Della Mirandola (1469–1533) and His Critique of Aristotle, The Hague 1967, p. 199).

Adams-B, 583-586; Sandal, Il mestier delle stamperie dei libri, pp. 155 - 156, nos. 2, 3, 5, 6; C. F. Bühler, “Manuscript Corrections in the Aldine Edition of Bembo's De Aetna”, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, 1951, pp. 136-142; R. M. Mariano, “Il De Aetna di P. Bembo e le varianti dell'edizione 1530”, Aevum, 65, 1991, pp. 441-452; L. Quaquarelli-Z. Zanardi, Pichiana: bibliografia delle edizioni e degli studi, Firenze 2005, p. 284; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 85.

The Dee-Winthrop copy of Apollonius of Perga

91. Apollonius Pergaeus (late 3rd century BC - early 2nd century BC)

Apollonii Pergei Philosophi, Mathematicique excellentissimi Opera. Per Doctissimum Philosophum Ioannem Baptistam Memum Patritium Venetum, Mathematicharum Artium in Urbe Veneta Lectorem Publicum. De Graeco in Latinum Traducta, & Nouiter Impressa.... Bernardino Bindoni for Giambattista Memmo, 1537.

Folio (303x203 mm). Collation: a-p6. 89 of 90 leaves, lacking the final blank. Roman and italic type. Title-page printed in red and black, within a four-sided border of six different woodblocks, depicting a series of philosophers, poets, and scientists from Antiquity; in the lower panel an enclosed garden with fountains. On the title-page woodcut depiction of the author with his mathematical attributes on a landscape ground. Woodcut vignette, depicting an enthroned pope, with the letters '.S.' and '.P.', on fol. P5v; numerous woodcut diagrams in text. Contemporary Louvain binding of blind-panelled polish fawn calf, over pasteboards. Covers within a frame of blind fillets, with small floral tools in gilt at each outer corner. Central blind fillet-lozenge, a small rampant lion-shape tool in gilt at each outer corner, gilt crowned imperial double-headed eagle at the centre. Spine with five small raised bands, gilt fleur-de-lis and dolphin alternately tooled in compartments. Front pastedown is a fragment of a twelfth-century vellum manuscript on divination in a late-Carolingian hand, rear pastedown is a fragment of a thirteenth-century vellum manuscript Evangeliary in an early Gothic hand with musical notation. Corners worn, spine defective at head and foot, front cover almost detached. In a modern half-brown morocco box, on the spine 'APOLLONIUS OF PERGA DEE-WINTHORP COPY' in gilt on red morocco lettering-piece, and the imprint 'VENICE 1537'. A good copy, the first two leaves slightly browned, a few fingermarks. Some pencilled bibliographical notes on the pastedowns and recto of front flyleaf.

Provenance: the philosopher, mathematician, and astrologer John Dee (1527-1608; his ownership inscription dated 1549 on the title-page, 'Joannes Deeus: Anglus: 1549.', some marginal notes and underlining, autograph table on flyleaf of Ramist systematization of the mathematics in Apollonius, Archimedes, and Eutocius of Ascalon); John Winthrop, Jr. (1606-1676), son of the Massachusetts Bay Colony's first governor, physician, governor of Connecticut colony (ownership signature dated 1631 'John Winthrop. 1631.', and his sigil, the hieroglyphic monad invented by Dee, on the title-page; another ownership inscription on the recto of the front flyleaf, 'Winthropi', combined with a smaller monad symbol); by descent to Waitstill Winthrop (1642-1717) son of John, Jr., chief justice of Massachusetts (signature on the recto of the front flyleaf); Frederick Winthrop of New York (ownership entry dated 18 May 1812 on title-page, 'Fred.k Winthrop New York May 1812); Robert Charles Winthrop (1809-1894, Speaker of the House, senator from Massachusetts); Charles Fraser (presentation inscription on the flyleaf 'Washington, May, 1850'); Arthur & Charlotte Vershbow, acquired from Goodspeed's Book Shop, 1975 (inked note on the recto of the front flyleaf '75-46-14'; ex-libris on recto of front flyleaf; see The Collection of Arthur & Charlotte Vershbow, Christie's New York 2013, lot 33).

An extraordinary association copy, the rare first Latin edition of the first four books of the famous Apollonius of Perga's Conics, once belonging to the philosopher, mathematician, astrologer, and book collector John Dee (1527-1608), one of the most intriguing and enigmatic figures of the Elizabethan age. After Dee's death, the volume was acquired, in 1631, by John Winthrop Jr. (1606-1676), who in the same year crossed the ocean and brought his notable scientific library to Massachusetts Bay, including the Apollonius with the celebrated hieroglyphic monad invented by John Dee. This is the first recorded scientific book to reach the New World, and among the earliest books with an American provenance.

Apollonius' fame rests on the Κωνικά (Conics), the only work of Greek mathematics to rival in importance those of Euclid and Archimedes. Conics investigates the generation and mathematical properties of conic sections, and introduces the terms parabola, ellipse, and hyperbola. Originally in eight books, the first four books survive in Greek, while Books V-VII survive only in the Arabic version (later translated into Latin by Abraham Ecchellensis, and published in 1661), and Book VIII is lost. The editio princeps appeared only in 1710, edited by Edmund Halley. Conics became the canonical treatise on this subject. Held in such high esteem, it was commented on by the most eminent mathematicians of the seventeenth century, including Pierre de Fermat and Isaac Newton.

Another critical historical figure to hold Apollonius in such high esteem was the first owner of the present copy: the famous philosopher, mathematician, and astrologer John Dee.

Dee was born in London and studied at St. John College, Cambridge. In 1546 he was nominated to be one of the original fellows of Trinity College. In 1547 he travelled briefly to Louvain; upon his return to England he brought with him astronomical instruments devised by Gemma Frisius along with two globes constructed by Gerard Mercator. In 1548 Dee obtained his M.A.; that summer he went again to Louvain, where he resided until July 1550, furthering his mathematical studies with Frisius, Mercator, and Abraham Ortelius, and conferring with fellow scholars. During this time he also bought other scientific instruments and numerous scientific books, including this copy of Apollonius' Conics, which he acquired in 1549.

In 1550 Dee lectured on Euclid in Paris, and upon his return in 1551 he became one of the most influential figures of the Elizabethan court. In 1583 he embarked on a six-year journey in Eastern Europe, visiting Poland, in Bohemia and probably in Prague. When he returned to England in 1589, his important position at the court could not be restored. In 1596 he accepted the office of warden of a college in Manchester, and about 1605 returned in his house at Mortlake (London), where he died in great poverty in 1608.

Like Dee's Hermetic philosophy, his sigil – the Monas – is well known. An intricate symbol devised by Dee, the Monas condenses his mystical cosmogony and contains within it the symbols of all the planets and metals. While much of his activity was devoted to Hermetic magic and occult philosophy, including spiritual conversations with angels and spirits, the definition or the myth of the Magus cannot encompass the wealth of his manifold thought and work.

Dee was indeed not only an eccentric Hermetic philosopher or a reincarnation of Merlin at the Elizabethan court, but also a reputed mathematician, and his work bears witness to these broad and deep scientific interests. Thus, beyond the cabalistic, the same monad is also imbued with geometrical and arithmetical significance, as Dee argues in his manifesto Monas hieroglyphica (1564), in which he offers a construction of the monad symbol as a mathematical proof.

Dee's library – the Bibliotheca Mortlacensis, containing over 3,000 manuscripts and printed books – was at that time the largest in Renaissance England, and was at the disposal of his circle of friends, students, scholars, and statesmen. As evinced by the surviving inventory, which he compiled himself in 1583, Dee had collected the most prominent works on mathematics, astronomy, mechanics, optics, cartography, technology, and military and naval sciences, counting among them the Conics: “Apollonij Pergaei Conica latine fo. Ven. 1537” (John Dee's Library Catalogue, no. 74).

As soon as Dee departed for Poland in 1583, his house in Mortlake was raided – probably by his pupils – and many books, scientific instruments, and natural wonders were stolen. When he returned to England, he was forced to sell many of his books to stave off his increasing poverty, and the remaining volumes were finally dispersed upon his death. The volumes that have survived are now located in institutional and private collections in three continents; they are identified by his ownership inscriptions on the title-page, and also often thanks to his additional signs, underlining, extensive marginalia, and fuller notes written – as in the present example – either on pastedowns or flyleaves, or at the end of the volumes, these inclusions being central to the study of his scientific activities.

The American provenance of this copy, which was acquired in 1631 by John Winthrop the Younger, a cosmopolitan intellectual, one of the most important men in colonial English America, and the first colonial fellow of the Royal Society, is equally remarkable. In the 1620s Winthrop began to study natural philosophy and alchemy, becoming an enthusiastic follower of John Dee. He was a passionate collector of manuscripts and books associated with Dee, and used the hieroglyphic monad as his personal mark. It is through Winthrop that John Dee's name, work and influence spread to Puritan New England; in fact, exactly in 1631 Winthrop left for America, following his father, the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, bringing with him his considerable scientific library. “Winthrop began to display a special affinity for the English alchemist John Dee. Dee [...] had a special interest in scientific exploration of the New World. He had given instruction and advice to pilots and navigators conducting exploratory voyages to North America. He also conjured angels to ask them of the success of a colony he proposed to establish there, which he intended to call Atlantis” (W.W. Woodward, Prospero's America, p. 33).

Winthrop's library became the largest in the colonies. In 1812 his descendants distributed the collection to Harvard, Yale, and other institutions; the New York Society Library received 290 volumes, including at least two with the Dee provenance (Paracelsus and Gerard Dorn), but Frederick Winthrop evidently decided to retain for himself Dee's Apollonius.

[Prof. Anthony Grafton of Princeton University, who has recently studied the Dee/Winthrop books held at the New York Society Library, has prepared a full report on the present copy, which is available upon request]

STC Italian 34; Dibner 101; Stillwell Awakening, 139; Hoffmann I, p. 205; Essling 667-668; Sander 480; J.O. Halliwell (ed.), The Private Diary of Dr. John Dee, and the Catalogue of his Library of Manuscripts, London 1842; P. French, John Dee. The World of an Elizabethan Magus, London 1972; F. A. Yates, The Occult Philosophy in the Elizabethan Age, London 1979, pp. 75-108; N.H. Clulee, John Dee's Natural Philosophy. Between Science and Religion, London 1988; J. Roberts - A. G. Watson, John Dee's Library Catalogue, London 1990; W. H. Sherman, John Dee. The Politics of Reading and Writing in the English Renaissance, Amherst 1995; S. Wilkinson, “The Alchemical Library of John Winthrop”, Ambix, 13 (1965), pp. 139-186; R. C. Black, The younger John Winthrop, New York 1966; W. W. Woodward, Prospero's America. John Winthrop, Jr., Alchemy, and the Creation of New England Culture, Chapel Hill, NC 2010; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 91.

