Association Copies and Great Provenances Philobiblon

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

A Typographical Monument

1. Aurelius Augustinus (354-430)

De Civitate Dei. Conradus Sweynheym and Arnoldus Pannartz, in the house of Petrus de Maximo, 1468.

Folio (400x280 mm). Collation: *8, **8, a-m10, n12, 710, cum8, rum8. 273 of [274] leaves, lacking the last blank. Complete with the other blank leaves, fols. *1, **8, and rum7. Text in one column, 46 lines. Type: 115R. Fine illuminated white vinestem border on fol. a1r, including two large initials 'I' and 'G' illuminated in gold, and in lower panel the arms of Cardinal Niccolò Fieschi, with the manuscript inscription 'nic. car. de flisco.'. Twenty-one illuminated initials in gold on white vinestem panels; capital letters touched with red in text, and with yellow in the Tabula. In the first half of the volume the numbers and headings of the chapters have been supplied in contemporary script, in the second half the numbers only have been written in the upper margins. Nineteenth-century English vellum over pasteboards; covers within double border of gilt fillets, with yapp edges. Spine richly gilt tooled, title in gilt on hazel morocco lettering-piece. Vellum pastedowns and flyleaves. A large and fine copy.

Provenance: Cardinal Niccolò Fieschi (1456-1524; coat of arms and ownership inscription on the recto of fol. a1, 'nic. car. de flisco'); from the library of the St. Wenceslas cathedral in Olomouc, North Moravia (ownership inscription on the recto of the first leaf); the British publisher John Murray III (1808-1892), from the London booksellers Frederick Startridge Ellis & David White in 1882 (their letter offering the book to Murray is inserted); Murray's sale at Sotheby's London, Catalogue of Valuable Printed Books Autograph Letters, Literary and Musical Manuscripts comprising... a finely illuminated Copy of St. Augustine, De Civitate Dei, Sweynheym and Pannartz, 1468, London 1963; sold to John Francis Fleming (1910-1987); the collector and bookseller Abraham Simon Wolf Rosenbach (1876-1952).

Remarkable wide-margined and illuminated copy of the rare second edition of De Civitate Dei – the first printed in Rome –, one of the most influential works of Western thought, completed by the bishop Augustine of Hippo in the year 426.

The book was printed by the German clerics Conradus Sweynheym and Arnoldus Pannartz, who had worked for Johann Gutenberg in Mainz and had introduced printing to Italy in 1465 through their first press at the Benedictine monastery of Subiaco, some forty miles east of Rome.

The first edition of the treatise appeared on 12 June 1467 in Subiaco by the two proto-typographers, who in the same year moved to Rome at the behest of Cardinal Bessarion and the bishop of Aleria and papal secretary Giovanni Andrea Bussi. The De Civitate Dei is one of their first printed books, issued from the new press in Rome – 'In domo Petri de Maximo', as stated in the colophon – established in the house of Pietro de' Massimi near Piazza Navona. In Rome, Sweynheym and Pannartz published a long list of classics and Church Fathers, handsome folio editions with a print run of 250-300 copies. Fifty-one editions, including a third edition of the De Civitate Dei in 1470, are recorded from this Roman press, which remained active until 1473. The volumes are set in a new roman type, replacing the gothic font used by the German printers in Subiaco.

The exquisite white vinestem decoration in the present copy is in a style often seen in manuscripts and incunabula produced in Rome in the late 1460s, and would thus appear to have been executed by a Roman artist, possibly working in the same atelier that often collaborated with Sweynheym and Pannartz. As shown by the coat of arms painted on the opening leaf of text, the earliest recorded owner of this volume was Niccolò Fieschi (1456-1524), who came from a prominent Genoese family. He was appointed Cardinal by Pope Alexander VI in 1503, and died as Archbishop of Ravenna in 1524. In 1882, the volume was bought by the renowned British publisher John Murray.

A letter from the London bookseller Ellis to Murray, dated 20 January 1882, is inserted in the volume:

Dear Sir
As you said some time ago that you would like to secure from time to time fine specimens of Early Typography I send a volume for your inspection. It is a magnificent specimen of the Early Roman press being the 4th book printed in that city by Sweynheym & Pannartz the introducers of printing there. By the Arms on the 15th leaf you will see that it belonged to Cardinal de Flisco, who was Cardinal during the Pontificate of Paul II.
Subsequently it belonged to the Cathedral of Olmutz in Bohemia, whence it was lately purchased. The illumination of the first page & the initial letter of each book will I think commend themselves to you as extremely beautiful examples of Italian design. At the Sunderland sale a very inferior copy sold for £ 101 - & is since priced by Quaritch at £ 150 – and some years since the late M.r Huth gave for a copy in fine old binding no less than £ 400. You can give this volume for £ 80. [...] P.S. I have ascertained that not only is it perfect, but it contains two more leaves than Brunet describes and one more than mentioned in Hain's Repertorium, besides the two original blank leaves.

HC 2047; GW 2875; BMC IV, 5; IGI 967; Goff A-1231; M. Palumbo - E. Sidoli (eds.), The Books that Made Europe, Bruxelles 2106, pp. 24 25; M. Miglio - C. Frova, “Dal ms Sublacense all'editio princeps del De Civitate Dei di sant'Agostino (Hain 2046)”, C. Bianca, P. Farenga et al. (eds.), Scritture, biblioteche e stampa a Roma nel Quattrocento. Aspetti e problemi. Atti del Seminario 1-2 giugno 1979, Città del Vaticano 1980, pp. 245-273; E. Hall, Sweynheim & Pannartz and the Origins of Printing in Italy, German Technology and Italian Humanism, McMinnville, OR 1991; P. Farenga, “Le vie della stampa: da Subiaco a Roma”, Subiaco, la culla della stampa. Atti dei Convegni Abbazia di Santa Scolastica, 2006-2007, Roma 2010, pp. 39-52; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 9.

From the library of Benedetto Varchi

4. Dionysius Halicarnaseus (ca. 60–after 7 BC)

Antiquitates Romanae. Bernardinus Celerius, 24 or 25 February 1480.

Folio (289x196 mm). Collation: [110, 2-78, 8-96, 10–238, 24-378, 386]. [300] leaves, complete with the final blank. Text in one column, 37 lines. Type: 1:113R. Blank spaces for capitals, with no guide letters. Early nineteenth-century vellum over pasteboards. Smooth spine attractively gilt tooled, title and imprint in gilt on double lettering-piece. A good copy, marginal soiling and staining to opening leaves. The outer blank margin of the last quires waterstained.

Provenance: the Florentine humanist Benedetto Varchi (1503-1565; ownership inscription on the recto of first leaf, marginalia and underlining in the first two quires in his own hand); the Florentine diplomat Pandolfo Attavanti (sixteenth-century ownership inscription on the recto of first leaf); the Tuscan scholar Alemanno Orsucci (eighteenth-century ownership inscription on the recto of first leaf); Kenneth Rapoport (ex-libris on the front pastedown).

First edition of Greek historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus' narrative of the history of Rome from its beginnings to the First Punic War, in a precious copy once owned by the Florentine humanist Benedetto Varchi.

In his postscript, the translator, Lapus Biragus of Milan (the suffix 'Flor'[entinus] was erroneously added to his name in this edition), states that he based his Latin translation on two manuscripts from the library of Pope Paul II, to whom the edition is dedicated. The translation was probably carried out in 1469 as the papal archives record that during that year the Pope paid a scribe to make a copy of a manuscript by Dionysius.

This edition was the first dated book to be issued from the Treviso press of the itinerant printer Bernardinus Celerius from Lovere; it was his third press overall, set up after brief printing stints in Venice and Padua. He printed only a few books at Treviso (Goff and Hain-Copinger list four, Rhodes five), where he was active between 24 February and 18 September 1480, before returning to Venice at the end of 1480. At least six variant issues of Dionysius' colophon and the paragraph preceding it have been recorded, but no priority of issue has been established.

The present copy is enriched by a highly interesting provenance, as it comes from the library of the distinguished humanist Benedetto Varchi, one of the leading sixteenth-century Florentine scholars, whose intellectual interests varied from lyrical, pastoral, and spiritual poetry to Dante studies, history to philosophy, linguistic theory to aesthetics, and even alchemy and Pythagorean numerology. He assembled a great book collection, whose inventories are today preserved in the National Library of Florence (ms II.VIII.142; Filze Rinuccini 11, fols. 266-343). For other books from Varchi's library see nos. 81 and 104 in the second volume of this catalogue.

HC *6239; GW 8423; BMC VI, 895; IGI 3484; Goff D-250; Rhodes Treviso, 79; Flodr Dionysius Halicarnaseus, 1; M. Prunai Falciani, “Manoscritti e libri appartenuti al Varchi nella Biblioteca Riccardiana di Firenze”, Accademie e biblioteche d'Italia, 53 (1985), pp. 14-29; A. Sorella, “La Biblioteca Varchi”, B. Varchi, L'Ercolano, ed. A. Sorella, Pescara 1995, pp. 155-166; R. Norbedo, “Alcuni libri posseduti da Benedetto Varchi”, Lettere italiane 56 (2004), pp. 462-467; P. Scapecchi, “Ricerche sulla biblioteca di Varchi con una lista di volumi da lui posseduti”, V. Bramanti (ed.), Benedetto Varchi 1503-1565, Roma 2007, pp. 309-318; Autografi di letterati italiani. Il Cinquecento, Roma 2009, pp. 337-351; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 23.

Living in Platonic Style

5. Ficino, Marsilio (1433-1499)

De vita libri tres (De triplici vita); Apologia; Quod necessaria sit ad vitam securitas. Add: Poem by Amerigus Corsinus. Antonio di Bartolomeo Miscomini, 3 December 1489.

Folio (257x187 mm). Collation [*]2, a-d8, e6, f-k8, l6, m4. [90] leaves. Text in one column (the tables in two columns), 32 lines. Type: 112R. Four lines of gilt letterpress at the head of the text on the recto of fol. a2. Woodcut printer's device on colophon. Blank spaces for capitals, with printed guide letters. Eighteenth-century red crushed morocco, covers within three-line gilt-ruled border. Spine gilt tooled, with stemmed acorns, circlets, crescent handles, and stars. Gilt edges. A fine, wide-margined copy. A blind stamp touching two letters of text.

Provenance: Wigan Free Public Library, United Kingdom (embossed stamps on four leaves); deaccessioned by 2002 at the latest.

First edition, presented in a fine, wide-margined copy, of this influential medical-astrological treatise by the leading Platonic philosopher Marsilio Ficino, famous for his translations into Latin of the Corpus Hermeticum, and of Plato, first published in 1484. As the eldest son of the physician to the Medici family, Marsilio also received a professional training in medicine and natural philosophy.

The work is divided into three books (Lib. I. De vita sana; Lib. II. De vita longa; Lib. III. De via coelitus comparanda) and dedicated, at the beginning of the second Book, to the wealthy Florentine nobleman Filippo Valori, who paid for the printing. Ficino deals here with health and diet, touching on magic and astrology, especially in the short writing appended to De triplici vita – the Apologia quaedam, in qua de medicina, astrologia, ac vita mundi – addressed, on 15 September 1489, to the so-called 'three Pieros', i.e., Piero del Nero, Piero Guicciardini, and Piero Soderini. The work had a complex redaction. The first Book dates to 1480 and was originally part of Ficino's epistles, the third Book was composed between 1486 and 10 July 1489, and the second Book was written between August and October of 1489.