Renaissance military surgery, complete with the two 'fugitive sheets'

98. Gersdorff, Hans von (ca. 1455-1529)

Feldtbuch der Wund Artzney, sampt vilen Instrumenten der Chirurgey dem Albucasi contrafayt. Chiromantia Jo. Indagine. Das ist, die Kunst der Handtbesehung. Natürliche Astrologey, nach warem Lauff der Sonnen. Physiognomey, uss des Menschens Anblick und Glyderen, sein angeborne Neygung zu erlernen... Wie auch, und wenn sich der Artzney zugebrauchen. Johann Schotten, 3 December 1540.

Three parts in one volume, folio (289x190 mm). Collation: [π]4, a-z4, Aa-Bb4, Cc6; A4, B6; aa4, B-R4, S6. [8], CCX [i.e. CCXII]; XX; CXLV, [3] pages (with errors in numbering). Complete with fol. S6 blank. Gothic type. Woodcut printer's device on fol. S5r. Twenty-four full-page woodcut anatomical and medical illustrations (fols. d4v, f2v, g3v, g4r, h1v, i4r, k4v, l1r, l2v, l3r, l4v, m1v, m2r, m3v, m4r, n2r, n4v, o1r, o4v, q3v, u1r, x2v, x4v, A1r), several illustrations of surgical instruments (fols. A2r-B6v); 36 chiromancy hands (fols. aa2r-H2v), eleven double physiognomic portraits (fols. H3r-K2r); a portrait of Johannes ab Indagine by Hans Baldung Grien dated 1540 (fol. M3v), thirty-three astrological diagrams and allegorical chariots (fols. N1r-R3r). The copy is complete with the two fugitive sheets, featuring two extremely rare folding woodcut plates (382x265 mm) representing an anatomical figure showing internal organs – the 'viscera-manikin' – and a skeleton (see below). Woodcut animated initials. Contemporary blind-tooled half-pigskin, over wooden boards. Spine with three raised bands, inked title on upper cover, traces of clasps. A good copy. Repairs to the margins of the title-page and the final leaves, tiny wormholes on a few leaves, some marginal stains, tear repaired to one of the folding plates, contemporary annotations on the verso of the last leaf and rear pastedown.

First edition of this collection of texts, which includes – along with the German translations of the famous treatise on surgical instruments by Albucasis (Abu al-Qasim Khalaf ibn Abbas al-Zahrawi, 936-1013) and the Chiromantia by Johannes ab Indagine (d. 1537) – Gersdorff's Feldtbuch, the first book to illustrate actual surgical procedures and one of the very first illustrated books on surgery to ever be published. It is arguably the most advanced surgical manual of its time, containing original information on amputations, early anaesthesia, and the treatment of gunshot wounds, all accompanied by the very best surgical illustrations of the period.

The Feldtbuch is the third German-language book on surgery after Heinrich von Pfolsprundt's Buch der Bündth-Ertznei (1460) and Hieronymus Brunschwig's Buch der Cirurgia (1497); it also predates the first French publication in the genre, that of Ambroise Paré, which appeared in 1545. Gersdorff's work was first printed in Strasbourg by Johann Schott in 1517 and was an immediate success. It was reprinted in Strasbourg in 1526, 1528, 1530, and 1535 (all editions in quarto) and was also republished in Augsburg by Heinrich Steiner in 1530 and 1532 (both folio editions).

“The practical nature of Gersdorff's book and its fine illustrations caused it to become very popular and it was frequently referred to, widely quoted and freely plagiarized. The work went through at least twelve editions between the time of its first publication in 1517 and the early seventeenth century. The book also appeared in several Latin and Dutch editions” (Heirs of Hippocrates, 149).

Little is known about the early life of Hans von Gersdorff, one of the most noted German surgeons of the late fifteenth and early sixteen centuries. It is not known how or where he received his education, but it is evident that he was especially well-known for limb amputations, of which he is reputed to have performed at least two hundred. “Gersdorff was a military surgeon who had gained wide experience during the course of some forty years of campaigning and was an expert in the care and treatment of battlefield injuries. His work is divided into four books which treat of anatomy, surgery, leprosy, and glossaries of anatomical terms, diseases, and medications [...] Gersdorff emphasized a well-founded knowledge of anatomy because the surgeon was frequently called upon to deal with extensive bodily trauma. He derived his anatomy primarily from the Arabic authors and works of Guy de Chauliac” (History of Medical Illustration, London 1970, p. 142).

The edition is rightly famous for its numerous woodcut illustrations, many of which are full-page, depicting such operations as trepanations and amputations; surgical techniques such as trephining, bone setting, and traction bandages; and numerous surgical instruments. Counting among these illustrations are the first published depictions of an amputation and brain dissections. Gersdorff invented several surgical instruments, including a tripod screw-elevator for raising depressed skull fragments and machines for reducing fractures and dislocations. The woodcuts are partly attributed to the German artist Johann Ulrich Wächtlin or Wechtlin, who was also known as 'The Master of the Crossed Pilgrim's Staves'.

Of particular interest are the two folding plates, also attributed to Wechtlin, which are not usually found in copies of the present edition. The sheets were published by Johann Schott in Strasbourg in 1517 and included in the first edition of Gersdorff's treatise (likewise published by Schott that same year) as individual fugitive sheets to be hung on walls. They were subsequently adapted to volume form, but never completely lost their original function; presumably many owners of the book preferred to be able to use them separately as opposed to having them sewn in, hence why many copies are now missing the plates.

Numerous variants of the sheets are known; the woodcut never changes but the letter-press component is altered, i.e., the caption titles and the verses below which were reset, sometimes bearing Schott's subscription and device, as in the original version of 1517. The woodcuts are also occasionally surrounded by a typographical frame. Variably titled 'Warhafftige Anatomey der ynneren Glyderen des Menschens' and 'Warhafftige Anatomey der Beyn Glyderen des Menschens', or 'Anatomia corporis Humani 1517” and “Anatomia aller Beynglyder des menschen', the two plates are also found in the 1518 Strasbourg edition of Laurentius Phryesen von Colmar's Spiegel der Artzney, as well as the 1528 and 1530 editions of the Feldtbuch. As these two latter editions were issued in quarto format, the folio sheets found in some copies are lacking the verses underneath the image as they were removed to better fit the smaller size.

The 'viscera-manikin' plate shows part of a male figure, from the head to below the knees, with a wide piece of cloth strewn over the thighs, and the thoracic and abdominal cavities dissected; there are also seven accessory figures, the brain, cranial cavity, and tongue, with engraved German designations on the plate. At the top, above the head, is engraved the inscription 'Anatomia corporis Humani 1517'. Below the plate are typeset verses in German and the statement 'Gedruckt zu Strassburg durch Joannem Schott'.

The second fugitive sheet shows a skeleton in frontal view with the head slightly turned to the right and arms hanging down; on both sides and wherever there is space, Latin names of bones have been engraved upon the plate. At the top, above the plate, is printed in type 'Anatomia aller Beynglyder des menschen'. Below the plate, printed in type, are twenty-four verses of moral reflections upon death: “Der Todt binn ich grausam ungstalt, Vnd doch des lebens vfenthalt [...] Eer Gott, dein acht, die welt vernicht. Dein seel ewig, der leib verblicht”.

It is extraordinary that the present addition includes both plates. “Fugitive sheets (fliegende Blätter) with pre-Vesalian anatomy, representing whole figures with the names of the parts or explanatory texts, were published either on a single broadside or on two sheets, each with printing on one side only. In this period several appeared. They were generally intended to disseminate popular information, or to give instruction to barbers and surgeons, and were probably to be hung up in their anterooms. [...] They were, in the nature of things, predestined to be scattered and lost, and, on this account, are now all of them exceedingly rare” (Choulant-Franck, p. 156).

VD16 G-1625; Cushing G-200; Durling 2059 (1517 ed.); Garrison-Morton 5560 (1517 edition); Wellcome 2761; Choulant-Franck, History and Bibliography of Anatomic Illustration, Chicago 1920, p. 156; A. Carlino, Paper Bodies: A Catalogue of Anatomical Fugitive Sheets 1538-1687, London 1999, pp. 90-91; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 98.

The Honeyman Copy

114. Schöner, Johann (1477-1547)

Opera Mathematica... in unum volumen congesta, et publicae utilitati studiosorum omnium, ac celebri famae Norici nominis dicata. Johann vom Berg & Ulrich Neuber, 1551.

Three parts in one volume, folio (306x201 mm). Collation: α6, β4, A-Z6, Aa-Cc6, Dd-Ee8, Ff-Mm6, Nn8; 1-136, 148, 15-196, 20-214, 22-286, 294, a-h6, i8. [10], 218 [i.e. 222]; 172 [i.e. 169]; [3], 54, [2] leaves, including errata, colophon leaf and final blank; lacking fols. 29/4 and α4 blanks. Roman and Greek type. Title printed in red and black with two large woodcut ornaments. Woodcut printer's device at the end. Author's woodcut portrait on fol. β4v. Numerous woodcuts in various sizes, and diagrams. Four full-page woodcuts, including a terrestrial globe (fol. 22/1v), a celestial globe (fol. 22/5r), and a planisphere (fol. f6v). Complete with eleven diagrams with working volvelles (some of them with original threads) on fols. a5v, b3v, b4v, b5v, c1v, c4r, d1r, d3v, g5r, g6r, 16r. Woodcut decorated and animated initials in various size, on black ground. Contemporary blind-tooled pigskin over wooden boards. Covers within two blind-stamped rolls, the outer roll dated 1541 and depicting the Crucifixion, David, the Resurrection, and St. John; the inner roll dated 1556 and showing Lucretia, Caritas, and Justicia. At the centre, a later stamp of the Schola Altenburgensis printed in gold on the upper cover and in black on the lower one. Some minor abrasion to binding, spine slightly chipped at the top, corners lightly rubbed. A very fine, wide-margined copy. Title gutter formerly reinforced, quire R lightly browned, few other leaves toned, small wear to the lower blank margin of fol. b3v, tiny wormhole in blank outer margin of last several leaves.

Provenance: from the library of the Latin school in Altenburg, Germany (stamp on the binding 'Biblioth. Schol. Altenburgensis'); the English politician and book collector Sir Robert Leicester Harmsworth (1870-1937; his sale at Sotheby's London, 9 February 1953, lot 9605); Robert Honeyman IV (1897-1987; see The Honeyman Collection of Scientific Books and Manuscripts. Volume VII. Printed Books S-Z and Addenda, Sotheby's New York, 19-20 May 1981, lot 2802A); Astronomy & Science Books from The Library of Martin C. Gutzwiller, lot 175.

The Honeyman copy – in an exceptional state of preservation, and in its strictly contemporary binding – of the first and very rare edition of the collected works by Johann Schöner, mathematician, astronomer, cartographer, and scientific instrument maker from Karlstadt, in Bayern.

Schöner was a contemporary of Nicolaus Copernicus, and, in 1526, became the first professor of mathematics at the University of Nuremberg. His most illustrious pupil was Georg Joachim Rheticus, who in the Narratio prima (1540) would announce Copernicus' discoveries. Schöner was also active as a printer and even set up a press in his house, printing numerous previously unpublished works by Johannes Regiomontanus, as well as the first printed terrestrial globe to name the recently discovered continent of America.

The Opera mathematica was published posthumously by his son Andreas and introduced with a preface by the outstanding humanist and reformer Philipp Melanchthon (1497-1560). The volume contains a representative sample of Schöner's wide and diverse interests, and a digest of some of his separately published works, most of which are extremely rare. “The contents of the Opera mathamatica reveal the depth and variety of the intellectual pursuits of Johannes Schöner. Titles ranging from elementary mathematics to very complex natal astrology held his interest throughout his lifetime. Schöner was a polymath, equally at home in the study of the geography of the New World and the new astronomy of Nicolaus Copernicus” (J. W. Hessler, A Renaissance Globemaker's Toolbox, p. 29).

The most important section may be found in the third part, which describes and represents eleven instruments, and is introduced by the title Aequatorium Astronomicum, ex quo errantium stellarum motus, luminarium configurationes, & defectus colliguntur, a revised and enlarged version of the work first appeared in 1521. The Aequatorium Astronomicum contains the earliest collection of printed equatoria-diagrams, as well as a catalogue of stars which comprise Schöner's adaptation of that published by Copernicus in his De revolutionibus of 1543. The text is illustrated by an elaborate series of volvelles (movable wheel charts) used to determine planetary positions.

Each part of these volvelles was printed on a separate page, such that the reader could cut them out or trace them on separate pieces of paper, and then assemble the various parts with string. These fragile 'paper instruments', which Schöner was among the first to employ, are frequently lacking or only partially present in most other copies of the Opera mathematica, and they are very often constructed incorrectly. The copy presented here is exceptionally complete and includes all volvelles, some of them with original thread.

The collection of 1551 also included Schöner's Opusculum Geographicum ex diversorum libris ac cartis summa cura & diligentia collectum, originally printed in 1533, and the text of which is preceded by the famous full-page wodcut depicting a globe (fol. 22/1r).

Adams S-678, 685; VD16 S-3465; Alden 551/35; BEA, pp. 1027-1028; Houzeau - Lancaster 2388; Sabin 77806; Thorndike v, 354-371; Zinner 2033; C. van Duzer, Johannes Schöner's Globe of 1515. Trascription and Study, Philadelphia 2010; J. W. Hessler, A Renaissance Globemaker's Toolbox. Johannes Schöner and the Revolution of Modern Science 1475-1550, Washington, DC - London 2013; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 114.

The crabbed Latin of the German Dominican is transformed into elegant Italian dialogues — F. A. Yates —

130. Dolce, Lodovico (1508-1568)

Dialogo... Nel quale si ragiona del modo di accrescere et conseruar la memoria.... Giovanni Battista & Melchiorre Sessa, 1562.

8° (152x104 mm). Collation: *4, A-P8. [4], 119, [1] leaves. Roman and italic type. The first word of the title 'Dialogo' is set within a woodcut decorated cartouche. Sessa Pegasus device on the title-page. Twenty-three woodcuts varying in size, six of them printed as plates on recto and verso of fols. G5-G7. Contemporary limp vellum. Covers somewhat stained and darkened, small portion of the front lower outer corner lacking. A good and genuine copy, slightly browned, a few small marginal stains.

Provenance: ' Antonij Francisci de Betinij liber 1626' (ownership inscription on the front flyleaf).

The first edition of this dialogue on memory, a substantial translation into Italian of the Congestorium artificiosae memoriae by German Dominican Johannes Romberch, which first appeared in Venice in 1520 and was elegantly adapted for the Italian rhetorical tradition by the Venetian 'polygraph' Lodovico Dolce. “The crabbed Latin of the German Dominican is transformed into elegant Italian dialogues, some of his examples are modernised, but the substance of the book is Romberch. We hear in the dulcet tones of Dolce's 'Cicerorian' Italian the scholastic reason why image may be used in memory. And Romberch's diagrams are exactly reproduced; we see once again his cosmic diagram for Dantesque artificial memory, and the antiquated figure of Grammar, stuck over with visual alphabets” (F. A. Yates, The Art of Memory, p. 163).

For the twenty-three illustrations in the volume, the printers Giovanni Battista and the younger Melchiorre Sessa re-used – with the unique exception of the woodcut stamped on fol. H6r, which was replaced – the blocks already cut for the Congestorium printed by Giorgio de' Rusconi in 1520, and which came into the possession of the Sessa press in 1533, when Romberch's treatise was reprinted by the older Melchiorre. The illustrative apparatus of the Dialogo thus also includes the famous visual alphabet formed with instruments and animals first printed by Erhard Rathold in the Publicius of 1482.

Dolce's publishing initiative was an immediate success, and the small treatise was reprinted in Venice in 1575 and 1586.

Adams D-732; Mortimer Italian, 157; Young 91; Wellcome, 1828; L. Dolce, Dialogo del modo di accrescere e conservar la memoria, ed. A. Torre, Pisa, 2001; F. A. Yates, The Art of memory, Eadem, Selected Works. III, London-New-York 2001, pp. 163-164; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 130.

Had the plates been published at the time they were executed, Eustachi would undoubtedly have ranked with Vesalius as a founder of modern anatomical studies — Heirs of Hippocrates

132. Eustachi, Bartolomeo (1500/10-1574)

Opuscula anatomica. Quorum numerum & argumenta auersa pagina indicabit... Venice, Vincenzo Luchino, 1563-1564. (offered with:) Idem. Tabulae Anatomicae Bartholomaei Eustachii... quas e tenebris tandem vindicatas.... Francesco Gonzaga, 1714.

I. Three parts in one volume, 4° (197x137 mm). Collation: *6, 2*4, A-Z4, Aa-Ii4, Kk2, Ll-Ss4; a-h4, 2I-N4; 3A-V4, X2, α-β8, κ4. [12], 323 [i.e. 331, the eight full-page plates uncounted in the pagination], [1]; [8], 95, [1]; [204] pages. In this copy the Index relating to the Opuscula is bound at the end. On the first title-page the final 'i' in imprint date 'MDLXIIII' appears to have been stamped on after printing (see Adams E-1103). Roman, italic, and Greek type. Woodcut printer's devices on the two first title-pages and on fol. N4v of the second part. Eight full-page engravings in text. Woodcut decorated initials. Nearly contemporary limp vellum. Traces of ties. Smooth spine, title inked in an early hand (faded). A very fine, unsophisticated copy. A few small spots and fingermarks; ink stain to the blank outer margin of fol. D4. A short tear to the lower blank margin of fol. N3, without any loss; minor repairs to the lower margin of fol. f4, slightly affecting a few letters. Numerous marginal notes (a few slightly trimmed), corrections, and underlining.

Provenance: gifted by the author to Pietro Matteo Pini (Eustachi's address on fol. A1r of the third part 'Petro Matthaeo Urbinati discipulo optimo Bartholomaeus praeceptor donauit''; the note 'Addendae Annotationes meae' probably in Pini's own hand on fol. *1v); small, and now barely legible, eighteenth-century stamp on the first title-page, referring to the Pini family.

II. Folio (283x253 mm). xliv, [2], 115, [13] pages. Roman and italic type. Large engraved vignette on the title-page showing a dissection, signed by Pietro Leone Ghezzi (1674-1755). Thirty-nine engraved plates. Fine decorated engraved initials. Contemporary hazel calf, over pasteboards. Covers within border of gilt fillets, floral tools at each corner. At the centre, gilt coat of arms of Pope Clemens XI. Marbled pastedowns and flyleaves. Edge boards decorated with narrow frieze. Edges mottled red. Some small stains to the covers, leather slightly abraded. A very good copy. Foxing in places, a few minor spots, and ink stains. An early shelfmark 'K.XXIII.5' on the verso of the second front flyleaf.

Provenance: the famous physician Giovanni Maria Lancisi (1654-1720; Clemens XI Albani's armorial binding), given as a gift to the Pini family (small, and now barely legible, eighteenth-century stamp on the title-page).

A highly significant set, consisting of two fine dedication and association copies. The first edition of the Opuscula anatomica by the famous anatomist Bartolomeo Eustachi or Eustachius, bearing on the title-page of the third part his autograph address to his disciple Pietro Matteo Pini, and the magnificent Tabulae anatomiche executed by Pini on behalf of his teacher and posthumously printed in 1714 by another leading figure in the history of medicine in Rome, Giovanni Maria Lancisi, and offered by him to the heirs of Pietro Matteo Pini.

In Venice, between 1563 and 1564, Bartolomeo Eustachi – a San Severino-born professor of anatomy at Sapienza University, and physician to the Pope – published his Opuscula anatomica, a collection of writings on various medical topics, including the first treatise ever printed on dentistry – De dentibus –, introduced by a separate title-page, bearing the date '1563'. The final quires contain, as a third part, the Annotationes horum opuscolorum ex Hippocrate, Aristotele, Galeno, aliisque authoribus collectae, the annotations to Eustachi's anatomical treatises collected by his relative and pupil from Urbino, Pietro Matteo Pini (b. ca. 1540), and introduced by a divisional half-title-page. As the copy presented here attests, Pini had received those quires directly from Eustachi, and bound them together with the first two parts of the Opuscula, which at the time were already printed, and therefore in his hands. In fact, another great point of interest lies in the note 'Addendae Annotationes meae' ('my commentary has to be added'), written by Pini on a paper slip tipped-in on the verso of the general title-page of the Opuscula, owing to the fact that his Annotationes were at that point still in print.

In 1552, Pini had also executed a series of forty-seven anatomical drawings for Eustachi, which were then engraved by the renowned Venetian artist Giulio de' Musi, two on the obverse and reverse of a single copper plate. These engravings should have illustrated the Opuscula anatomica, but only eight were included in the 1564 publication. The other thirty-nine illustrations, which, for unknown reasons, had not been published in 1564, were long sought after by Marcello Malpighi following Eustachi's death in 1574, and it was ultimately assumed they had been lost entirely. Quite to the contrary, Eustachi had bequeathed the copper-plates to his disciple Pini, and after 162 years they were discovered in the possession of one of his descendants. Owing to their great importance, the series of copper-plates was purchased by Pope Clemens XI for the sum of 600 scudi, and were subsequently given to the outstanding physician Giovanni Maria Lancisi (1654-1720), professor of anatomy at Sapienza University as well as the Pontiff's archiatre.