“He begins by advising students on relieving the melancholy, and Ficino recommends health and dietary measures to temper its influences. But it is in the third book, entitled 'De vita coelitus comparanda', that Ficino goes beyond the common medical-astrological astral influence. Building on the Platonic tripartite division of intellect, soul and body, Ficino introduces the originally Stoic concept of 'spiritus mundi' which is composed of the four earthly elements plus the divine 'aether', or cosmic spirit” (M. L. Ford, Christ, Plato, Hermes Trismegistus, Amsterdam 1990, 1, p. 179).

The De triplici vita enjoyed wide and enduring popularity. Its influence is detectable in numerous other works produced in the Renaissance, and was an important source for Paracelsus's De vita longa as well as for the famous engraving Melancholia executed by Albrecht Dürer.

The first lines of text on fol. a2r are set in capital letters and exceptionally in this copy printed in gold, a technique first introduced by the leading Augsburg printer Erhard Ratdolt, who moved to Venice in 1476, for printing the prefatory epistle in two dedication copies of his Euclid of 1486.

HC (+Add) 7065*; GW 9882; BMC VI, 639; IGI 3868; Goff F-158; Rhodes Firenze, 299; P. O. Kristeller, Marsilio Ficino and his Work after 500 Years, Firenze 1987; M. Ficino, Three Books on Life, ed. by C. V. Kashe, and J. R. Clark, Binghamton, NY, 1989; D. Laube, “The Stylistic Development of German Book Illustration, 1460-1511”, 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 2004, p. 55; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 30.

From the library of Franchino Gaffurio, musicus and phonascus

6. Perotti, Niccolò (ca. 1430-1480)

Cornucopiae linguae Latinae. Baptista de Tortis, 19 October 1490.

Folio (307x212 mm). Collation: A-B8, a-z8, &8, cum8, rum8, A-O6. [16], 291, [1] leaves. Complete with the last leaf blank, often lacking in the recorded copies. Text in one column, 64 lines. Type: 78R, 78Gk. On the lower margin of fol. a3r coat of arms in full colour, with extensions of acanthus leaves in maroon, green, red, and blue, and with the initials 'fg' added later. Half-vellum, boards covered with a fifteenth-century manuscript leaf, lettering-piece on upper cover. A very good copy, some pale waterstains, mostly marginal, in the first half and near end; slight, marginal wormholes in the first two quires.

Provenance: from the library of Franchino Gaffurio (1451 1522; ownership inscriptions on fol. B8v, 'Liber Franchini Gafurij laudinesis Regij musici / corteque mediolanensis phonasci/', and purchase note on fol. O5v, dated 16 January 1494).

Third edition of Perotti's Cornucopiae, presented here in a fine copy which once belonged to the renowned Renaissance music theorist, musician at the Sforza court, and choirmaster or maestro di cappella at the Duomo of Milan, Franchino Gaffurio.

Born in Sassoferrato, in the Marche region of Italy, Niccolò Perotti was a pupil of Vittorino da Feltre and Guarino Veronese, and he became secretary for Cardinal Bessarion in 1447. His Cornucopiae linguae Latinae was first published by Paganino Paganini in 1489 and enjoyed immediate success. Written as a commentary on Book I of Martial, it became a standard reference on the Latin language and a sort of encyclopaedia of the classical world. The work was later revised and expanded by Perotti's son Pyrrhus.

This precious volume comes from the library of the musicus and phonascus Franchino Gaffurio (or Gafori). Born in Lodi to an aristocratic family, the young Gaffurio entered a Benedictine monastery where he acquired early musical training. He later became a priest and lived in Mantua and Verona before settling in Milan as the local cathedral's maestro di cappella, a position he held from 1484 until his death in 1522. Gaffurio showed a strong humanist bent, and met composers from all over Europe; in Milan alone he made the acquaintance of Leonardo da Vinci (see no. 68) as well as Josquin Desprez, the greatest composer of the period.

An autograph note on fol. O5v states that Gaffurio acquired the present copy of Perotti's Cornucopiae on 16 January 1494, for a sum of 3 1⁄2 lire, possibly as an aid for the preparation of his Practica musicae, which first appeared in 1496, or his teaching. This annotation recording the purchase of the book shows the distinctive features of his youthful hand and can be compared with an autograph document dated 1495 and published by Gaetano Cesari. However, the second annotation visible here – an ownership inscription on fol. B8v, in which he describes himself as 'royal musician and singer (phonascus) of the church of Milan' – is written in the more trembling hand typical of his later life, as evinced by a letter dated 1520, also edited by Cesari. The title of the treatise by Perotti is entered in the inventory drawn up in 1518, when Gaffurio gifted his library (or a part of it) to the Church of the Incoronata in his hometown of Lodi, whose Schola had been founded in 1511. In 1694 the library of the 'Tempio dell'Incoronata' was dispersed, and partly sold to the Oratorian monastery located in the town. Only a few volumes once owned by Gaffurio have been discovered among the collections of the Biblioteca Laudense at Lodi.

H 12698; GW M31105; BMC V, 326; IGI 7421; Goff P-290; J.-L. Charlet, “Observations sur certaines éditions du Cornucopiae de Niccolò Perotti (1489-1500)”, Res Publica Litterarum, 11 (1988), pp. 83-96; G. Cesari, “Musica e musicisti alla Corte sforzesca”, F. Malaguzzi Valeri, La corte di Ludovico il Moro, IV (1923), p. 210; F. Fano, “Vita e attività del musico teorico e pratico Francino Gaffurio da Lodi”, Arte Lombarda, 15/2 (1970), pp. 49-62; E. Motta, “I libri della chiesa dell'Incoronata di Lodi nel 1518”, Il libro e la stampa, 1 (1970), pp. 105-112; A. Novasconi, L'Incoronata di Lodi, Lodi 1974, esp. pp. 19-42; R. Auletta Marrucci (ed.), L'Incoronata. Il Tempio di Lodi, Lodi 1995; M. Pantarotto, “Per la biblioteca di Franchino Gaffurio: i manoscritti laudensi”, Scripta, 5 (2012), pp. 111-118; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 31.

A spectacular illuminated copy

7. Hieronymus, Sophronius Eusebius (347-420)

Epistolae [Italian]. Add: Lupus de Oliveto (Olmeto): Regula monachorum ex Epistolis S. Hieronymi excerpta [Italian] De la observatione del culto de la vera religione (Tr: Mattheo da Ferrara). Laurentius de Rubeis, de Valentia, 12 October 1497.

Folio (300x206 mm). Collation: a10, b-m8, n-o6, p-r8, s6, t8, u6, x8, y-z6, &6, cum6, rum6, A-N6. [1], CCLXIX, [1] leaves. Text in two columns, 46-50 lines. Type: 6:105R. Xylographic title-page. Full-page woodcuts on fols. a2v and K3v, two four-sided borders on fols. a3r and K4r, and 161 woodcut vignettes, all illuminated by a contemporary Ferrarese artist. Vinestem illuminated initials throughout, on gold, pink, blue or green ground. Rubricated in red, blue, green, or gold. Eighteenth-century gilt-tooled calf, over pasteboards. Covers within two gilt floral friezes, large foliate tool at each inner corner of the central space. Spine with five raised bands, compartments decorated with floral motifs in gilt, title in gold on green morocco lettering-piece. Marbled pastedowns and flyleaves. Edges painted green. Extremities of the spine, and joints slightly rubbed. A very good copy, slightly foxed and spotted in places, the first two leaves somewhat browned. The gold illumination showing through slightly on the verso.

Provenance: possibly from the Ferrarese clarissan monastery of the Corpus Domini (the illuminated device in the border of fol. K4r, see below).

One of the highest achievements in print of the tradition of Ferrarese illustration, in a spectacular illuminated copy. It is also the only illustrated edition of St. Jerome's Epistolae of the fifteenth or early sixteenth centuries, and the only fifteenth-century edition in Italian vernacular. All the woodcuts are original to this edition. “The most attractive of all the Ferrarese illustrations are contained in the Epistles of St. Jerome, printed by Laurentius de Rubeis [...] Their author is evidently inspired by the 'popular' designer at Venice [...] The artist is a most conscious humorist in the wonderful variety of facial expression he gives to St. Jerome's lion, offering its naive comment on the various episodes of the saint's life. As illustrations of contemporary custom, the woodcuts in the last section of the book, dealing with the rules of monastic life, are peculiarly interesting” (A. M. Hind, An Introduction to a History of Woodcut II, p. 510). The architectural borders include elements recalling the style of the Venetian artist konwn as the Pico Master. Three hundred copies of the book were printed, 294 of which were shared by the printer and Giacomo Albertini, a Carmelite friar of the monastery of St. Paul, who paid 40 gold ducates for the paper; the six remaining copies were presentation copies, given to the court of Ercole I d'Este. In the present copy, all the borders as well as the 161 woodcuts were illuminated by a contemporary Ferrarese artist, and there are more than two hundred vinestem initials.

Further, the lower panel of illuminated border on fol. K4r – introducing the Regula monachorum ex Epistolis S. Hieronymi – includes, in a circular frame, a device depicting a calix surmounted by the holy bread: this device might be referred to the Ferrarese clarissan monastery of the Corpus Domini (also called Corpus Christi), which was of the greatest importance for the House of Este, having been over centuries the burial-place of the family, including Ercole I, while members of the house were nuns there, e.g., Eleonora, a daughter of Ercole. The Duke himself could possibly have gifted this magnificently illuminated copy to the monastery, as a sign of religious patronage.

The present copy is in the issue without – like the greatest part of the copies known – the four added preliminary leaves containing the life of St. Jerome. It also include, on fol. a2v, the large woodcut of St. Jerome writing, in some copies replaced by printed dedications respectively to Duke Ercole I, dated to 1494 (e.g., the copy, bound for Duchess of Urbino Eleonora of Aragon, passed in the Rahir sale of 1931, while another copy is now located in the Pierpont Morgan Library), to Duchess of Ferrara Eleonora and her daughter Isabella (as in the copy owned by the State Library in Munich), and to the Doge Agostino Barbarigo, both dated to 1495.

HC 8566; GW 12437; BMC VI, 614; IGI 4746; Goff H-178; G. Antonelli, Ricerche bibliografiche sulle edizioni ferraresi del secolo XV, Ferrara 1830, no. 82: A. Nuovo, Il commercio librario a Ferrara tra XV e XVI secolo, Firenze 1998, pp. 57-82; Sander 3404; A. M. Hind, An Introduction to a History of Woodcut, London 1935, 2, pp. 509-512; L. Armstrong, “The Pico Master: A Venetian Miniaturist of the Late Quattrocento”, Eadem, Studies of Renaissance Miniaturists in Venice, 1, pp. 233-338; D. De Simone, “The Woodcut in Ferrara in the Late Fifteenth Century”, R. H. Jackson - C. Z. Rothkopf (eds.), Book Talk: Essays on Books, Booksellers, Collecting, and Special Collections, New Castle, DE 2006, pp. 57-68; T. Lombardi, Gli Estensi ed il Monastero del Corpus Domini di Ferrara, Ferrara 1980; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 39.


10. [Cinderella]. Geiler von Kaysersberg, Johannes (1445-1510)

Das irrig Schaf. Sagt von kleinmuetikeit und verzweiflung... mit sampt den nachvolgenden tractaten.... Matthias Schürer, [ca. 1510].