In 1714, heeding the advice of Giovanni Battista Morgagni (1682-1771), another famous anatomist of the age, Lancisi published these thirty-nine engravings, together with the eight smaller plates which had already appeared in the Opuscula anatomica of 1564. Each of the larger plates is within a three sided graduated border (the eight smaller illustrations have a fourth rule at the bottom), in order to easily identify the structures depicted. Numerous eighteenth-century editions were published from these original copper-plates, and the plate showing the sympathetic nervous system was included in 1817 in the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

The title-page of the 1714 volume bears an engraved vignette signed by the renowned Italian artist Pier Leone Ghezzi, showing a physician (perhaps Eustachio) at the dissecting table in an anatomical theatre; at the right side a skeleton on a pedestal, with the inscription, 'LACEROS IVVAT IRE PER ARTVS' i.e., 'it is a pleasure to move among torn limbs'.

“Eustachio's illustrations make no attempt to represent cadavers as they would appear when lying dissected on an anatomy table [...] The figures of Vesalius attempt to copy the natural appearance of anatomical structures; Eustachio's figures are maps of human anatomy, not representations from a single viewpoint. They demand careful study, and not a quick all-embracing glance. Nevertheless, the appearances of the figures are easily reconciled in the imagination to actual slender men, gesturing on an unexcited, stylized manner. They are elegant, classical figures [...] the precise soft line of copper engraving is entirely appropriate to the unhurried drawing. And yet, where faces can be seen, there is in them depth of expression” (Roberts - Tomlinson, The Fabric of the Body, p. 192).

The Tabulae anatomicae, edited by Lancisi and accompanied by his notes, is presented here in a splendid copy, finely bound in brown calf and bearing the arms of Pope Clemens XI: it is the copy offered by Lancisi to the heirs of Pietro Matteo Pini.

I. Adams E-1103; Choulant-Frank, p. 200; Cushing E-111; Durling 1408; Heirs of Hippocrates 323; Norman 739; Wellcome 2091; H. Moe, The Art of Anatomical Illustration in the Renaissance and Baroque Periods, Copenhagen 1995, pp. 43-48; B. Eustachius, A Little Treatise On The Teeth: The First Authoritative Book in Dentistry, ed. by D. A. Chernin and G. Shklar, Canton, MA 1999. II. Choulant-Frank, p. 202; Cushing E-113; Durling 1408; Garrison-Morton 391; Heirs of Hippocrates 322; Osler 2543; Wellcome 536; K.B. Roberts - J. D.W. Tomlinson, The Fabric of the Body. European Traditions of Anatomical Illustration, Oxford 1992, pp. 188-203; H. Moe, The Art of Anatomical Illustration in the Renaissance and Baroque Periods, Copenhagen 1995, pp. 43-48; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 132.

The first enlarged Latin edition with a full set of splendid large woodcuts, in contemporary German binding

136. Mattioli, Pietro Andrea (1501-1578)

Commentarii in sex libros Pedacii Dioscoridis Anazarbei de Medica materia... Adiectis magnis, ac nouis plantarum, ac animalium Iconibus, supra priores editiones longe pluribus, ad uiuum delineatis.... Vincenzo Valgrisi, 1565.

Folio (357x243 mm). Collation: *6, **8, A-M6, 2A-Z6, Aa-Zz6, Aaa-Zzz6, Aaaa-Zzzz6, Aaaaa-Zzzzz6, Aaaaaa-Ffffff6, Gggggg4, Hhhhhh6. [172], 1459, [13] pages. Roman, italic, and Greek type. Woodcut printer's devices on the title-page, and fols. Gggggg4v and Hhhhhh6v. Full-page woodcut portrait of Mattioli within elaborate strapwork border with cartouche and flanking figures on the verso of fol. M6. Over 900 large woodcuts of plants, herbs, animals, insects, and distillation processes, most of them by Giorgio Liberale and Wolfgang Meyerpeck, the majority filling three quarters of the page. Strictly contemporary German blind-tooled pigskin over wooden boards, dated '1569' on the upper cover. Covers within concentric rolls, tooled with palmettes and foliate motifs, and the images of the Salvator Mundi, John the Baptist, St Paul, and King David. Remains of metal clasps to the upper cover. Spine with five raised bands. A few scratches to the lower cover, corners restored. A wide-margined copy on thick paper with neat impressions of the woodcuts. Repair to the upper outer corner of the title-page, without any loss. Marginal spots, some quires browned, large stain in the upper margin of the last fifteen leaves, tiny wormholes affecting the lower cover and last quires. Small round stamp erased from the title-page.

Provenance: early ownership inscription on the title-page inked out; two annotations on the front pastedown: ‘Collationné le 9 juin 1733', and ‘à Charsin ainé 1816 ed.on estimée et la meilleure'.

First enlarged Latin edition, the first with a full set of the splendid large woodcuts by Giorgio Liberale from Udine of the most popular Renaissance commentary of Dioscorides (fl. 50-70 AD). According to Hunt, the Venetian edition of 1565 is the “most valued for its completeness”.

The first edition of Mattioli's celebrated commentary on Dioscorides' De materia medica – the most significant botanical book from antiquity and the most authoritative source on medical botany during the Renaissance – first appeared in the Italian language in Venice in 1544 as an unillustrated edition titled Di Pedacio Dioscoride Anazarbeo Libri cinque della historia et materia medicinale. The publishing initiative was met with immediate success, and unauthorised editions soon appeared, including that of 1549, printed in Mantua. The event led Mattioli to produce an expanded Latin edition of his work, which was issued in 1554 by the Venetian printer Vincenzo Valgrisi and included new information on herbs and plants, along with the first appearance of small woodcuts that would assist in the reading and studying of the text.

Mattioli dedicated his work to Emperor Ferdinand I of Habsburg, who named him personal physician of his son Ferdinand, governor of Bohemia. Mattioli moved to Prague in 1555, and this high patronage allowed him to employ a number of artists and engravers to produce near full-page illustrations for his Dioscorides. The Venetian Commentarii of 1565 is the first edition to contain – along with the small woodcuts that first appeared in 1554 – over 600 near full-page illustrations designed by the Italian artist Giorgio Liberale, who was also active at the Imperial court, and cut by Wolfgang Meyerpeck, a leading printer and block cutter from Meissen. These woodcuts are considered among the most impressive illustrations of natural history. They appear primarily in the Czech edition printed in Prague in 1562, as well as the subsequent German edition, likewise issued in Prague in 1563 by Jiri Melantrich in partnership with Vincenzo Valgrisi. These large woodcuts are “the culmination of technical virtuosity in botanical woodcut design, being images of considerable size and unprecedented complexity [...] morphologically detailed and carefully shaded images whose style contrasts notably with the airy, simple elegance of Fuchs' illustrations. Apart from the close massing of foliage, fruit, and flower, such details as veins and even hairs are often depicted or suggested with great skill” (Bridson-Wendel, Printmaking in the Service of Botany, no. 5).

The 1565 Latin edition published by Valgrisi is also the first to be supplemented, in the last quire, with Mattioli's De ratione distillandi aquas ex omnibus plantis, and contains a number of additional zoological and genre illustrations not included in the previous editions of Mattioli's masterpiece.

This edition is rarely found in its strictly contemporary binding, as it remarkably is in this copy. This fine German binding was executed – as attested by the date stamp on the front cover – in 1569. One of the rolls used in its production is the 'Salvator-Johannes der Täufer-Paulus-David', which was often employed in Nuremberg for stamping books for the church councillor Hieronymus Paumgärtner the Younger (1525-1602).

Adams D-672; Hunt 94; Nissen BBI 94; Bridson-Wendel, Printmaking in the Service of Botany, Pittsburgh 1986, no. 5; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 136.

Euclid’s Elementa, from Jean-Baptiste Colbert’s Library, finely bound for Comte Charles-Henry de Hoym

150. Euclides (fl. 3rd century BC)

Elementorum Libri XV. Accessit XVI. De solidorum Regularium comparatione. Omnes perspicuis demonstrationibus, accuratisque scholjis illustrati. Auctore Christophoro Clavio Bambergensi. Societatis Iesu. Vincenzo Accolti, 1574.

Two volumes, 8° (175x118 mm). I. Collation: a-e8, A-Z8, Aa-Ss8, Tt4. [40], 331 of 332 leaves, lacking the last leaf blank. II. Collation: A-Z8, Aa-Oo8, Pp4. 300 leaves. Complete with fol. Pp4 blank. Italic, roman, and Greek type. Title-pages within woodcut architectural frame, text enclosed in plain rule border. Woodcut printer's device on fol. Pp3r of the second volume. Woodcut decorated initials and tailpieces. Numerous woodcut geometrical diagrams in the text. Uniformly bound in eighteenth-century red morocco, over pasteboards. Covers within three gilt fillets, at the centre gilt coat of arms of Charles- Henry Count de Hoym. Spines with five raised bands, richly gilt tooled; title and volume numbering in gilt lettering. Edges marbled and gilt. In a marbled slipcase. A very good copy, a few leaves uniformly browned, re-margining of the outer margin of first four leaves in the first volume, slightly affecting the rule border but without any loss of text.

Provenance: from the library of French politician Jean-Baptiste Colbert (1619-1683; ownership inscription on title-pages 'Bibliothecae Colbertinae'); by descent to Jean Baptiste Colbert de Torcy (1665-1746), Jacques Nicolas Colbert, Archbishop of Rouen (1655-1707), and Charles Eléonor Colbert, Comte de Seignelay (d. 1747); see the sale catalogue Bibliotheca Colbertina, seu Catalogus librorum bibliothecae quae fuit primum Ill. V.D. J. B. Colbert, Regni ministri, deinde Ill. D. J. B. Colbert. March. de Seignelay; postea Rev. et ill. D. J. Nic. Colbert, Rothomagensis Archiepiscopi, ac demum D. Caroli- Leonorii Colbert, Comitis de Seignelay, Paris 1728, Pars Tertia, Continens Libros in 8. in 12. &c., lot 16811, “Euclidis Elemento [sic], cum scholiis Christoph. Clavii. Romae, 1574. 2 vol. in 8. mar”; sold for the sum of 4 francs; the French ambassador Charles-Henry de Hoym (1694-1736; armorial binding; see Catalogus librorum bibliothecae Caroli Henrici Comitis de Hoym, olim Regis Poloniae Augusti II. apud Regem Christianissimum Legati extraordinarii, Paris 1738, p. 143, no. 1250, “2. vol. in 8. m.r.”, sold for the sum of 5.3. francs); Jean Furstenberg (1890-1982; ex-libris on the front pastedowns).

Euclid's Elementa edited by the Bamberg Jesuit and professor of mathematics at the Collegium Romanum, Christoph Clavius (1537-1612), and supplemented with his monumental commentary. This Roman publication represents one of the greatest achievements in the history of Renaissance mathematics. “His contemporaries called Clavius 'the Euclid of the 16th century'. The 'Elements', which is not a translation, contains a vast quantity of notes collected from previous commentators and editors, as well as some good criticisms and elucidations of his own” (DSB III, p. 311).

The present copy has a very distinguished provenance, increasing its value. The earliest recorded owner of these volumes was the great book collector Jean-Baptiste Colbert, the chief minister to the King of France Louis XIV from 1661 to 1683. At Colbert's death in 1683, his library, which contained 23,000 printed books and over 5,000 manuscripts, passed by descent to Jean-Baptiste Colbert de Torcy, and then to other members of this outstanding French family. The collection was in large part sold in Paris on 24 May 1728. During the eighteenth century, numerous volumes from the Colbertina came into the possession of one of the greatest bibliophiles of the age, Comte Charles-Henry de Hoym, ambassador to Augustus II of Poland. Hoym commissioned the handsome binding in red morocco bearing his coat of arms on the covers. The leading French binders worked for him: among others, Augustin Du Seuil and Antoine-Michel Padeloup, to whom this binding is possibly to be ascribed. His library was sold in Paris between May and August 1738, and in the preface the bookseller Gabriel Martin points up the presence of numerous volumes ex Thesauro Colbertino in the collection. The volume later passed into the hands of another great collector of fine bindings, Jean Furstenberg.

Adams E-985; STC Italian 238; Steck, pp. 77-78; Denise Bloch, “La bibliothèque de Colbert”, Histoire des bibliothèques françaises, II, pp. 157-179; B. Breslauer, “Contemporary Collectors. XX. Jean Furstenberg”, The Book Collector, 9 (1960), pp. 423-434; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 150.

Commandino Euclid, printed on blue paper

151. Euclides (fl. 3rd century BC)

De gli elementi di Euclide libri quindici... Tradotti ... da M. Federico Commandino.... Domenico Frisolino, [before 3 September] 1575.

Folio (306x211 mm). Printed on blue paper. Collation: *2, **4, ***2, A-Z4, AA-ZZ4, AAa-ZZz4, AAAa2. [8], 278 leaves. In this copy fol. TT2 bound after fol. VV2. Italic and roman type. Ten-line animated initials at the beginning of each Book. Contemporary gilt-tooled limp vellum. Covers within gilt border, fleuron at the centre. Smooth spine, decorated with gilt tools, inked title. Gilt edges. Minor loss to the spine. A very fine copy. A few corrections in an early hand.

Provenance: 'Di Casa Doni' (early ownership inscription on the front pastedown; on the title-page 'Casa Donj comprato dal [?]).

An extraordinary copy printed on blue paper of the first edition of the Italian translation of Euclids' Elements. The translator and commentator is the humanist and mathematician from Urbino Federico Commandino (1509-1575). Luxury copies of sixteenth-century scientific books are unusual and were surely intended for presentation.

In 1565 Commandino was visited by English philosopher, mathematician, and astrologer John Dee (1527-1608; see no. 91), who gave him a manuscript translation into Latin of an Arabic work related to Euclid's De divisionibus. Commandino published this Latin version – De superficierum divisionibus liber Machometo Bagdedino ascriptus – in Pesaro in 1570, adding a short treatise of his own to condense and generalize the discussion of this work. Two years later, at the request of Francesco Maria II della Rovere, Duke of Urbino, Commandino translated Euclid's Elements into Latin and published it along with an extensive commentary at Pesaro in 1572.

Then, in 1575, for those of his countrymen who did not know Latin, Commandino supervised a translation into Italian of the Elements together with his commentary, which he entrusted to some of his students. The De gli elementi di Euclide libri quinque is the first book printed in Urbino in the sixteenth century, and the publication is dedicated – as was the Latin version of 1572 – to his patron Francesco Maria della Rovere. The volume was issued by Domenico Frisolino, whom Commandino had probably called to Urbino for this purpose, Frisolino having established the first printing house in the city in the last months of 1574. The press was located in his home, as attested by the colophon of the 1575 Euclides: 'IN VRBINO IN CASA DI FEDERICO COMMANDINO, CON LICENTIA DEI SVPERIORI. MDLXXV'.

For the Italian Euclides, Frisolino re-used the blocks for the diagrams and initials first employed by Camillo Franceschini in the Latin edition of 1572, with the exception of the title-border block, which was ultimately not given to him. On 13 November 1574, Commandino drew up a contract for buying paper with Melchiorre Silvestri and Magister Pietro Bramante, who were active in the paper mill of Fermignano, a small town near Urbino where the manufacture of paper had begun in 1411. The Fermignano paper mill was owned by the Montefeltros.

The present copy is exceptionally printed on blue paper, and was certainly destined for a distinguished recipient or patron. The Harvard College Library preserves a copy of Commandino's Elementorum libri XV of 1572 likewise printed on blue paper, suggesting both copies may have been printed on blue paper produced by the Fermignano paper mill.

Adams E-995; STC Italian 239; L. Moranti, L'arte tipografica in Urbino (1493-1800), Firenze 1967, no. 4; Riccardi I, 363. Steck, p. 25; Thomas-Stanford 42; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 151.

Cardinal Bourbon’s Cardano

153. 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. 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. [16], 510, [2], 602-838 [i.e. 834], [2] 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.

Bruno and the revival of Lullism in the Renaissance

154. [Giordano Bruno]. Lull Ramón (1232-1316)

Opusculum Raymundinum De auditu Kabbalistico siue ad omnes scientias introductorium... Paris, Gilles Gorbin, 1578. (bound with:) Idem. Ars brevis illuminatis Doctoris Magistri Raymundi Lull. Quae est ad omnes scientias pauco & breui tempore assequendas introductorium & breuis via... Paris, Gilles Gorbin, 1578. (bound with:) Bruno, Giordano (1548-1600). Philoteus Iordanus Brunus Nolanus De compendiosa architectura, & complementi artis Lullij. Ad illustriss. D.D. Ioannem Morum pro serenissima Venetorum R.p. apud Christianissimum Gallorum & Polonorum regem, legatum. Gilles Gorbin, 1582.

Three works in one volume, 16° (113x69 mm). I. Collation: A-K8. 82 [i.e. 80, omitted leaves 63 and 66] leaves. Roman and italic type. Woodcut printer's device on the title-page. Six plates hors-texte, including one folding (TABVLA GENERALIS), and one with a volvelle between fols. B4 and B5. The outer margin of one plate trimmed. Woodcut diagrams in the text. Woodcut headpiece, decorated initials. II. Collation: A-F8. [48] leaves. Roman and italic type. Woodcut printer's device on the title-page. Two plates hors-texte, both folding (SECVNDA FIGVRA; TABVLA GENERALIS). Three full-page woodcuts, one on the verso of fol. B2 with volvelles. Woodcut decorated initials. III. Collation: A-E8, F4. 43 of 44 leaves, lacking fol. F4 blank. Roman and italic type. Two plates hors-texte, including one folding containing the two volvelles still uncut to be mounted on fol. B8v. Fol. B3 folded with large woodcut on the verso. Diagrams and woodcut illustrations. Woodcut head- and tailpieces, decorated initials. Eighteenth-century half-calf, brown-paper covers. Smooth spine divided into compartments by gilt fillets, title in gold on hazel-brown morocco lettering-piece (faded). Edges speckled red. A well-preserved volume, some browning and spotting. In the third edition bound, the upper margin of a few leaves slightly trimmed. The pencilled note ‘Philosoph. iv' on the rear pastedown. Some early underlining in the second edition bound. On the title-page of the third one the note 'V. Vogt p. 116', related to Johannis Vogt's Catalogus historico-criticus librorum rariorum (Hamburg 1747).

Provenance: 'Kellner' (ownership inscription on the recto of the front flyleaf); Royal Library in Berlin (old stamp in red ink on the verso of the title-page of the first edition bound; copy sold).

Fine miscellaneous volume with three rare editions, including the first edition of the De compendiosa architectura by Giordano Bruno, which offers striking evidence of the revival of Lullism in the Renaissance, as well as its lasting influence.

The volume opens with the famous De auditu Kabbalistico, which previously appeared in Venice in 1518 and 1538. Also known as the Opusculum Raymundinum, the work was traditionally attributed to the prominent thirteenth-century Catalan philosopher and theologian Lullus, but according to Paola Zambelli it was instead composed – and anonymously published – by the Ferrarese physician Pietro Mainardi, who tried to reconcile the Lullian method with Kabala.

The second Lull edition bound here is the equally rare Ars brevis, the popular compendium of his Ars magna generalis which was composed in 1308 and published for the first time in 1481.

Both works by the Doctor illuminatus had notable influence on Giordano Bruno, who had read them under the guide of his master in Naples, Teofilo da Varano. It is therefore not surprising that the unknown earliest owner had also bound in this 'Lullian' miscellany a copy of the rare De compendiosa architectura, & complementi artis Lullij, in which the philosopher from Nola offers one of the most convincing presentations of his original synthesis between the combinatoric method of the Ars Lulliana and the classical art of memory, as his use of mnemonic wheels especially testifies. The De compendiosa architectura is dedicated to the Venetian ambassador in Paris, Giovanni Moro, and is the third work printed by Bruno, after the De umbris idearum and the Cantus Circaeus. The eight woodcuts included in the edition were in all likelihood designed and cut by Bruno himself. Among them, four are based on Lull's alphabetical wheels.

Between fols. B7 and B8 the folding plate is still present in its original uncut form containing the two volvelles to be mounted (“Hi duo circulli includentur in eo circulo qui habetur folio 16.”) on Lull's alphabetical wheel on the verso of fol. B8. For other Bruno's works in this catalogue see nos. 161 and 183.

I. STC French 292; Palau 143.864; Caillet 6846; Duveen, p. 370; Rogent y Duran, no. 121. II. STC French 292; Palau, 14370-14384; Duveen, p. 370, Rogent y Duran, no. 120. III. Adams B-2953; STC French 84; Salvestrini, Bibliografia, no. 40; Sturlese, Bibliografia, no. 3; M. Gabrieli, Giordano Bruno. Corpus Iconographicum, Milano 2001, pp. 125-153; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 154.

The two rarest Giordano Bruno editions

161. Bruno, Giordano (1548-1600)

Figuratio Aristotelici Physici auditus... Ad illustrem admodum atque reuerendum dominum D. Petrum Dalbenium Abbatem Belleuillae. Paris, Pierre Chevillot, 1586. [bound with:] Idem. Dialogi duo de Fabricii Mordentis Salernitani propè diuina adinuentione ad perfectam cosmimetriae praxim. Pierre Chevillot, 1586.