Seven parts in one volume in small 4o (196x139 mm). Collation: A8, B-C4, D8, E-F4, G6, H4; a8, b-c4, d8, e4, f6; aa6, bb8, cc-dd4, ee8; Aa6, Bb8, Cc6, Dd4 (Dd2 signed Dd3), Ee4, Ff8; (a-(b8, (c-(d6; (A6, (B4; AA4, BB6, CC4, DD4, EE6. [204] leaves, complete with all five blank leaves (fols H4, ee8, (d6, (B4, and EE6). Gothic type. Title and six sectional titles with woodcuts. Blank spaces for capitals, with printed guide letters. First five quires rubricated in red, Lombard initials painted in red, in a contemporary hand. Contemporary blind-stamped, pink-stained half pigskin and wooden boards. One brass clasp, lacking the tip of the catch. Spine with three double raised bands. The lower wooden board slightly wormed. A good copy, small repair to the upper margin of the first leaf. Some wormholes mostly to the outer margin, occasionally affecting partial letters but not legibility. The woodcut is slightly offset on the separate title-pages. Some contemporary Latin marginalia, in an early hand, and a note on the verso of the front flyleaf, no longer legible.

Provenance: Arthur and Charlotte Vershbow, acquired from Gilhofer & Ranschberg, 1983 (ex-libris on the front pastedown; see The Collection of Arthur & Charlotte Vershbow, Christie's New York, 9-10 April 2013, lot 186).

First edition of seven small tracts adapted into German by the Swiss-born Johannes Geiler von Kaysersberg, preacher at the Strasbourg Cathedral, from the moral sermons of theologian Jean Gerson (1363-1429) whose works he had edited from 1488 to 1502. Geiler “was a populariser rather than an original thinker and, as such, an ideal diffuser of Gerson's thought. [...] Geiler's preference to translate almost exclusively Gerson's works addressed to simple people ‘sans lettres' rather than his learned scholastic treatises, also reflects his priorities as a parish priest dealing with daily needs of ordinary people” (Y. Mazour-Matusevich, “Jean Gerson's Legacy in Tübingen and Strasbourg”, p. 264).

The Strasbourg edition contains one of the earliest printed versions of the enormously popular fairy tale of Cinderella, included here under the title Der Eschen Grüdel, Von den anfaßenden möenschen in dem gots dienst, and considered a forerunner of the Aschenputtel by the Brothers Grimm. Each of the seven short treatises in this collection is introduced by a sectional title bearing a woodcut vignette; the woodcut on the title of Der Eschen Gründel depicts an unhappy young girl by a fireplace and is indeed considered one of the earliest illustrations of Cinderella herself, the protagonist of that celebrated fable.

The other treatises include Das irrig Schaf (a significantly enlarged version of Gerson's De remediis), Der Hellisch Low, Die Christenlich Künigin, Der dreieckecht Spiegel, Das Klappermaul, and Der Trostspiegel. The woodcut on the title of Der dreieckecht is signed with the letters 'H G', a monogram which has tentatively been attributed to different artists active in Strasbourg at that time, such as Hans Baldung Grien, Hans Grüninger, and Hieronymus Greff.

Adams G-320; VD16 G-764; STC German 335; Panzer, Annalen 670; Ritter Repertoire, 1078; Schmidt 43; P. Kristeller, Die Strassburger Bücher-Illustration im XV. und im Anfange des XVI. Jahrhunderts, Leipzig 1988, *528; L. Dacheux Die ältesten Schriften Geilers, Freiburg i.B. 1882, p. 47; R. Muther, German Book Illustration of the Gothic Period and the Early Renaissance (1460-1530), Metuchen, NJ, 1972, p. 194; Y. Mazour-Matusevich, “Jean Gerson's Legacy in Tübingen and Strasbourg”. The Medieval History Journal, 13 (2010), pp. 259-286; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 54.

Rare example of a Neapolitan 'speaking-binding' with lettering on the lower cover

11. Sabellicus, Marcus Antonius Coccius (1436-1506)

Rapsodiae historiarum Enneadum... ab orbe condito pars prima (-posterior) quinque complectens Enneades. Josse Bade for Jean Petit, 5 January 1513 – 1 March 1516.

Two volumes, folio (321x205 mm). Collation: I. ã12, ê10, a-z8, A-Z8, &8, cum8, rum10. [22], CCCXCIIII leaves. II. ãã10, ê8, aa-qq8, rr10, ss-zz8, AA-VV8, XX10. [18], CCCLV [i.e. CCCLVI] leaves. Complete with the last leaf blank. Roman and gothic type. Title-pages printed in red and black, framed within woodcut architectural border. Bade's device of a printer's press on each title-page. Woodcut decorated and animated initials on criblé ground throughout, several on fourteen lines. Fine uniform contemporary, probably Neapolitan gilt-tooled red morocco, over pasteboards. Tooled in blind and gold to a panel design, broad gilt border formed from repeated impressions of a 'peacock's tail' motif, central gilt arabesque, small floral tools at inner and outer corners of border, lower covers lettered in gilt 'ENNEADVM SABELLICI PARS PRIOR.' and 'ENNEADVM SABELLICI PARS POSTERIOR' respectively. Remains of four pairs of ties, edges speckled in red and blue. Slightly rubbed, skilful repairs at foot of spines and corners, small areas of re-gilding. A very fine, wide-margined copy, a few spots and foxing in places. Waterstain to the last leaves of the first volume; in the second volume, small repair to the blank lower corner of the front flyleaf and title-page. A few paper flaws, some minor spots and stains.

Provenance: Giorgio Teodoro Trivulzio, Count of Melzo (1542–1612; ownership inscription on the title-page of each volume, 'Georgius Triuultius'; repeated on fol. a1r of the first volume, and on fol. aa1r of the second one).

A superb, wide-margined copy – in an exquisite contemporary Italian speaking-binding – of this monumental world history since the Creation, written by the fifteenth- century Venetian Marco Antonio Coccio Sabellico. The first part of the Enneades ab orbe condito was originally published in Venice in 1498, and the author subsequently wrote a continuation up until 1504. Josse Bade had first printed the work in 1509; this second edition was printed between 1513 and 1516, and opens with his prefatory epistle to Guillaume Petit, already appended to the publication of 1509. The title-pages are framed within a fine Roman portico with two sculptured columns, with antique elements, such as vases, Roman heads copied from coins, mythological animals, and cuirasses. Apart from the upper panel, this title-border is identical to the architectural frame first seen in the Cicero printed by Bade in 1511 – the first Renaissance title-border used in Paris – which reproduces the border first used for Livius' Decades, printed in Venice in 1493.

The volumes are in their original, richly gilt-tooled binding. De Marinis describes a very similar binding on a Cyrillus Alexandrinus (Paris 1508) now in the Museo Civico di Arte Antica, Turin. It is assigned to Naples, and displays the same 'peacock's tail' tool, along with similar lettering on the lower cover (Legatura artistica in Italia, T, no. 272, pl. LIII). The provenance of the volumes is highly distinguished: they once belonged to the nobleman Giorgio Teodoro Trivulzio, of one of the most illustrious Milanese families. He was a member of the College of Jurisconsults of Milan and became a senator in 1571 (for another book once belonging to him see no. 53).

Renouard Bade, pp. 224-226; Imprimeurs et Libraires II, 230; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 57.

The Fairfaix Murray, Martini, Olschki, Brunschwig, and Berès copy

12. Forti, Girolamo (d. 1489)

Inamoramento de’ Rinaldo de monte Albano et diuerse ferocissime battaglie leq[ua]le fece lardito et francho Paladino et come occise Ma[m]brino di Leuante et moltissimi forti pagani.... Giovanni Tacuino, 8 August 1517.

4° (214x158 mm). Collation: a-y8, z4. [180] leaves, complete with the last leaf blank. Gothic and roman type. Text in two columns. On the title-page, a large woodcut medallion portrait of Rinaldo on horseback. Numerous woodcut vignettes in text, some on black ground. Nineteenth-century red morocco over pasteboards, signed on the front pastedown by Georges Trautz-Bauzonnet (1808-1879). Covers within triple gilt fillet. Spine with five raised bands, compartments gilt tooled, title lettered in gilt. Marbled pastedowns and flyleaves, inside dentelles. Blue silk bookmark, gilt edges. A fine, well-margined copy. Title-page and a few leaves slightly browned, minor loss to the lower blank margin of fol. N4, not affecting the text.

Provenance: Charles Fairfax Murray (1849-1919; see A List of Printed Books in the Library of Charles Fairfax Murray, [London] 1907, p. 199); Giuseppe Martini (1870-1944); Leo S. Olschki (Rome, 15 April 1927); Sylvain S. Brunschwig (ex-libris; see sale Nicolas Rauch, Bibliothèque Sylvain S. Brunschwig: Incunables et seizième siècle, Genève, 28-30 March 1955, lot 259); Pierre Berès.

Very rare edition of the Italian translation in verses – attributed to Teramo humanist Girolamo Forti – of the story of Renaud de Montauban, part of the French cycle of the Quatre fils of Aymon of Dordogne. This chivalric poem was first composed in Alexandrine verse in the thirteenth century, and the narrative of the adventures and exploits of Rinaldo da Montalbano enjoyed ever-increasing popularity in Italy from the late fourteenth century, where it developed in different versions, both in verse and in prose. “Renaissance Italians loved chivalric romances as much or more than any other European people [...] Soon Italian minstrels dressed Roland and Charlemagne in Italian armor. Then they created new knights and maidens to accompany the heroes of Roncisvalle, and sent all of them forth on an endless road of adventure” (P. Grendler, “Form and Function of Italian Renaissance Popular Books”, p. 472). Rinaldo's story appeared first in print in Naples in about 1475. Numerous editions followed in the earliest decades of the sixteenth century, generally of extraordinary rarity and mostly known through a single copy.

The edition of 1517 is based on the Rinaldo issued by the Venetian Melchiorre Sessa in 1515, from which is also derived the fine woodcut printed on the title-page as well as most of the vignettes in the text. The present copy is exceptionally complete. In fact, the only other traceable copy of the Tacuino publication, which once belonged to Essling and Bonfiglioli, is preserved in the Yale University Library and is lacking two leaves. The copy listed by Melzi and Tosi – bound with the Bindoni edition of Pietro Durante's Leandra (1517) – was later offered by the Parisian bookseller Edwin Tross (1822-1875) in his Catalogue no. 19 for the sum of 300 francs (no. 2532) and has since then disappeared.

Melzi-Tosi, p. 256; Essling 1859; Sander 6496; N. Harris, “Marin Sanudo, Forerunner of Melzi”, La Bibliofilia, 95 (1993), pp. 1-37, 101-145, 96 (1994), pp. 15-42; E. Melli (ed.), I cantari di Rinaldo da Monte Albano, Bologna 1973, esp. pp. XXXII-XXXIV; E. Melli, “Nella selva dei 'Rinaldi'. Poemetti su Rinaldo da Mont'Albano in antiche edizioni a stampa”, Studi e problemi di critica testuale, 16 (1978), pp. 193-215; G. Petrella, À la chasse au bonheur. I libri ritrovati di Renzo Bonfiglioli e altri episodi di storia del collezionismo italiano del Novecento, Firenze 2016, pp. 165-166 (mentioning this copy as lost); P. Grendler, “Form and Function in Italian Renaissance Popular Books”, Idem, Studies in Medieval and Renaissance History, Brookfield, VT 1995, pp. 451-485; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 65.

Franchinus Gafurius laudensis Regius musicus corteque mediolanensis phonascus Amico Ambatiae, Viro honoratissimo

13. Gaffurio, Franchino (1421-1522)

Franchini Gafurii Laudensis Regii Musici publice profitentis: De lubrique Mediolanensis Phonasci: de Harmonia Musicorum Instrumentorum Opus.... Gottardo da Ponte, 27 November 1518.