Two works in one volume, 8° (163x101 mm). I. Collation: ã8, A-E8, F2, 2A-B8. [8], 14, [2] leaves. The copy is incomplete, and contains the preliminary quire ã8 (title-page, dedicatory epistle to Pietro Dalbene, Iordanus Brunus Nolanus de Quindecim imaginibus auditionis physicae figuratiuis, the woodcut on fol. ã6v, and the Divisio Universae Philosophiae), and 2A-2B8 (Iordani Bruni Nolani De Physico auditu Aristotelis liber quintus ad septimum & octauum illius, including 2B7 2B8 blanks). Lacking are quires A-E8, and F2, with the text of Iordani Brun. Nolani De physico auditu, Arist. propositum. De intentione, & ordine octo librorum Physicae auscultationis: item de eiusdem intentionis & ordinis ratione. Roman and italic type. Woodcut printer's device on the title-page. One half-page woodcut on black ground on the verso of fol. ã6. Woodcut headpieces and decorated initials. II. Collation: ã4, A-B8, C4. [4], 20 leaves. Roman and italic type. Woodcut printer's device on the title-page. Three half-page woodcuts on black ground on fols. B2r, B6r, and C4r, illustrating the compass. Woodcut headpieces and decorated initials, on seven lines the one on fol. ã2r. Contemporary vellum over pasteboards. Smooth spine, title inked vertically. A volume in good condition. Leaves of the first edition browned, and waterstained; title-page with old repairs (not affecting the text) and minor loss to the blank lower corner; the outer blank margin of fol. A2 damaged, without any loss. In the second bound edition pale waterstains, slight foxing. Some bibliographical notes on the verso of the front flyleaf, in different hands.

Provenance: Jean Viardot (see Binoche et Giquello, Paris, Livres précieux – Bibliothèque Jean Viardot, 1 June 2016, lot 22).

This exceptional, miscellaneous volume – presented in its contemporary binding – contains two of the scarcest works by the celebrated Italian philosopher, the Figuratio Aristotelici Physici auditus, and the Dialogi duo de Fabricii Mordentis Salernitani. No copy of the Figuratio has come up at auction since the early nineteenth century (see below), while the Dialogi duo has never appeared on the market before this copy.

The Figuratio Aristotelici Physici auditus deals with Aristotle's physics and was likely published by Bruno at the beginning of 1586, during his second stay in Paris (for his first Parisian stay see no. 154). Only four copies of the Figuratio are recorded in the institutional libraries: those preserved in the National Library in Turin, the Bibliothèque nationale in Paris, the Bodleian Library in Oxford, and the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC; the copies in Paris and in Turin are both imperfect.

The copy of the Figuratio presented here contains on fol. ã6v the famous woodcut designed by Bruno himself. This illustration enlists a curious mnemonic iconography based on ten loci to depict – albeit in rough form – the geometrical schema of a human body. The design reveals the influence of the famed homo ad quadratum by Vitruvius, along with other contemporary pictorial models, an iconographic tradition originally re-interpreted by Bruno, transforming the different parts of the body into triangles, squares, and other geometrical shapes.

The second work bound here is even rarer: in fact, the Dialogi duo de Fabricii Mordentis Salernitani prope diuina adinuentione is known by only two copies, one in the National Library in Turin and the other at the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris – in both cases the work is bound, like the present miscellany, with a copy of the Figuratio Aristotelici Physici auditus.

In the Dialogi duo, which appeared in Paris in April 1586, Bruno praises the proportional eight-pointed compass invented by Salerno mathematician Fabrizio Mordente (1532–ca. 1608), who had provided a detailed description of his invention in his Compasso con altri istromenti mathematici, published in Antwerp in 1584. Mordente's instrument is considered to be a forerunner of Galileo Galilei's proportional compass. “Bruno knew Mordente who was in Paris at the time and was immensely struck by the compass. He mentioned it to his patient listener, the librarian of the Abbey of St. Victor [i.e., Guillaume Cotin], describing Mordente as the “god of geometricians”, and adding that, since Mordente did not know Latin, he, Bruno, would publish his invention in Latin for him. This he did with a vengeance, for he wrote four dialogues about Mordente's compass, in which he patronised the inventor for not having seen the full meaning of his divine invention, as he, Bruno, has seen it. We know from Jacopo Corbinelli's letters that Mordente, not unnaturally, “fell into a brutal rage”; that he bought up the edition of the dialogues and destroyed them (missing the two copies, one complete, the other incomplete, which have reached us” (F. A. Yates, Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition, p. 295).

Bruno's work is divided into two parts entitled Mordentius and De Mordenti circino, respectively, and supplemented with two woodcuts executed by Bruno himself. The first woodcut shows the application of the operations of Mordente's compass (fol. B2r) and is known in two variants. In the first state there are three capital letters 'BIH' well visible on the left margin, whereas in the second state these letters were erased by Bruno, and the letter 'C' was added on the lower side. The copy presented here bears – like the copy of the National Library in Turin – the woodcut in its first state, before the correction made by Bruno, who was in effect an 'improvisational' designer and block cutter. A second woodcut illustrating Mordente's instrument is printed on fol. B6r.

The last leaves of the edition contain a short text bearing the title Insomnium, and includes on fol. C4r a third woodcut designed by Bruno, the content of which is particularly enigmatic and may relate to an oneiric vision. It is the most mysterious image of Giordano Bruno's entire Corpus iconographicum.

On the verso of the front flyleaf is an annotation in an anonymous French hand: “je n'ay trouvé les ouvrages contenus dans le volume dans aucun des catalogues qui donnent l'enumeration des oeuvres de Jordanus Brunus, ce qui doit sans doute en augmenter le prix car tous les ouvrages de cet autheur sont fort recherchés, et rares”. The 1815 sale catalogue of the library collected by Justin MacCarthy Reagh lists eight editions by Bruno, including the Figuratio Aristotelici Physici auditus. The MacCarthy Figuratio – now in the Bodleian Library – was sold for the sum of 56 francs, the highest price paid in this sale for an edition by the great Nola philosopher.

I. Salvestrini, Bibliografia, no. 153; Sturlese, Bibliografia, no. 13; M. Gabrieli, Giordano Bruno. Corpus Iconographicum, Milano 2001, pp. 281-294; M. Matteoli, “La Figuratio Aristotelici Physici auditus di Giordano Bruno: luoghi e immagini per una 'nuova' Fisica di Aristotele”, Rinascimento, 55 (2015), pp. 331-362. II. Salvestrini, Bibliografia, no. 155; Sturlese, Bibliografia, no. 14; M. Gabrieli, Giordano Bruno. Corpus Iconographicum, pp. 295-318; F. Camerota, Il compasso di Fabrizio Mordente. Per una storia del compasso di proporzione, Firenze 2000, pp. 83-105; F. A. Yates, Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition, Eadem, Selected Works. II, London-New-York 2001, pp. 294-298; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 161.

The first printed book on plastic surgery

172. Tagliacozzi, Gaspare (1545-1599)

De Curtorum Chirurgia per insitionem, libri duo. In quibus ea omnia, quae ad huius Chirurgia, Narium scilicet, Aurium, ac labiorum per insitionem restaurandorum cum Theoricen, tum Practicen pertinere videbantur.... Gaspare Bindoni, 1597.

Two parts in one volume, folio (322x215 mm). Printed on large paper. Collation: †6, χ2, ††8, A-H6, Aa-Hh6; Aaa-Ddd6, a-b6, c4. [32], 94, [2], 95, [1]; 47, [33] pages. Roman and italic type. Engraved architectural frontispiece attributed to Oliviero Gatti (1579–1648), including on the sides the standing figures of Hippocrates and Galen, on the upper panel the arms of the dedicatee Vincenzo Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua, and on the lower one Bindoni's device. A different printer's device on the following printed title-page. Woodcut illustrations in the text, including twenty-two full-page woodcuts with keys on opposite pages. Woodcut decorated initials. Contemporary limp vellum, traces of ties. Smooth spine. A good, wide-margined copy, with engraved frontispiece almost untrimmed. A few leaves uniformly browned, pale waterstain to the lower margin of the first leaves, light foxing in places. Slip of paper with a note dated 1616 pasted onto the verso of the title-page.

Provenance: Cardinal Carlo Oppizzoni (1769-1855; ex-libris on the front pastedown), from 1802 Archbishop of Bologna.

A landmark in the history of surgery: the first edition – presented here in its first issue, without the license to print dated 9 October 1596 on the verso of the title-page – of the first book devoted exclusively to plastic surgery and reconstruction, written by Gaspare Tagliacozzi, a pupil of Girolamo Cardano and professor of surgery and anatomy at Bologna.

The treatise describes in detail surgical operations to repair the ears, nose and lips, employing skin grafts taken from the upper arm of the patient. The De curtorum chirurgia per insitionem (On the Surgical Restoration of Defects by Grafting) is considered one of the most important medical books of the sixteenth century. It enjoyed wide and enduring popularity, owing to the fact that plastic surgery and reconstruction – and most especially rhinoplasty – were much in demand in the age, particularly as remedies for both the injuries resulting from duels and from the deformities caused by syphilis. It was pirated by the Venetian printer Roberto Meietti in the same year, and in 1598 it was reprinted in a smaller size in Frankfurt.

“Tagliacozzi's most important innovation was the development of a means of replacing the missing nose, for a person without nose is bound to be 'unhappy' and his unhappiness could well make him or her ill. It also marked that person as not only deseased but also infectious, whether or not actual 'infection' as we know it, was present. The stigma was real enough. The noseless were poluted and polluting. Here the problem of the relationship of reconstructive surgery to aestetic surgery appears at the very 'origin' of aestetic surgery. It seems self-evident, that anyone without a nose will be unhappy, and the reconstruction of the nose will make that person happier and therefore healthier. Tagliacozzi recognized this” (S. L. Gilman, Making the Body Beautiful, pp. 67-68).

This Venetian edition is also famous for its illustrative apparatus, with twenty-two full-page woodcuts depicting surgical instruments as well as textual explanations of various surgical procedures. These woodcuts were skilfully executed by an anonymous designer, perhaps one of numerous artists in the circle patronized by Duke of Mantua Vincenzo Gonzaga, the financial backer and dedicatee of Tagliacozzi's work.

This copy of the De curtorum chirurgia belongs to a limited issue printed by the Venetian publisher Bindoni on large and thick paper. “There are two issues of De curtorum chirurgia. The majority of copies, printed on ordinary paper, have an imprimatur on the verso of the title-page. Other copies, which lack the imprimatur, are printed on large and thick paper that can be distinguished by its watermarks. These copies were undoubtedly intended as presentation copies” (Norman).

Adams T-59; Mortimer Italian, 488; Cushing T-16; Durling 4310; Garrison-Morton 5734; Heirs of Hippocrates 379; Norman 2048; Waller 9541; Wellcome 6210; The Illustrated Bartsch, 41, p. 76; M.T. Gnudi - J. P. Webster, The Life and Times of Gaspare Tagliacozzi, New York 1950, pp. 183-216; S. L. Gilman, Making the Body Beautiful. A Cultural History of Aestetic Surgery, Princeton 1999, pp. 66-73; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 172.