Folio (299x206 mm). Collation: a4, A-M8, N6. [4], c, [2] leaves. Roman and gothic type. Woodcut printer's device on the verso of the last leaf. Large woodcut vignette on the title-page (137x115mm), depicting the author lecturing to students with the caption 'Harmonia est discordia concors', and the long inscription on the edge of the block 'FRAN. GAFVRI[VS]. LAVDEN. TRIA DE MVSICIS VOLUMINA. THEORICAM. AC PRACTICAM. ET HARMONIAM. INSTRUMENTOR[VM] ACCVRATISSIME C[ON]SCRIPSI'. Woodcut coat of arms, in a medallion, of the dedicatee Jean Grolier on fol. a4v. On fol. N6v another large woodcut portrait of Gaffurio (202x102mm) playing the organ. Sixty diagrams, some of which are full-page, the one on fol. H8v depicting eight figures playing various musical instruments. Full-page woodcut on fol. M6v with an allegory of music, showing its derivation from Apollo, the Muses, and celestial bodies. Musical examples printed from blocks on fol. M1v; mathematical examples in the margins. Numerous woodcut decorated and animated initials in several sizes, some on black ground. Contemporary limp vellum. Smooth spine, with traces of inked title at the top. Loss to the lower portion of the spine. In a modern marbled box. A very beautiful copy, a few quires uniformly browned. An early hand has annotated 'Musurgia' on the rear pastedown. A typewritten description of this copy is tipped in on the recto of the front flyleaf.

Provenance: possibly gifted by Gaffurio to Leonardo da Vinci (Gaffurio's autograph inscription on the recto of the first leaf 'Franchinus Gafurius laudensis Regius musicus / corteque mediolanensis phonascus / Amico Ambatiae, Viro honoratissimo'); Leonardo's servant, Batista de Vilanis (ownership inscription on the recto of the front flyleaf, partly inked out, 'Batta de Vilano'); from the library of the Abbey of Saint-Julien, at Tours, France (ownership inscription on the front pastedown, 'Pertinet ad Monasterium Sancti Juliani Turonensis').

An exceptional presentation copy of the rare first edition of one of the most famous music treatises of the Renaissance. The volume bears a dedication, in Gaffurio's own hand, to ' Amico Ambatiae, Viro honoratissimo', i.e., 'his friend in Amboise', possibly one of the greatest artists of all time: Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519).

De harmonia musicorum instrumentorum is the last and most elaborate work published by Gaffurio. Possibly composed around 1500, the treatise deals – as its title reads – with the harmony of musical instruments, and was dedicated by the author to the outstanding bibliophile and patron of the arts Jean Grolier, who was then active in Milan as treasurer of the French army. This edition is rightly famous for its fine illustrative apparatus, including two famous woodcut portraits of Gaffurio, the first of which is printed on the title-page, as a re-use of the block employed by Gottardo da Ponte in 1508 for Gaffurio's Angelicum ac divinum opus musice.

For the second portrait printed at the end of the volume a block first cut for another work by Gaffurio, the Theoricum opus musice discipline (Naples 1490), was re-used. The numerous diagrams and initials supplementing the text were designed by the refined French artist Guillaume Le Signerre, who was born in Rouen and active in Milan and later in Saluzzo (Piedmont).

Beyond the rarity and beauty of this Milanese edition, the most significant and valuable aspect of the present copy undoubtedly lies in the extraordinary story narrated by its provenance, particularly the inscription 'Franchinus Gafurius laudensis Regius musicus / corteque mediolanensis phonascus / Amico Ambatiae, Viro honoratissimo'.

In fact, the formulation used here by Gaffurio – ' Amico Ambatiae', i.e., 'to my most excellent friend in Amboise' – suggests that this copy of the De harmonia musicorum instrumentorum was presented by him as a gift to none other than Leonardo da Vinci. Numerous features appear to confirm this hypothesis. When this volume was published on 27 November 1518, Leonardo was indeed in Amboise (the Latin name for which is 'Ambacia') along with his pupil Francesco Melzi and his loyal servant, Batista de Vilanis, who was mentioned in Leonardo's will, dated 23 April 1519. As the book was printed at the end of 1518, it is possible that Leonardo, who died at the beginning of the following year, never saw the copy, even if his friend had sent it to him. Thus the butler Batista de Vilanis would have taken possession of the volume, signing it with his name 'Batta de Vilano' on the front flyleaf. Later, the book – as evinced by the later ownership inscription – came into the possession of the nearby Abbey of Saint-Julien at Tours.

Gaffurio's close relationship with Leonardo amidst the intellectual elite of the Sforza Court is well documented, and it is also very likely that Leonardo used to visit Gaffurio's rich personal library in Milan. The present copy of De harmonia musicorum instrumentorum not only places striking emphasis on this friendship, but also offers a crucial clue toward confirming the hypothesis that the man portrayed by Leonardo in his celebrated 'Portrait of a Musician' – the identity of whom has long been debated – was actually the maestro di cappella Gaffurio.

Adams G-14; Mortimer Italian, 204; Balensuela-Williams, pp. 75-76; Sander 2989; Santoro, Libri illustrati milanesi, 164; G. Cesari, “Musica e musicisti alla Corte sforzesca”, F. Malaguzzi Valeri, La corte di Ludovico il Moro, IV (1923), p. 210; M. Coleman, Amboise et Léonard da Vinci à Amboise, Tours 1932; F. Fano, “Vita e attività del musico teorico e pratico Francino Gaffurio da Lodi”, Arte Lombarda, 15/2 (1970), pp. 49-62; F. Russoli, “Ritratto di Musico”, Leonardo. La pittura, Firenze 1985, pp. 63-65; C. Pedretti – M. Melani (eds.), Leonardo da Vinci & France, Poggio a Caiano 2010; W. K. Kreyszig, “The Significance of Iconography in the Print Culture of the Late-Fifteenth-Century Music Theoretical Discourse. The Theoricum opus musice discipline (1480) and Theorica musice (1492) of Franchino Gaffurio in the Context of his Trilogy”, Music in Art, 35 (2010), pp. 53-70; M. T. Fiorio, “Leonardo's 'Portrait of a Musician' and some Reflections on his Milanese Workshop”, M. Menu (ed.), Leonardo da Vinci's Technical Practice, Paris 2014, pp. 152-161; L. Fagnart – H. Miesse, “Perché havemo bisogno ancora de maestro Leonardo. Léonard de Vinci au service de Charles II Chaumont d'Amboise”, Raccolta Vinciana, 36 (2015), pp. 47-76; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 68.

From Βenedetto Varchi’s and Gian Giacomo Trivulzio’s libraries

14. Alighieri, Dante (1265-1321)

Dante. De la Vωlgare Elωquenzia... Vicenza, Tolomeo Gianicolo, January 1529. (bound with:) Gian Giorgio Trissino (1478-1550). Dialωgω... intitulato il Castellanω, nel quale si tratta de la lingua italiana. [Vicenza, Tolomeo Gianicolo, 1529]. (bound with:) Ιdem. Epistola... de le lettere nuωvamente aggiunte ne la lingua italiana... Vicenza, Tolomeo Gianicolo, February 1529. (uniformly bound with:) Ιdem. La Pωetica di M. Giωvan Giorgiω Trissinω. Tolomeo Gianicolo, April 1529.

Four works uniformly bound in two volumes, large 4° and small folio (278x166 mm). First volume: three works. I. Collation: a-b8, c6, d4. [26] leaves. Italic, Greek, and roman type. II. A-B8, C4. [20] leaves. Italic, Greek, and roman type. III. Collation: A4, aa-bb4, cc6. [17], [1] leaves. Italic, Greek, and roman type. Woodcut printer's device on each title page. Blank spaces for capitals, with printed guide letters. Second volume: collation: a-r4, s2. LXVIII, [2] leaves. Italic, Greek, and roman type. Woodcut printer's device on the verso of fol r4. Blank spaces for capitals, with printed guide letters.

Uniformly bound in eighteenth-century half-leather over pasteboards. Marbled covers. Smooth spines divided into compartments by narrow gilt frieze, title in gold on lettering-piece, imprint lettered to the foot. Pink rose silk bookmarks. Pale blue edges. At the lower extremities of the spines, small nineteenth-century paper labels, bearing the shelfmarks 'E.VIII.15' and 'E.VIII.16' respectively. Upper joint of the first volume slightly cracked; spines and corners of both volumes slightly worn. A good copy, in the first volume the opening title-page and fol. a8 uniformly browned; minor loss to the lower blank margin of the first title-page, without any loss. Both volumes foxed in places; a few spots, fingermarks, and early ink stains.

Provenance: on the first title-page of the first volume ownership inscription of Benedetto Varchi (1503-1565; 'Di Bened. Varchi'); another erased, and quite illegible ownership inscription in the same title-page; both volumes from the library of Gian Giacomo Trivulzio (1774-1831; his initials G.G.T. inked on the front pastedowns; the notices '1802. 23 7.bre. Broc' and 'fr. 45' on the front pastedown of the first volume).

A fine set, uniformly bound, from the celebrated library once owned by Count Gian Giacomo Trivulzio, which was particularly well endowed with testi di lingua. An additional noteworthy feature is its earliest recorded ownership in the first volume, to be referred to the outstanding Florentine humanist Benedetto Varchi.

The first volume opens with the first edition of Trissino's Italian translation of the De vulgari eloquentia, the unfinished treatise written in Latin by an exiled Dante between 1304 and 1307. The subject of the work is the nature of poetry in vernacular languages, above all Italian; against their detractors, the work attempts to defend the eloquence of vernacular languages, which, in Dante's opinion, have the potential of being just as dignified as Latin. Trissino edited the De la Volgare Eloquenzia on the basis of a manuscript in his possession, today in the Biblioteca Trivulziana in Milan (ms 1088) – the original Latin text only appeared in 1577.

In addition to the Italian translation of the De vulgari eloquentia the miscellaneous first volume also includes – as is frequently found to be the case – two treatises composed by Trissino himself: the first edition of the Dialogo intitulato il Castellano and the reprint of the Epistola de le lettere nuovamente aggiunte ne la lingua italiana, first published in 1524.

The second volume presents the first edition of Trissino's Poetica, devoted to Aristotle's theory of poetry, and likewise printed – as with the editions bound in the first volume – by the enigmatic Vicenza printer Tolomeo Gianicolo, and set in the handsome italic type, with the addition of the Greek vocals ε and ω, designed for him by Ludovico degli Arrighi.

For other books from Varchi's library see nos. 23 and 104 in the present catalogue.

I. Adams D-121; STC Italian 208; Mambelli p. 277; Gamba 1709. II. Adams T-950; STC Italian 681; Mortimer Italian, 507; Gamba 1704. III. Adams T-951; STC Italian 681; Gamba 1704; IV. Adams T-955; Balsamo-Tinto, Origini del corsivo nella tipografia italiana del Cinquecento, Milano 1977, pp. 130-131, pls. 50-51; G. Castellani, “Da Tolomeo Ianiculo a Bartolomeo Zanetti via Giovangiorgio Trissino”, La Bibliofilia, 94 (1992), pp. 171-185; M. Prunai Falciani, “Manoscritti e libri appartenuti al Varchi nella Biblioteca Riccardiana di Firenze”, Accademie e biblioteche d'Italia, 53 (1985), pp. 14-29; A. Sorella, “La Biblioteca Varchi”, B. Varchi, L'Ercolano, Pescara 1995, pp. 155-166; R. Norbedo, “Alcuni libri posseduti da Benedetto Varchi,” Lettere italiane, 56 (2004), pp. 462-467; P. Scapecchi, “Ricerche sulla biblioteca di Varchi con una lista di volumi da lui posseduti”, V. Bramanti (ed.), Benedetto Varchi 1503-1565, Roma 2007, pp. 309 -318; Autografi di letterati italiani. Il Cinquecento, Roma 2009, pp. 337-351; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 81.

The Mendoza Binder for the ambassador Benedetto Curzi

15. Navagero, Andrea (1483-1529)

Orationes duae, carminaque nonnulla. Giovanni Tacuino, 12 March 1530.

Folio (283x198 mm). Collation: [π]2, a-b4, c2, d-f4, g2, h-k4, l6. [2], XLI, [1] leaves. Complete with the last blank leaf. Roman type. Woodcut vignette on the title-page, depicting a river god with the inscription 'NAVCELVS'. Two fine woodcut four-line initials on fols. a1r and d1r. Contemporary Venetian binding executed by the Mendoza Binder (Andrea di Lorenzo). Olive morocco, over pasteboards. Line borders in gilt and blind, undulating panel on sides, and foliate cornerpieces. Central roundel in gilt containing, on the upper cover, a flaming urn tool, and a foliate tool on the lower one. Author's name 'AND. NAVAGERIVS' lettered in upper border and owner's name 'BENEDICTVS CVRITVS' in lower portion on both covers. Holes for four pairs of ties. Spine with three double bands decorated with a gilt line alternating with four single bands decorated with gilt diagonals; compartments tooled in blind between multiple blind lines. Edges gilt and gauffered with a repeating motif between dotted line borders. Covers slightly scuffed, loss at the head and tail of the spine. In a modern green cloth solander box. A very fine copy, a few light marginal stains and tiny wormholes, not affecting text. On the rear pastedown early inked price notice, and a few pencilled bibliographical annotations.

Provenance: the nobleman from Pavia Benedetto Curzi, ambassador to Venice of Francesco II Sforza (name lettered on the covers, 'BENEDICTVS CVRTIVS'); Alessandro Monti (ownership inscription on the title-page 'est Alexandri Montij'); given in 1774 by Marchese Giorgio Porro Carcano (1729-1790) to Conte Giovanbattista Giovio (1748-1814; ownership inscription on the recto of the front flyleaf, 'Comitis Jo. Baptistae Jovii Ex Dono Marchionis Georgii Porri Carcani. 1774'); sale Hoepli 1893 (see Manoscritti, incunaboli ed edizioni rare dei Giunti, Aldi, Gioliti... della prima metà del secolo xvi in gran parte dalle bibliotheche Giovio di Como e Cavriani di Mantova, Milano 1893); sale Christie's Rome, 17 February 1997 (with other books from the Giovio family library, lot 120); Michel Wittock (ex-libris on the front pastedown; The Michel Wittock Collection. Part i: Important Renaissance Bookbindings, Christie's London 2004, lot 85).

A very fine copy, in its original deluxe binding, of the collected orations and poems of Andrea Navagero, librarian of the Biblioteca Marciana, official historian of the Venetian Republic, ambassador to the French court at Blois, and close friend and collaborator with Aldus Manutius, for whom he edited writings by Cicero as well as other Latin classics. The collection of his orations and poems – including Navagero's famous Lusus – was published posthumously by his friends a few months after his sudden death, as the colophon statement 'IMPRESSVM VENETIIS AMICORVM CVRA QVAM POTVIT FIERI DILIGENTER' attests. The volume circulated in only a few copies, and among the original owners of this semi-private publication were other great Renaissance book collectors such as Jean Grolier and Giovanni Battista Grimaldi. Soon after, in April 1530, Navagero's Orationes was re-issued in Paris, and the printer Jean Petit mentions the Venetian volume as a private publication, “impressum Venetiis primum amicorum cura.”

The copy is presented here in a precious binding executed by the skilled crafstman Andrea di Lorenzo, active in Venice between 1518 and 1555 and called by Hobson the 'Mendoza Binder' after his chief client, the Spanish ambassador in Venice, Diego Hurtago de Mendoza. His distinguished clientele included numerous other Renaissance bibliophiles, members of the Venetian elite, wealthy patrons of the arts, and diplomats active in the Serenissima, as in the case of this copy, which bears on its covers the name of Benedetto Curzi from Pavia, ambassador to Venice of Francesco II Sforza, Duke of Milan. “It has been suggested that Benedictus Curtius, the owner of this copy, was the Lyonese book-collector, Benoît Le Court. It is true that his name was Latinised as 'Benedictus Curtius', but he is not known to have visited Italy or to have been acquainted with the Venetian humanists who edited the book; all his bindings are French and this copy does not appear ever to have left Italy” (Hobson-Culot, Italian and French 16th-Century Bookbindings, p. 15).

Adams N-94; STC Italian 462; Hobson, Apollo and Pegasus, no. 82; Cinc siècles d'ornements, no. 9; Hobson, Renaissance Book Collecting, app. 5, no. 136; Hobson-Culot, Italian and French 16th-Century Bookbindings, no. 2 (this copy); Musea Nostra, p. 22; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 86.

An ‘Apollo and Pegasus’ binding

17. Pindarus (518-after 446 BC)

Pindari Poetae vetustissimi, Lyricorum facile principis, Olympia Pythia Nemea Isthmia. per Joan. Lonicerum Latinitate donata: adhibits enarrationibus, è Graecis Scholijs, & doctissimis utriusque linguae autoribus desumptis.... Andreas Cratander, 1535.

4° (214x135 mm). Collation: α6, A-Z4, a-z4, Aa-Mm4, Nn6. [12], 458, [18] pages. Greek, italic, and roman type. Woodcut printer's devices on the title-page, and verso of the last leaf. Woodcut animated and decorated initials. Roman binding executed between 1545-1547 by Niccolò Franzese for Giovanni Battista Grimaldi. Gold- and blind-tooled dark brown morocco, over pasteboards. Covers panelled with interlocking central lozenge containing the horizontal plaquette of Apollo driving the sun chariot towards Parnassus, upon which Pegasus is standing. Traces of gold and green paint on the plaquette. The motto 'ορθοσ και μη λοξιωσ' is tooled around it. The title 'PIN/DARVS/POETA' is gilt lettered on the upper part of both covers. Spine with three double bands, decorated with a gilt line, alternating with four single bands, decorated with short gilt diagonals. A small foliate tool alternately vertical and in horizontal in the compartments. Gilt edges. Headbands renewed, expert repairs at spine extremities, joints and corners. In a modern brown cloth solander box. A very fine copy, light browning and spotting, repaired neat tear in on one leaf, tiny marginal hole in the final two leaves, a paper flaw to the lower blank margin of fol. t2. Flyleaves slightly wormed. The number '679' inked on the lower margin of the title-page.

Provenance: Giovanni Battista Grimaldi (ca. 1524-ca. 1612; binding); Libreria Ulisse Franchi (sale Florence 8 April 1902, lot 450); the exiled Russian aristocrat Jacques de Zoubaloff (1876-1941); L. A. Barbet (inked ownership inscription on the upper outer corner of the title-page, 'A Barbet 300 c'; see Catalogue de la bibliothèque de feu M. L.-A. Barbet. Première partie, Paris 1932, lot 127, 'Precieux exemplaire portant au centre de chaque plat l'emblème [...] qu'on a longtemps cru être celui de Demetrio Canevari, médecin du pape Urbain VII, mais qui est celui du Duc Pier-Luigi Farnèse, fils du pape Paul III'); the Italian art historian Federico Gentili di Giuseppe (1868-1940); by descent to his daughter Adriana R. Salem, Paris (ex-libris with initials A.R.S. on the front pastedown); sale Sotheby's, 31 October 1977, lot 52); to the London bookseller H. D. Lyon (1917-2004; his notes); Michel Wittock (ex-libris on the front pastedown; see The Michel Wittock Collection. Part I: Important Renaissance Bookbindings, Christie's London 2004, lot 92).

A marvellous example of an 'Apollo and Pegasus' binding: the copy of the second Latin edition of Pindarus' works, bound in about 1545-47 by Niccolò Franzese for the banker Giovanni Battista Grimaldi, from one of the great and wealthy patrician families of Genoa. Anthony Hobson identified three binders in Rome who were engaged by Grimaldi: Maestro Luigi, Niccolò Franzese, and Marcantonio Guillery. Niccolò Franzese was the most innovative among them.

As indicated by his name, Nicolò Franzese – the binder responsible for the Pindar presented here – was a Frenchman by origin, born Nicolas Fery of Rheims. He probably settled in Rome as early as 1526. The cardinal-librarian Marcello Cervini employed him at the Vatican Library from 1549 to 1554, and in 1556 he was appointed Vatican Binder. He worked in Rome for the papal court and other high-profile clients from 1542 until his death in 1570-71.

The covers are panelled with a central lozenge containing the celebrated medallion showing Apollo driving the chariot of the sun towards Mount Parnassus, upon which Pegasus is standing with the Greek motto 'ορθοσ και μη λοξιωσ' ('straight and not crooked') lettered around him. This device, or impresa, is a celebration of virtù, and was invented for Grimaldi by the Sienese humanist and secretary of Pier Luigi Farnese, Claudio Tolomei (1492-1556). Tolomei was further tasked with procuring, for Grimaldi, a 'complete library' – or libreria finita – of about two hundred volumes, in order to further his education. “The choice was to be a balanced one between modern and ancient literature, but Greek poetry, since Grimaldi did not know the language, was provided in Latin translation. This dichotomy, or balance, was given visible expression in the bindings: works in modern languages were to be bound in red morocco, those in classical languages in various shades of green or brown. The library, of about 200 works or volumes, took two years to assemble [...] The task of binding was shared out between three booksellers/binders, who presumably supplied the books as well as providing the gold-tooled morocco covers” (Hobson-Culot, Italian and French 16th-Century Bookbindings, p. 23).

Great collectors have always paid particularly close attention to these precious bindings – stamped for Grimaldi with the distinctive Apollo and Pegasus – owing as much to the quality of their materials and manufacture as to their rarity. Their renown even led to at least two – and possibly more – nineteenth- and twentieth-century binders producing forged or faked Apollo and Pegasus plaquettes, often using sixteenth-century bindings (see no. 118). Anthony Hobson has located 144 true bindings tooled with this medallion plaquette, all of exceptional value: the copy of Pindar presented here is included in his census.

VD16 P-2798; G. D. Hobson, Maioli, no. CII; De Marinis, Legatura artistica in Italia, I, no. 763; Hobson, Apollo and Pegasus, no. 97; Cinq siècles d'ornements, no. 1; Hobson-Culot, Italian and French 16th-Century Bookbindings, no. 5 (all mentioning this copy); Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 90.

The Dee-Winthrop copy of Apollonius of Perga

18. 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.

The Manzoni-Cavalieri-Martini copy

20. Boiardo, Matteo Maria (ca. 1441-1494)

Orlando innamorato. I tre libri dello innamoramento di Orlando... Tratti dal suo fedelissimo essemplare. Nuovamente con somma diligenza revisti, e castigati. Con molte stanze aggiunte del proprio auttore, quali gli mancavano. Insieme con gli altri tre Libri compidi. Pietro Nicolini da Sabbio, March-April 1539.