Wind Roses and Compasses

179. Padovani, Fabrizio (fl. 16th-17th century)

Tractatus duo, alter De Ventis, alter perbrevis De Terraemotu. Adiecto indice copiosissimo.... Giovanni Battista Bellagamba, 1601.

Folio (312x217 mm). Collation: †4, A4, B4+1 (a singleton signed B3 added after quire B), C-Y4. [8], 1-16, 17*-18*, 17-163 [i.e. 165], [13] pages. Italic, roman, and Greek type. Woodcut printer's device on the title-page. Thirty-nine engravings, including three full-page. Woodcut decorated initials, head- and tailpieces. Contemporary cardboards. A very fine, wide-margined copy.

The rare first and only edition of this finely illustrated book, including fine engraved maps and plates of wind roses and compasses, among other technologies and technical schemata.

The work is by Fabrizio Padovani, the 'philosophus ac medicus' from Forlì; it addresses the effects of winds and contains a full-page chart of the world, the Carta Marina, which also shows the Americas in a style that recalls the famous Nova Tabula executed by Giacomo Gastaldi for the Italian edition of Ptolemy's Geography in 1548.

As announced on the title-page, the last leaves concern earthquakes, as it was traditionally believed these could be caused by subterranean winds. Padovani based his illustrations primarily on historical sources – above all Pliny – as well as contemporary accounts. He “envisioned an early warning system for earthquakes, and, also, categorized phenomena that were either concurrent with or subsequent to an earthquake, similarly to the typology of things seen before, during, and after an eruption that Vesuvius writers described three decades later. Earthquakes were more frequent than eruptions, and in this respect he was not lacking in a language of observation” (S. Cocco, Watching Vesuvius, p. 31).

The work is especially praised for the handsome illustrative apparatus, and the engravings depicting wind roses are of the highest quality.

Bruni-Evans 4375; Alden 601.78; Honeyman VI, 2387; Riccardi I, pp. 230-231; Shirley 232 (world map); S. Cocco, Watching Vesuvius: A History of Science and Culture in Early Modern Italy, Chicago 2013, pp. 29-32; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 179.

The ‘lunatiques’ of Aix-en-Provence. A Gift from Peiresc to His Friend Gassendi

191. Bacon, Francis (1561-1626)

De dignitate et augmentis scientiarum, Libri ix. Ad Regem suum. Iuxta Exemplar Londini Impressum. Pierre Mettayer, 1624.

Small 4° (256x170 mm). Collation: *2, **4, ***2, A-Z8, AA-ZZ8, AAa-XXx4, YYy2. [16], 540 pages (with some errors in numbering). Roman and italic type. Woodcut printer's device on the title-page. Engraved portrait of the author on fol. *1r. Woodcut decorated initials and headpieces. Fine French contemporary binding executed by Simon Corberan. Red morocco, over pasteboards. Covers framed within triple gilt fillet, central gilt monogram of Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc. Spine with three raised bands, compartments decorated with small floral tools, title and imprint in gilt lettering. 'VERVLAMIVS DE SCIENTIAR. DIGNIT. 1624'. Edges slightly speckled red. A few minor stains to the lower cover. In a modern red morocco box, at foot of the spine 'EXEMPLAIRE DE PEIRESC DONNÉ EN CADEAU À GASSENDI'. A good copy, light offset turn-ins of the binding on the first and last leaves; restored wormhole in the blank outer margin of some leaves, without any loss. Pencilled modern note about the provenance on the recto of the front flyleaf.

Provenance: from the library of Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc (1580-1637), who on 26 March 1636 gave the volume to Pierre Gassendi (1592-1655; ownership inscription on the title-page: 'donum optimi d[omi]ni de Peiresc, ideo acceptum, quòd aliud exe[m]plar in folio hab[ea]t. 26 mart. M.DC.XXXVI. Gassendi.').

Extraordinary association copy of the second Latin edition of this famous treatise by the English philosopher and stateman Francis Bacon, his manifesto for the progress of learning. The volume belonged to the renowned savant, naturalist, antiquarian, book collector and great patron and amateur of sciences and art Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc (1580-1637), who offered it as a gift to one of his closest friends, the famous philosopher and astronomer Pierre Gassendi (1592-1655), one of the earliest French admirer of Bacon's experimental philosophy. This exceptional provenance is attested by the inscription on the title-page, in the hand of Gassendi himself. United in the present volume are thus three of the principal scientists and advocates of the New Science: Bacon, Gassendi and the savant for whom the volume was handsomely bound, Peiresc.

Although in his will Peiresc left books – along with mathematical and astronomical instruments – to Gassendi, his nephew refused to let the philosopher have them upon his death on 24 June 1637. The library was thereby dispersed, and a manuscript catalogue now survives in the Bibliothèque Inguimbertine at Carpentras. This copy is thus of especial interest as it rescues a volume from Peiresc's library, and offering documentary evidence of Bacon's ideas and work in the French intellectual circles of the 1620s and the following decades.

Indeed, Peiresc himself was directly involved in the publishing of the 1624 edition of the De dignitate et augmentis scientiarum, edited by Bacon's secretary William Rawley, which first appeared in 1623 in London as an enlarged version of the earlier On the Proficience and Advancement of Learning (1605).

In November 1623 Peiresc had received a letter from the Italian scholar and antiquarian Cassiano del Pozzo, containing a notice of the publication in London of the De dignitate et augmentis scientiarum. In the opinion of Peiresc, the circumstances were also favorable for proposing in France an edition of this work juxta exemplar Londini. Unlike the London folio-edition, for the volume printed by the typographus regius Pierre Mettayer a quarto format was chosen, and copies hot off the press were sent by Peiresc to many correspondents. Peiresc thereby played a pivotal role in the diffusion of Bacon across continental Europe.

In March 1636 a copy of this Parisian edition was still preserved in the large library amassed by Peiresc in Aix-en-Provence, elegantly yet plainly bound in red morocco by the binder Simon Corberan, who moved from Paris to Aix-en-Provence in 1625, and stamped with Peiresc's Greek cipher, two sets of his initials, Ν Κ Φ. And precisely at the beginning of March 1636 his great friend and intellectual interlocutor Pierre Gassendi arrived in Peiresc's residence, as his letter to the Genevan Elie Diodati, dated Aix-en-Provence 8 April 1636, attests.

In the De rebus coelestibus commentarij (1658) Gassendi presents a large number of observations recorded over decades, among them those carried out at Aix in March 1636 together with his friend Peiresc, who had studied astronomy at the Jesuit College in Tournon, and met Galileo at Padua in 1599. Peiresc took an active interest in Galileo's telescopic discoveries, so much so that immediately after the publication in 1610 of the Sidereus Nuncius, he had an observatory built in his Hôtel de Callas in Aix; he spent years recording the times of planetary events and calculating terrestrial longitudes, discovered the first nebula in the constellation Orion, and commissioned the first mapping of the moon.

The 'story' of the present copy of Bacon's De dignitate et augmentis scientiarum has another protagonist, albeit less famous than Peiresc and Gassendi: the binder Simon Corberan, who in March 1636 assisted the two 'lunatiques' of Aix-en-Provence in their astronomic observations. Pereisc had in fact trained his servants also to be astronomers. Corberan began to observe the celestial bodies on 7 November 1631, on the occasion of the transit of Mercury, accurately predicted by Johann Kepler. He also sketched a cahier d'observation, and we have records of Gassendi and Corberan observing an eclipse of the sun in 1639. Corberan represents the “exemple le plus magistral de domestique parvenu au statut de curieux [...]: embauché initialement comme relieur, il devint, sous la direction de Peiresc, un fervent curieux d'astronomie et acquit d'incontestables talents d'observateur” (C. Dauvergne, Un moteur de la révolution scientifique, p. 465).

The gift, on 26 March 1636, of this precious copy of Bacon's De dignitate et augmentis scientiarum – from his library and bound by the relieur-astronome Corberan – to his dearest friend seems to encapsulate the revival of Bacon's philosophy, with its dual emphasis on friendship and the advancement of science. A collaborative venture which reflects Bacon's convinction that the true progress of knowledge can be achieved only through a collective enterprise.

R. W. Gibson, Francis Bacon. A Bibliography of His Works and of Baconiana, Oxford 1950, no. 130; P. Tamizey de Larroque, “Une lettre inédite de Peiresc à son relieur Corberan”, Annuaire-bulletin de la Société de l'histoire de France, 26 (1890), pp. 121-126; P. Humbert, “Un relieur astronome”, Mélanges de Philosophie, d'Histoire, et de Littérature, 1934, pp. 209-214; I. de Conihout, “Du nouveau sur la bibliothèque de Peiresc”, M. Fumaroli (ed.), Peiresc et l'Italie, Paris 2009, pp. 243-264; C. Zittel, “Die Lunatiker von Aix-en-Provence”, U. Feist - M. Rath (eds.), Et in imagine Ego. Facetten von Bildakt und Verkörperung. Festgabe für Horst Bredekamp, Berlin 2012, pp. 277-299; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 191.

The first publication to use colored illustrations in the service of scientific clarity — Norman

192. Aselli, Gaspare (1581-1625)

De lactibus Siue lacteis venis quarto vasorum mesaraicorum genere Nouo Inuento... dissertatio.... Giovanni Battista Bidelli, 1627.

4° (218x176 mm). Collation: †4, 22, A-K4, 34. [12], 79, [9] pages. Roman and italic type. Additional engraved title-page within an elaborate border, and extra author's portrait, both executed by Cesare Bassano. Four chiaroscuro woodcut folding plates printed in black, dark red and light red, usually attributed to Cesare Bassano and Domenico Falcini. Contemporary vellum, over pasteboards. Ink title on spine. Lower corners and lower edge of the covers slightly worn and rubbed, few wormholes to the spine. A very good copy. Small stain in the upper margin of the title-page, skilfully repaired wormholes on the rear pastedown and flyleaves, one of which also affects the final plate, old reinforcing strips on the verso of some plates along the folds.

Provenance: the physician from Mantua Giuseppe Perego (ownership inscription on the front flyleaf, dated 1651); the renowned physician Luigi Francesco Castellani, born in Sermide, near Mantua (1727-1794; ownership inscription on the front flyleaf, dated 1752).

The first scientific study of the lymphatic system and the first book with anatomical illustrations printed in colour, in a fine copy in its original binding.

A Cremona-born professor of anatomy working in Pavia, Aselli discovered the lymphatic vessels of the small intestine (which absorb digested fats and control their entry into the lymphatic system) while engaged with experimental research, and called them 'lacteas, sive albas venas', owing to the fact that, if incised, these vellels released a fluid similar to milk. “In 1622, while performing vivisection on a dog, Aselli chanced upon the lacteal vessels. His De lactibus is a landmark in the history of anatomical illustration: it may well be the first publication to use colored illustrations in the service of scientific clarity” (Norman 76). The book was published posthumously, thanks to the efforts of the great patron of arts and science Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc (1580-1637; see no. 191), and dedicated to the Senate of Milan by Alessandro Tadini and Ludovico Settala.