Two parts in one volume, 4° (199x144 mm). A-Z8, AA-DD8, EE10; Aa-Kk8, L-Q8, Rr-Xx8. 226; 167 (numbered I-XLVI, 47-167) of 168 leaves. Lacking the last blank. Roman type. First title-page printed in red and black within an elaborate architectural woodcut border; on fol. A2v woodcut map of southern France, Switzerland, and part of Germany, showing the geographical disposition of the 'Sequani' and 'Helvetii' fought by Julius Caesar, repeated also on fols. N3v and BB8r of the first part, and on fol. Ff6v of the second part (in the last three appearances a contemporary hand has added at the top of the woodcut the inscription 'FABIUS MAXIMUS PATRIT ROMANUS'); on the second title-page, a large round horseback portrait of Orlando (the same hand has added to the caption in brown ink 'IL CONTE', and 'IL PALADINO'). Early twentieth-century vellum with overlapping edges, ink title on the spine. Gilt edges. A good copy, worm track, partially repaired, in the lower margin of fols. G3-O8, occasionally affecting text (especially between fols. G3 and I5). Some marginal stains, upper margin cut short, slightly trimming the running title on a very few leaves.

Provenance: Giacomo Manzoni (1816-1889; ex-libris on the front pastedown; see Bibliotheca Manzoniana. Catalogue des livres composant la Bibliothèque de feu M. le Comte Jacques Manzoni, Città di Castello 1893, lot 3065); Giuseppe Cavalieri (1834-1918; ex-libris on the front flyleaf; see T. De Marinis, Catalogue des livres composant la Bibliothèque de M. Giuseppe Cavalieri à Ferrara, Florence 1908; no. 273); Giuseppe Martini (1870-1944; his pencilled notes on the front flyleaves).

Rare edition – in a fine copy once belonging to the libraries of the great book collectors Giacomo Manzoni and Giuseppe Cavalieri – of the complete Orlando Innamorato printed by Nicolini da Sabbio, in which the three books originally written by Boiardo are continued and completed by three other books composed by Nicolò Degli Agostini (fl. first quarter of the sixteenth century) and introduced here with a separate title-page bearing the printing date of March 1539. These supplementary books were published together with the three Libri by Boiardo up until the end of the seventeenth century.

Editions of Boiardo's poem in its original instantiation – before Francesco Berni's censored revision of 1541, which became the standard text for all subsequent editions – are all extremely rare. Of the 1495 edition, the first in three books (published at Scandiano by Pellegrino de' Pasquali on behalf of Boiardo's widow, Taddea Gonzaga) issued in 1,250 copies, none have survived beyond the end of the eighteenth century.

As for Degli Agostini's continuation, the fourth book was originally published in Venice in 1505 in a lost edition, the fifth book was first published in Venice by Rusconi in 1514. The sixth part was probably first published by Zoppino in 1521, but no copy has survived, and was followed by a 1524 reprint (see no. 72).

Adams B-2314; Sandal, Il mestier de le stamperie de i libri, p. 199, no. 8; Melzi-Tosi, p. 93; N. Harris, Bibliografia dell' “Orlando Innamorato”, nos. 25a-25b; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 96.

The Marcolini Commedia that belonged to Marcus Fugger, with Dante’s portrait by Stimmer as an unrecorded single sheet

24. Alighieri, Dante (1265-1321)

La Comedia di Dante Aligieri con la nova espositione di Alessandro Vellutello.... Francesco Marcolini, June 1544.

4° (236x153 mm). Collation: AA-BB8, CC10, A-Z8, AB-AZ8, BC-BI8. [442] leaves. Italic and roman type. Three full-page woodcuts at the beginning of each cantica; eighty-four woodcut vignettes in the text. An extra leaf, not present in the volume when it was originally issued, is bound here before the title-page; it bears the woodcut portrait of Dante from the Elogia virorum literis illustrium by Paolo Giovio (Basel 1577), issued here with some variants as a single sheet. Contemporary French calf, covers within gilt fillets, decorated with elaborate strapwork and floral tools on pointillé ground; title lettered at the centre of the upper cover, author's name at the centre of the lower cover. Later smooth spine gilt-tooled with a diaper pattern. Edges gilt and gauffered with a floral design. Covers restored and inlaid. On the verso of the front flyleaf, an early hand – likely that of Fugger himself – has copied the words of Dante's epitaph in Ravenna, restored by Bernardo Bembo in 1483. A very good copy, occasionally browned and stained.

Provenance: Marcus Fugger (1529-1597; his autograph signature on the front pastedown); Paul Harth (twentieth century; ex-libris on the front pastedown).

The first Commedia to contain the new and important commentary by the Lucchese Alessandro Vellutello (b. 1473), in a copy finely bound for the great bibliophile and member of the celebrated Augsburg banking dynasty, Marcus Fugger, who in 1560 succeeded his father Anton as head of the family firm. This copy is in the first state of the Marcolini edition, in which terzina 64-66 of the Purgatorio's second canto is missing due to a printing oversight (fol. V7r). The book is rightly famous for its illustrations, which were all newly designed for this edition. Each woodcut records one or more scenes from the illustrated cantos and closely relates to Vellutello's glosses. The vignettes were possibly designed by Giovanni Britto, who worked as an engraver for Marcolini, and were likely cut by Marcolini himself.

The volume is in a strapwork, gilt-tooled, and now extensively restored binding, produced for Fugger in the Parisian ateliers of Jean Grolier, as suggested by the elaborate interlaced decoration, patterned tools, and dotted background. The binding may have been executed by either Claude de Picques or Gommar Estienne, both of whom produced work for the Bibliothèque Royale.

A notable addition in the present copy is an extra leaf which was not included in the volume as originally published; the leaf has been bound here for Fugger as a frontispiece and bears the woodcut portrait of Dante taken from the Elogia virorum literis illustrium by Paolo Giovio (Basel, Perna, 1577). The Elogia woodcuts were designed by the Swiss painter and printmaker Tobias Stimmer (1539-1584), who was sent by Perna to Lake Como in 1569-1570 to produce drawing copies of the famous portrait collection assembled by Giovio. In 1577, Perna published the woodcut portrait of Dante, cut after Stimmer's designs, in the Elogia virorum literis illustrium, together with sixty-seven other portraits of illustrious men of letters, each surrounded by a strapwork frame. In the leaf bound into the present copy, however, Dante's portrait is lacking the border found in the original edition, and the name of the poet is spelt in the variant form 'Dante' instead of the 'Danthes' of the Basel publication; although the font used is identical, the name is perhaps stamped separately letter by letter, rather than printed as a single word. This represents an unrecorded issue of the woodcut portrait and may therefore suggest that the Stimmer series was issued individually as single-sheet prints.

Adams D-94; Mortimer Italian 146; Casali Annali, 72; Batines I, pp. 82-84; Mambelli 30; Essling 545; Sander 2328; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 102.

A handsome French painted entrelac binding, from Benedetto Varchi’s library

25. Alamanni, Luigi (1495-1556)

La coltivatione... al christianissimo re Francesco Primo. Robert Estienne, 1546.

4° (209x136 mm). Collation: a-t8, u-x2, *2. [158] leaves. In this copy fols. *1-*2 bearing the dedicatory epistle to 'Madama la Dalphina' are bound after fols. x1 and x2, consisting of the privilege of François I dated 28 August 1546. Roman and italic type. Woodcut printer's device on the title-page. Contemporary French, possibly Parisian, red morocco gilt over pasteboards. Covers with black-painted strapwork, central oval cartouches with foliate tools within a black-painted strapwork frame, black-painted border within gilt rules. Smooth spine gilt in compartments, the compartments decorated with diaper-patterned gilt rules forming diamonds alternately painted black. Gilt board-edges, inside dentelles. Gilt edges. Spine extremities skilfully repaired. In a modern green cloth solander box. A fine copy, ruled in red throughout (somewhat faded). Title-page laid down; light spotting in places, a few pale marginal waterstains. Small hole at the margin of fol. c4.

Provenance: Benedetto Varchi (1503-1565; ownership inscription 'Bened. Varchi‘ on the title-page); Francesco Mainardi from Ferrara (late eighteenth-century ownership inscription on the recto of the front flyleaf 'Franciscus Mainardi Ferrariensis aere proprio acquisit 1792'); Michel Wittock (ex-libris on the front pastedown; see The Michel Wittock Collection. Part I: Important Renaissance Bookbindings, Christie's London 2004, lot 4).

The first edition, in the first issue, of this famous work, presented here in a copy once owned by the distinguished Florentine humanist and poet Benedetto Varchi, and in its handsome French painted entrelac binding, in all likelihood executed in Paris. Alamanni's work is a didactic poem in 5,000 endecasillabi sciolti, composed in imitation of Vergil's Georgica and dedicated to King François I, while the preliminary epistle is addressed to the dauphine Catherine de Medici. It is the only book that the celebrated printer and prominent scholar Robert Estienne issued entirely in a modern language other than French – even the imprint on the title-page is in Italian, 'Stampato in Parigi da Ruberto Stephano Regio Stampatore'.

Following the discovery of his part in a conspiracy against the Medici in 1522, Luigi Alamanni fled from Florence to France, where he joined the royal court and was swiftly recognised as one of the leading Italian poets of the age. This is also the only book printed by Estienne in his larger italic type.

Of this edition, two different issues are recorded, the first bearing on its title-page the statement 'CON PRIVILEGI', the second 'Con privilegi'. According to Renouard, there are copies without the errata on the verso of fol. u2, in the present copy the errata is instead printed.

Between 1538 and 1550 Alamanni was in direct correspondence with Benedetto Varchi, the owner of this precious copy, who may have received the book as a gift from the author himself. In a letter written from Padua on 8 October 1539 to Carlo Strozzi, Varchi states he had read in manuscript a Georgica “in 5 libri toscani d'un nostro fiorentino” – in all likelihood Alamanni's Coltivazione – “che quando che sia si stamperà e vi impararete su tutta la vita contadina, la quale fu la prima che si vivesse e la più utile e più santa e quieta (B. Varchi, Lettere 1535-1565, ed. V. Bramanti, Roma 2008, p. 73).

For other books once owned by Varchi see items nos. 23 and 81 in the present catalogue.

Adams S-409; Mortimer French 10; Renouard Estienne, 68.22; Armstrong 39.49; Schreiber 88; M. Prunai Falciani, “Manoscritti e libri appartenuti al Varchi nella Biblioteca Riccardiana di Firenze”, Accademie e biblioteche d'Italia, 53 (1985), pp. 14-29; A. A. Sorella, “La Biblioteca Varchi”, B. Varchi, L'Ercolano, Pescara 1995, pp. 155-166; R. Norbedo, “Alcuni libri posseduti da Benedetto Varchi”, Lettere italiane 56 (2004), pp. 462-467; P. Scapecchi, “Ricerche sulla biblioteca di Varchi con una lista di volumi da lui posseduti”, V. Bramanti (ed.), Benedetto Varchi 1503-1565, Roma 2007, pp. 309-318; Autografi di letterati italiani. Il Cinquecento, Roma 2009, pp. 337-351; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 104.

Printed on blue paper

26. Calderia, Giovanni (1395-1474)

Concordantiae Poetarum Philosophorum &Theologorum... opus vere aureum, quod nunc primum in lucem prodijt ex antiquo exemplari Authoris.... Giuseppe Comino da Trino, 1547.

8° (150x93 mm). Printed on blue paper. Collation: *4, A-Z4, AA-YY4. [4], 179, [1] leaves. Roman and italic type. Woodcut printer's device on the title-page. Numerous woodcut animated initials. Early twentieth-century mottled calf, over pasteboards. Covers within two floral borders. Smooth spine divided into compartments with gilt fillet, gilt title on blue lettering-piece, imprint lettered in gilt. Pastedowns and flyleaves in blue paper. Good copy, the first leaves slightly spotted, last leaves somewhat browned. On the recto of the front flyleaf the pencilled note 'Papier bleu rare'.