The four chiaroscuro woodcut plates included in the publication are of the greatest importance in the history of scientific illustration. These are the first coloured anatomical illustrations ever printed. They use three colours – black, dark red, and light red – along with the natural white of the paper to distinguish the different types of vessels. The plates have been attributed to the outstanding Milanese engraver Cesare Bassano (1584-1648) and to his associate Domenico Falcini (1575-ca. 1632). Preparatory drawings and proofs for the plates are preserved at the College of Physicians in Philadelphia.

The present copy was owned, over the centuries, by two Italian physicians. The earliest, and nearly contemporary owner was Giuseppe Perego, who was active in Mantua in the second half of the seventeenth century. In the eighteenth century, the volume belonged to another well-known Mantuan physician, Luigi Francesco Castellani, who was the first to practice the inoculation of smallpox and wrote about the unhealthiness of rice fields and the non-contagious nature of pulmonary tuberculosis.

Aselli's De lactibus sive lacteis venis is an extremely rare book on the market, with only three copies having been sold at auction over the past fifty years.

STC 17th Century, p. 52; Choulant-Frank, p. 241; Cushing A-279; Garrison-Morton 1094; Heirs of Hippocrates 453; Lilly Library, Notable Medical Books 61; Norman 76; Osler 1846; Waller 502; Wellcome 6837; M. Grimm - C. Kleine-Tebbe - A. Stijnman (eds.), Lichtspiel und Farbenpracht. Entwicklungen des Farbdrucks 1500-1800. Aus den Beständen der Herzog August Bibliothek, no. 23; E. Savage, “Colour Printing in Relief before c. 1700. A Technical History”, A. Stijnman - E. Savage (eds.), Printing Colour 1400-1700: History, Techniques, Functions and Receptions, Leiden 2015, p. 35; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 192.

A fine association copy of the earliest work to contain a bibliographical entry devoted to Galileo

198. Allacci, Leone (ca. 1586-1669)

Apes Urbanae sive de viris illustribus, qui ab anno MDCXXX per totum MDCXXXII Romae abfuerunt, ac typis aliquid euulgarunt. Grignani Lodovico [Lodovico Grignani], 1633.

8° (176x115 mm). Collation: A-R8, [χ]2. 276 pages. Roman and italic type. Large engraved vignette with the Barberini coat of arms on the title-page. Woodcut decorated initials, head- and tailpieces. Contemporary vellum, over pasteboards. Smooth spine, with inked title on spine, and the number '31'. A good copy, slightly browned and waterstained (more prominant at the beginning), the last leaf of the index has a tear in the lower blank margin, without any loss. Later notes on the rear flyleaf and pastedown.

Provenance: gifted by the author himself to Giacomo Filippo Tomasini (1595-1655; address in Allacci's own hand on the title-page 'Jacobo Philippo Tomasino Roma misit Autor').

An exceptional presentation copy – given as a gift by the author to Giacomo Filippo Tomasini – of the first edition of the Apes Urbanae, the famous 'who's who' of men of letters, philosophers, and scientists living in Rome during the pontificate of Urban VIII, and perhaps the first such register of contemporary intellectuals ever published.

The leading Greek scholar Leone Allacci – a teacher at the Greek College in Rome who later became librarian for Cardinal Francesco Barberini and then custodian of the Vatican Library in 1661 – dedicated his work to the Pope's nephew Cardinal Antonio Barberini. The Apes Urbanae – literally 'Pope Urban VIII's bees' – represents a celebration of the Barberini family's multi-faceted cultural and artistic patronage and contains several hundred entries, arranged in alphabetical order by first name, as was customary for the time. The entries give short biographical information about the authors and provide a list of their writings. This is the earliest work to contain a bibliographical entry devoted to Galileo Galilei. The entry includes a list of his works, along with other figures who were influenced by him, such as Giulio Cesare Lagalla. As the preface is signed 13 February 1633, the entry could well have included the Dialogo (1632), although it does not. A manuscript of the Vatican Library (Vat. Lat. 7075) containing an earlier version of Allacci's work allows us to trace the significant changes that the entry on Galileo underwent before publication. These changes clearly reflect the ambiguous attitude of Maffeo Barberini towards Galileo, on whose celestial discoveries he had written a eulogy before distancing himself from the scientist and his heliocentrism. Allaccis's report turns from an initial exaltation of Galileo in the manuscript to an ambiguous and mutilated version in which the final eulogy was cut and the list of works left incomplete.

The volume was gifted by Allacci to Giacomo Filippo Tomasini (1595-1655), Bishop of Città Nuova, near Padua, and author in 1635 of the well-known Petrarch biography, the Petrarcha redivivus. Tomasini was a refined collector of portraits with a great interest in the long-established tradition of illustrated biographies, and in Padua in 1630 he had published the first volume of his Illustrium virorum elogia iconibus exornata (the second and a third volumes appeared in 1644 and 1647, respectively).

The personal and intellectual relationship between Allacci and Tomasini is evinced by their correspondence and collaboration for the publication of Cardano's Opera, edited by Gabriel Naudé (1661).

STC 17th Century, 21; Carli-Favaro, 134; T. Cerbu – M.-P. Lerner, “La disgrâce de Galilée dans les Apes Urbanae. Sur la fabrique du texte de Leone Allacci”, Nuncius, 15 (2000), pp. 589-610; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 198.

The first publication of the Inquisitorial sentence against Galileo

201. Polacco, Giorgio (1570-ca. 1650)

Anticopernicus catholicus, seu De terrae statione, et de solis motu, contra systema Copernicanum, Catholicae Assertiones.... Guerigli Press, 1644.

4° (230x166 mm). Collation: *4, A-M4, N6 (quire L signed K). [8], 107, [1] pages. Roman and italic type. Engraved diagram of the solar system on the title-page. Two engraved illustrations on fols. C1v and C2r, showing the moon and sun spots. Woodcut decorated initials and headpieces. Later bound 'alla rustica' (possibly a remboîtage). A good copy, uncut. Title-page slightly spotted, a few paper flaws. Small paper repairs to the inner margin of the title-page and to the last leaf, without any loss. Some pencilled and inked marginal notes written in an early hand.

Rare first edition of the 195 assertiones or theses by the Venetian priest Giorgio Polacco relating astronomy to the Bible and the teachings of the Catholic Church.

In this work, Polacco praises the condemnation of Copernicanism by the Church in 1616 and Galileo's forced recantation of 1633, while demonstrating the scope of his readings and deep erudition.

Further, and more importantly, the Anticopernicus catholicus contains the first publication of the full text – in its original Italian version – of the sentence issued by the Roman Inquisition against Galileo in June 1633, along with the subsequent abjuration of the Florentine scientist kneeled before the “most Eminent and Reverend Lord Cardinals, Inquisitors-General throughout the Christian Republic against heretical depravity”, the text of which is quoted by Polacco in its entirety (fols. I2v-K2v). Both texts were until then known only through printed flyers that had escaped Inquisitorial control or in circulated abridgements or summaries in Latin and French, such as the French translation included by Marin Mersenne in his Questions theologiques of 1634.

STC 17th Century, 693; Bruni-Evans 4171; Carli-Favaro 202; Cinti 113; Riccardi II, 290; A. Poppi, “Astronomia e Bibbia nell' 'Anticopernicus catholicus' di Giorgio Polacco 1644”, Idem, Ricerche sulla teologia e la scienza nella Scuola padovana del Cinque e Seicento, Catanzaro 2001, pp. 231-244; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 201.

The first original work on obstetrics published in England by an Englishman — Hagelin

203. Harvey, William (1578-1657)

Exercitationes de generatione animalium. Quibus accedunt quaedam de partu: de membranis ac humoribus uteri: & de conceptione. William Dugard for Octavian Pulleyn the Elder [Elzevier], 1651.

4° (225x159 mm). Collation: [π]4, a4, B-Z4, Aa-Ss4. [32], 301, [3] pages. Complete with the blank leaves [π]1, C4, and Ss4. Roman and italic type. Engraved frontispiece on fol. [π]2v, showing Jove seated on a pedestal, opening an egg to release all of creation, with the inscription 'Gulielmus Harveus de Generatione Animalium'. Woodcut ornament on the title-page, decorated initials, and headpieces. Contemporary calf, unidentified gilt coat of arms at the centre of the covers, with the motto, only partly legible, 'TOTA SS MF ED PAS'. Spine with five raised bands, inked title on paper label and the letters 'pb' in gilt at the foot. Joints cracked. A good copy. Browned throughout owing to the paper quality, upper margins of the last quires slightly spotted.

Provenance: old library stamp on the recto of the frontispiece leaf (faded); Giorgio Borio (ex-libris on the front pastedown).

The very rare first edition of Harvey's most important work on conception, embryology, and birth, the text of the chapter De partu being the first original English work on obstetrics. A book which has an important place in the history of science.

“After the publication of De motu cordis, Harvey turned his attention to the study of generation. Even if Harvey had not discovered the circulation of the blood, his remarkable work on embryology would have placed him in the front ranks of biological scientists. Without benefit of the compound microscope, his work was necessarily limited; nevertheless, nothing comparable had been done since Aristotle. He disbelieved the previously held doctrine of 'preformation' of the fetus, maintaining instead that it proceeds from the ovum by gradual building up of its parts. Always slow to publicize his findings, Harvey was only after some years persuaded by his friend, Sir Georg Ent, to put them into print” (Heirs of Hippocrates, 271).

The work is divided into seventy-two exercitationes or chapters (in this first edition misnumbered seventy-one, the fifth chapter being numbered as the fourth), and collects notes and observations on generation which Harvey had assembled between 1628 and 1642. Three subsequent editions, in smaller format, followed in the same year in Holland, issued by Daniel Elzevier. The first translation into English appeared in London in 1653.

Although the original intention was to include Harvey's portrait, the engraved allegorical frontispiece shows Jove seated on a pedestal, opening an egg and releasing a variety of animal forms; in the background is a landscape with buildings, and on the egg is the famous inscription 'EX OVO OMNIA', i.e., 'all things from an egg'. This engraving is often lacking in the known copies. Keynes suggests the name of Richard Gaywood as the possible author of this frontispiece.

Wing H-1091; G. Keynes, Bibliography of the Writings of W. Harvey, 34; Garrison-Morton 467; Norman 1011; Waller 4118; Wellcome II, p. 219; G. Keynes, The Life of William Harvey, Oxford 1978, pp. 329-360; W. Harvey, Disputations Touching the Generation of Animals. ed. by G. Whitteridge, Oxford-London 1981; B.P.M. Dongelmans - P.G. Hoftijzer, Boekverkopers van Europe. Het 17de-eeuwse Nederlandse uitgevershuis Elzevier, Zutphen 2000, pp. 197, 200; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 203.

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