Provenance: Count Raoul Chandon de Briailles (1850-1908; ex-libris on the recto of the first flyleaf).

Rare first edition – printed on blue paper – of this treatise by the Venetian physician Giovanni Calderia, possibly composed in 1457, and posthumously edited by Michelangelo Biondo, author of Della nobilissima pittura (see no. 108). The edition is dedicated by him to Francesco Donà.

Calderia wrote the Concordantiae Poetarum Philosophorum et Theologorum for his beloved daughter Cateruzza, in order to remove her from her excited religiousness: in fact, in 1451, Guarino Veronese's son asked for Cateruzza's hand in marriage but the pious sentiment of the girl, supported by her mother, caused the negotiations to fail. The work guaranteed to its author a certain reputation as a Platonic philosopher during the subsequent centuries.

This copy offered here was once owned by one of the greatest collectors of blue paper books: Raoul Chandon de Briailles, who may have purchased it from the library of Andrea Tessier, sold in Munich in 1900 by the bookseller Jacques Rosenthal, which contained a copy “tiré sur papier bleu” (lot 519, in the section “Particularités. Imprimées sur vélin, sur papier bleu. Elzevier non rognés. Minuscules etc”).

Brunet I, 1470; Bibliothek Tessier. Katalog eins grossen Theils der Bibliotheken des verstorbenen Chevalier Andrea Tessier und des Marchese de***. Versteigerunge in München vom 21.-23. Mai 1900 durch Jacques Rosenthal, München 1900; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 107.

The Honeyman Copy

27. 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 device of three interlaced crescents

29. Boccaccio, Giovanni (1313-1375)

Il Decamerone... alla sua intera perfettione ridotto, et con dichiarationi et auuertimenti illustrato, per Girolamo Ruscelli.... Vincenzo Valgrisi and Baldassare Costantini, 1557.

Two parts in one volume, 4° (219x167 mm). Collation: *4, A-Z8, AA-II8; a-g4 (fol. HH2 signed H2). [8], 496, [16]; [56] pages. Roman and italic type. Valgrisi's serpent device on both title-pages, and at the end. Each giornata introduced by a large woodcut (fols. A5v, D2v, H5v, L8v, O8v, R8v, T5v, Y2r, BB7r, DD6v). Numerous woodcut animated initials. Contemporary French calf, over pasteboards. Covers within double frame of multiple blind fillets, the inner frame with gilt fleurons at outer corners. Device of three interlaced crescents tooled in gilt at centre. Traces of ties. Spine with five raised bands, compartments tooled with a single floral tool, title and the number 'XIII' lettered in gilt. Edges gilt. Minor wear at the head of the spine. A very fine copy, slightly browned on the first leaves, a few paper flaws, minor foxing, some fingermarks.

The third and revised Valgrisi edition of Boccaccio's masterpiece, lavishly illustrated, and edited for the Venetian printing house by Girolamo Ruscelli (ca. 1518-1566). The first Decameron from the press of Valgrisi – the famous printer of French origin, active in Venice from 1540 'all'insegna d'Erasmo' – had appeared in 1552, and was intended to rival the successful Giolito editions. The work is supplemented by Ruscelli's Vocabolario generale di tutte le voci usate dal Boccaccio, while the preliminary leaves contain, as an introduction, La vita di messer Giouan Boccaccio, written by Francesco Sansovino (1521-1586). The Valgrisi Decameron is one the finest editions of Boccaccio's work produced in the sixteenth century and is rightly famous for its handsome full-page illustrations introducing each giornata, all newly designed and mentioned – as “figure nuoue & bellissime” – on the title-page. Each woodcut is framed within an architectural border including putti, grotesque figures, antique vases, and floral motifs, and depict scenes from the life at the villa of the brigata of young men and women who had fled from Florence during the plague. The success of the publication was immediate, and Valgrisi re-issued Boccaccio's work in 1554, 1555, and 1557, thereby establishing a new iconography of the Decameron in print. The blocks and borders were later re-used by other Venetian printers, including Agostino Zoppino, Onofrio Farri, and Alessandro Vecchi.

The Valgrisi Decameron presented here is in a fine contemporary French binding. The covers bear at the centre the device of three interlaced crescents, a feature which might suggest the binding was executed for Diane de Poitiers (1499-1566), mistress of King Henry II of France and from 1548 duchess of Valentinois, who used the triple-crescent device. The exquisite library assembled by this femme bibliophile remained in her Château d'Anet until its sale in 1724. For a similar binding on a copy of Cardanus's De subtilitate (1561) see The Michel Wittock Collection. Part I: Important Renaissance Bookbindings, lot 30. It is noticeable that the crescents also appear on bindings from the King's own library.

G. H. Bushnell, 'Diane de Poitiers and Her Books', The Library, 4 (1926-1927), pp. 283-302; J. Porcher, 'Les livres de Diane de Poitiers', Les Trésors des Bibliothèque de France, 26 (1942), pp. 78-89; The Michel Wittock Collection. Part I: Important Renaissance Bookbindings London 2004, lot 30; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 121.

The first appearance in print of the Galateo

30. Della Casa, Giovanni (1503-1556)

Rime, et Prose... Con le Concessioni, & Priuilegij di tutti i Prencipi. Niccolò Bevilacqua for Erasmo Gemini, October 1558.

4° (220x157 mm). Collation: a4, b2, A-X4, Y2. [12], 170, [2] pages. Roman type. Woodcut ornaments on the title-page. Woodcut animated initials, one blank space for capital on fol. A1r, with printed guide letter. Eighteenth-century vellum, over pasteboards. Smooth spine, title lettered in gilt. Edges speckled red. Minor wear to the upper portion of the spine. A wide-margined copy, in excellent condition.

Provenance: Giacomo Manzoni (1816-1889; Bibliotheca Manzoniana. Catalogue des livres composant la Bibliothèque de feu M. le Comte Jacques Manzoni, Città di Castello 1893, lot 4495, 'Rare'); Puccinelli Sannini family (ex-libris on the front pastedow); Federico Lobetti Bodoni (ex-libris on the front pastedown).

A very fine copy of the first edition of Della Casa's Rime et Prose, from the celebrated library of Italian bibliophile and bibliographer Giacomo Manzoni.

The collection of Italian writings in prose and verse by the Florentine Della Casa was posthumously edited from his manuscripts by his former secretary Erasmo Gemini de Cesis and dedicated to Giacomo Querini. Alongside his Rime and the Oratione to Charles V, the Venetian collection of 1558 contains the first appearance in print of the well-known Galateo, one of the most famous and influential courtesy books, written by Della Casa between 1551 and 1555 in the form of advice given by an old gentleman to a young student, “et qui passa longtemps pour le livre en prose italienne le mieux écrit après le Decameron de Boccace” (J. Balsamo, De Dante à Chiabrera, p. 211). The Galateo was named after Galeazzo Florimonte, Bishop of Sessa, and printed almost immediately in a separate edition.

This edition was printed by Venetian printer Niccolò Bevilacqua with the types and fine woodcut initials which Paolo Manuzio used to print for the Accademia Veneziana. Renouard thus includes this edition in his Annales de l'Imprimerie des Alde.

Adams C-806; Renouard Alde, 175.15 (“bien executé et peu commun”); J. Balsamo, De Dante à Chiabrera. Poètes italiens de la Renaissance dans la bibliothèque de la Fondation Barbier-Mueller, Genève 2007, II, no. 89; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 123.

The author, and the recipient of the book in the poet Molza’s villas; An association copy printed on blue paper

31. Caro, Annibal (1507-1566)

Apologia de gli Academici di Banchi di Roma, contra M. Lodouico Casteluetro da Modena. In forma d’uno Spaccio di Maestro Pasquino. Con alcune Operette del Predella, del Buratto, di Ser Fedocco.... Seth Viotti, November 1558.

4° (210x150 mm). Printed on blue paper. Collation: A-Z4, a-i4, k6, l-m4. 268, [16] pages. Roman and italic type. Engraved printer's device on the title-page and woodcut device on verso of fol. m4. Woodcut animated initials. Eighteenth-century quarter-leather, marbled covers. Smooth spine with gilt title on lettering-piece, compartments framed in gilt tools. A very good copy, some minor browning.

Provenance: given as a gift by Annibal Caro to his friend, the writer Marco Antonio Piccolomini (1504-1579; ownership inscription on the title-page: 'Di M. Anto piccolomini & degli Amici MDLVIII Dono dell'Autore'); on the verso of the front flyleaf is a sonnet by Giacomo Marmitta, unpublished at the time and written in Piccolomini's own hand, dedicated to 'Comendador Caro'; marginalia by Piccolomini on fols. F4v and k6v.

Remarkable association copy, printed on blue paper, of this testimony to one of the greatest literary quarrels of the Renaissance; the work is presented here in its variant 'c' form, as evinced by the finely engraved printer's device, instead of the more common woodcut one, on the title-page, and by the text reading “LA nobil Secchia harà per numer un drago?” that appears on the recto of fol. i1 (p. 241).

The dispute centered on the poem Venite all'ombra de' gran Gigli d'oro ('Come to the shade of the great golden lilies'), which had been commissioned by Alessandro Farnese and which Caro had composed in praise of the French monarchy. The poem was harshly criticized by the philologian Ludovico Castelvetro (1505-1571) due to its lack of Petrarchian style and use of linguistic inventions, especially in its incorporation of spoken language. Caro replied to Castelvetro's criticism with his Apologia, which ends with a Corona of nine injurious sonnets through which Caro comes to accuse Castelvetro of having murdered Alberico Longo, Caro's advocate in this impassioned quarrel.

The present copy was given as a gift by Caro to his friend Marco Antonio Piccolomini, member of one of the most distinguished Sienese families and co-founder – his academic nickname was 'Sodo' – of the celebrated Accademia degli Intronati, a pivotal institution in the cultural life of 1550s Siena, and one of the most ancient academies in the world. The correspondence attests to the close friendship between Caro and Piccolomini, as well as Piccolomini's attempt to incite contemporary scholars like Girolamo Ruscelli to support Caro against Castelvetro. It is thus particularly noteworthy that Piccolomini has transcribed a sonnet pertaining to the quarrel on the flyleaf of the present copy. The poem, 'Lingua d'atro venen' tutta conspersa', was composed by the poet Giacomo Marmitta (1504-1561; see no. 134) and was unpublished at the time; it would only be printed some years later, in 1569, when it was included to accompany Caro's response in his collected Rime, issued by the Aldine press.

The marginal note written by Piccolomini on fol. F4v is also interesting as it provides a previously unknown element in our reconstruction of this contemporary intellectual milieu: Piccolomini marks a passage concerning two inscriptions located in the villas of the Modenese poet Francesco Maria Molza (1489-1544), Caro's friend and the uniquely non-Sienese member of the Accademia degli Intronati. Piccolomini attributes both inscriptions – 'Ancor essa è modo di parlar plebeo', and ‘perchè l'uso della lingua nobile, non riceve esso col sostantivo manifesto, se non davanti' – to Ludovico Molza, Francesco Maria's father.

Only one other copy printed on blue paper is known, held by the Biblioteca Palatina in Parma.

Adams C-739; Gamba 276; C. Di Felice, “La seconda edizione dell'Apologia di Annibal Caro: un censimento delle sopravvivenze e un esemplare in Normandia”, S. Fabrizio-Costa (ed.), Autour du livre ancien en Normandie. Intorno al libro antico in Normandia, Bern 2011, pp. 165-194; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 124.

The Cesi 'Seven Hills’

32. Plutarchus (ca. 45-120)

La prima [- seconda] parte delle Vite di Plutarco Tradotte da M. Lodovico Domenichi. Con gli suoi Sommarii posti dinanzi a ciascuna Vita.... Gabriele Giolito de’ Ferrari, 1560.

Two volumes, 4° (225x161 mm). I. Collation: *4, A-Z8, AA-ZZ8, AAA-PPP8. [8], 937, [3] pages; II. Two parts, each with separate title-page. Collation: †4, a-z8, aa-kk8, ll4; aaa-eee8, fff10 (fol. fff5 signed 'ggg'). [8], 535; [101] pages. Roman and italic type. Woodcut printer's device on title-page of both volumes, on the recto of fol. PPP8, on the title-page of the Tabulae (fols. aaa1r), and on the verso of fol. fff10. Nearly contemporary uniform Roman binding, brown morocco over pasteboards. Covers within blind fillets and narrow gilt roll, at the outer corners the Cesi 'seven hills'. At the centre small floral tools and fleuron in gilt. On the upper cover of the first volume the gilt inscription in a cartouche '.VITE. DI. PLUTARCA. I. PARTE'; on the upper cover of the second one ‘‘.VITE. DI. PLUTARCA. 2. PARTE', likewise in gilt lettering. Spines with seven raised bands, underlined with gilt fillets, rebacked; title and volume numbering in gold. Original, handsome gauffered and painted edges, the fore-edge showing the Cesi coat of arms, a tree above seven hills. Good copies, foxing in places, trace of old stamps, now illegible, on both title-pages.

Provenance: from the library of the Cesi family (armorial binding).

A magnificently bound copy of the Italian edition of Plutarch's Vitae, translated for the Venetian printer Giolito by his collaborator, the polymath Lodovico Domenichi (1515-1564). The two-volume publication is a substantial re-issue – introduced with a newly recomposed title-page bearing the printing date '1560' – of the first edition, which had appeared in 1555 (see no. 118).

As their fine armorial binding stamped with the seven-hills coat of arms attests, the volumes presented here were once preserved in the library assembled by the aristocratic Cesi family which was highly connected in Rome and the Papal States. The most outstanding member of this family was undoubtedly the naturalist, scientist, and Duke of Acquasparta, Federico Cesi (1585-1630), founder of the Accademia dei Lincei (Lincean Academy) in 1603, and one of the most influential patrons of Galileo Galilei. The entry relating to a copy of the Giolitine Plutarch of 1560 is included in the inventory of Federico's books located at Acquasparta, the Cesi palace, listing also volumes owned by other members of the family, which never entered the Lincean Academy. The inventory Libri diuersi dell'Heredita sudetta, held in the Academy Archives (ms Archivio Linceo XXXII) was compiled between February and April 1631, in order to divide the inheritance among Frederico's heirs – his second wife, Isabella Salviati, sister of the mathematician Francesco Salviati, and his brother, Giovanni Federico Cesi. Plutarch's Lives is listed among the volumes put in a case filled with moral and historical books (‘Cassa N, Morali et Historici'): “P.a parte delle vite di Plutarco tradotte da Domen[i]chi con li suoi Sommarij con la dei paesi [pesi] in Venetia 1660. [i.e. 1560] del Giolito”.

STC Italian 528 (describing a slightly different issue); M. T. Biagetti, La Biblioteca di Federico Cesi, Roma 2008, p. 172, no. 748; Eadem, “Dispersed Collections of Scientific Books. The Case of the Private Library of Federico Cesi (1685-1630)”, F. Bruni - A. Pettegree (eds.), Lost Books. Reconstructing the Print World of Pre-Industrial Europe, Leiden-Boston 2016, pp. 386-399; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 125.

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

32. 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.

It should be a Parmesan binding... — Bernard Quaritch

33. Marmitta, Giacomo (1504-1561)

Rime di M. Giacomo Marmitta Parmeggiano. Seth Viotti, 1564.

4° (206x152 mm). Collation: A4, 2A-Z4, a-c4. [8], 198, [10] pages. Roman and italic type. Woodcut printer's device on the title-page. Woodcut animated initials and headpieces throughout the text. Contemporary (Parma?) brown, gilt-tooled morocco, over pasteboards. Covers within a broad border with an interlacing design and small floral tools, central shaped compartment built up with small tools, including circles, semicircles, and fleurs-de-lis, at the centre of the front cover the gilt lettering 'OVE HA VERA VIRTU SVO ALBERGO FIDO', and 'BEN CHE BASSO ET HVMIL VENIR M'AFFIDO', on the lower one. Spine with four raised bands, decorated with single gilt fillets, laid down. Gilt edges. Flyleaves renewed in the late nineteenth century, around the time the book was offered by Quaritch. A very fine copy, a few leaves slightly browned.

Provenance: the London bookseller Bernard Quaritch (see Examples of the Art of Book-Binding and Volumes Bearing Marks of Distinguished Ownership. Catalogue 166, London 1897, no. 397: “it should be a Parmesan binding with a motto”); Leo S. Olschki (1861-1940; ex-libris on the front pastedown; see Le livre en Italie à travers les siècles, Firenze 1914, no. 121 “Au milieu du premier plat cette inscription en lettres d'or: “Ove ha vera virtu suo albergo fido”, et du second plat: “Ben che basso et humil venir m'affido”, and pl. LXXXIII).

First and only edition, posthumously published, of Marmitta's collected poems, in a fine and unusual contemporary binding, likely executed in Parma itself. The mottoes stamped on both covers are unrecorded.

The publication is dedicated by the printer, Viotti, to the Duke of Parma and Piacenza, and by Marmitta's adopted son, Ludovico Spaggi, to the Cardinal Giovanni Ricci of Montepulciano, the poet's lifelong patron.

Giacomo Marmitta was born in Parma in 1504. At the age of twenty he moved to Venice, where he became acquainted with Pietro Bembo, Pietro Aretino, and Lodovico Dolce. In 1538, after spending time in the service of Marino Grimani, Patriarch of Aquileia, he was appointed secretary to the future cardinal Ricci. In Venice he also became a member of the Accademia della Fama, founded by Federico Badoer, as well as a close friend of Giovanni Della Casa.

A meeting with the Italian priest Filippo Neri in 1556 proved to be a critical turning point in his life. Neri encouraged Marmitta to follow a more retired life, and his poetry during this period undergoes a shift from secular to spiritual. Perhaps because of his late conversion, Marmitta never published his poems (see no. 124), although before his death a few rhymes had appeared in collective anthologies edited by various printers.

It was only after his death that his adopted son gathered his complete poetic oeuvre into a single manuscript. The 1564 publication is based on this manuscript and is divided into two parts; it contains 282 poems, most of which are sonnets. At the end is an appendix with sonnets written by others in response to the author. The rhymes, described by the printer as 'dotte e leggiadre' ('learned and graceful'), range in subject matter, reflecting Marmitta's early interest in love as well as the religious topics with which he was more concerned following his meeting with Filippo Neri.

Adams M-623; Gamba 1509; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 134.

Finely bound for Jeronímo Ruiz

34. Giambullari, Pier Francesco (1495-1555)

Historia dell’Europa... nella quale ordinatamente si trattano le cose successe in questa parte del mondo dall’anno DCCC fino al 913 Di nostra Salute... Venice, Francesco de’ Franceschi, 1566. (bound with:) Guicciardini, Lodovico (1521-1589).Commentarii... Delle cose più memorabili seguite in Europa: specialmente in questi paesi bassi, dalla pace di Cambrai, del MDXXIX, insino a tutto l’anno M.D.LX. Libri tre... . Domenico Farri, 1566.

Two works in one volume, 4° (208x142 mm). I: Collation: *4, **4, ***4, ****4, A-Z4, Aa-Ss4, Tt2. [16], 166 leaves. Roman and italic type. Woodcut printer's device on the title-page. Author's portrait on the verso of the title-page. Woodcut initials and headpieces. II: Collation: a8, b4, A-K8. [24], 156, [4] pages. Complete with fols. b4 and K8 blanks. Roman and italic type. Woodcut printer's device on the title-page and at the end. Woodcut animated initials. Contemporary Roman binding executed by the so-called 'Ruiz Binder'. Light brown morocco over pasteboards. Covers within a rich border of gilt and tooled fillets, and gilt floral roll. Elaborate gilt cornerpieces. The arms of Ruiz – a lion rampant, stamped in gold, holding a fleur-de-lis, stamped in silver – in a cartouche flanked by the initials 'I R' in the centre of both covers. Traces of ties. Spine with three double bands, decorated with gilt fillets, alternating with four single bands, decorated with short gilt diagonals. The title in the second compartment, a gilt rosette on a pattern of blind horizontal and diagonal lines in each of the other compartments. Edges gilt and gauffered with knotwork. Extremities of the spine worn, lower portion of the lower cover stained and rubbed. A very good copy, some light browning. In the first edition, title-page slightly soiled and stained, old repair to the outer margin of the title-page slightly affecting the border of the portrait on the verso; the lower corner of fol. Aa3 repaired, without any loss. On the front pastedown, a price mark of 'F 30'.

Provenance: Jeronímo Ruiz (sixteenth century; armorial binding); from the library of Cardinal Giuseppe Renato Imperiali (1651-1737; stamp 'Ex. Bibl. Ios. Ren. Card. Imperialis' on the first title-page; see Bibliothecae Josephi Renati Imperialis Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae, Romae 1711, in the Appendix, p. 554); 'De Pigis' (ownership inscription on the first title-page); Count Orazio Samminiatelli (twentieth century, Perignano, near Pisa; see A. Hobson, Apollo and Pegasus, no. 19).

An exceptional volume, bound by the 'Ruiz Binder' and gathering two important histories of Europe, both of which were written by outstanding Florentine scholars: the first edition – in the issue without the woodcut border on the title-page – of the Historia dell'Europa by Giambullari, and the second edition of the Commentarii by Guicciardini.

The volume was finely bound around 1570 for Jeronímo Ruiz, member of a distinguished Valencia family living in Rome and associated with the Curia. His uncle Felipe (1512-1582) was secretary of the Papal Dataria. Hobson records twenty-four volumes bearing Ruiz's arms, all bound by the same Roman binder known as the 'Ruiz Binder', in light of his principal client. “Jeronimo had a taste for history and owned works by Lucius Florus, Dio Cassius, Sallust, Thucydides and Polybius, as well as Bembo's history of Venice, Olaus Magnus's of Scandinavia, Giambullari's of Europe, and both Cieza de Leon's and Zarate's of Peru [...] But he was no scholar. All the books are in Italian except a copy of Francesco Maurolico's Martyrologium, Venice 1568” (Hobson-Culot, Italian and French 16th-Century Bookbindings, p. 49). For the bindings made for Jeronímo Ruiz, the Roman craftman used the same tools already employed by Maestro Luigi, one of three binders active in Rome and working for Giovanni Battista Grimaldi (see no. 90) between 1536 and 1565. Hobson suggests that the 'Ruiz Binder' may be his successor. The Ruiz arms are stamped within the usual cartouche employed by this Roman binder.

The present binding is one of the twenty-four recorded in Hobson's census. The volume later entered the rich library of cardinal Giuseppe Renato Imperiali, sold in Rome in 1711.

I. STC Italian 300. II. Adams G-1534; STC Italian 321; Hobson, Apollo and Pegasus, Amsterdam 1975, no. 19; Hobson-Culot, Italian and French 16th-Century Bookbindings, no. 17; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 137.

Risultati da 1 a 25 su 56
<< Prima < Precedente 1-25 26-50 51-56 Prossima > Ultima >>