Volume II: The 16th Century Philobiblon

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

Renaissance Architecture, printed on blue paper

42. Serlio, Sebastiano (1475-1554)

Il terzo libro... nel qual si figurano, e descrivono le antiquità di Roma, e le altre che sono in Italia, e fuori d’Italia. Venice, Francesco Marcolini, February 1540 (bound with:) Idem. Regole generali di architettura... sopra le cinque maniere de gli edifici, cioe, thoscano, dorico, ionico, corinthio, e composito, con gli essempi de l’antiquita, che per la maggior parte concordano con la dottrina di Vitruvio. Francesco Marcolini, February 1540.

Two works in one volume, folio (342x240 mm). Printed on blue paper. I. Collation: A2, B-V4. CLV, [1] pages. Lacking fols. H1 and H4, probably replaced by the first recorded owner with the leaves from an ordinary copy, and fols. R2 and R3 supplied with two manuscript leaves. Roman and italic type. Title within a cartouche surmounting a woodcut depiction of ancient Roman ruins with the caption 'ROMA QUANTA FUIT IPSA RUINA DOCET'. Woodcut printer's device and colophon framed by a cartouche on the verso of fol. V4. 120 woodcuts, including thirty-two full-page and four double-page blocks. Woodcut animated initials throughout. II. Collation: A-T4. LXXVI leaves. Lacking fol. B1 which is supplied with a manuscript leaf. Roman and italic type. Woodcut architectural title. Woodcut printer's device and colophon framed by a cartouche on the verso of fol. T4. 126 woodcuts, fifty-six full-page illustrations, including six plates on three leaves (fols. S4-T2). Woodcut animated initials throughout. Eighteenth-century brown half-morocco, marbled covers. Spine with title in gilt lettering. A good copy, old paper repairs to the gutter and to outer margin of fols. V2 and V3 of the first edition bound. The lower margin of fol. A4 in the second edition bound has been repaired, some ink stains.

Provenance: Francesco Bartoli (possibly the Bolognese antiquarian (1675-1733); early ownership inscription on the first title-page and the margins of fol. V3 in the first edition bound, as well as fol. A4v of the second one, partially legible under UV lamp). To the skilled hand of this early owner are attributed the drawings that replace the lacking leaves, and the marginalia.

This miscellaneous volume, exceptionally printed on blue paper, contains the first edition of Book III from this fundamental work by the celebrated Bolognese architect Serlio; it is followed by the second edition of Book IV or Regole generali di architettura, which originally appeared in Venice in 1537. The early owner of this volume may be identified as the Bolognese antiquarian Francesco Bartoli (1675-1733), who drew numerous copies of antiques, and played a notable role in the eighteenth-century reception of the classical tradition, especially in Britain. It is also likewise possible to attribute to his hand the finely drawn leaves on white paper which replace those lacking on blue paper.

Serlio's monumental work represents the first treatise on architecture in which the illustrations assumed primary importance, leading it to become one of the most important architectural books to disseminate knowledge of antique heritage and invention during the Italian Renaissance throughout Europe.

The work is made up of seven Books, which were published separately following an order explained by Serlio in Book IV. Book III, on ancient monuments, is dedicated to the King of France, François I, and appeared in Venice in 1540, while Book I and Book II, on geometry and perspective respectively, were published simultaneously in bilingual Italian-French editions in Paris in 1545, after Serlio's move to Fontainebleau. Book V, containing twelve temple designs, followed in 1547; it was the last to be published during Serlio's lifetime, once again in Paris in bilingual version. Book VI, on domestic architecture, was never published, and survives only in two manuscript versions and a series of trial woodcuts. Finally, Book VII was edited posthumously by Jacopo Strada and published in Frankfurt in 1575. By the early seventeenth century Serlio's treatise, and its various parts, had been translated into several languages, some as unauthorised editions.

Book III is especially important, and the layout Serlio adopted for it, with its well-balanced blocks of text and images, was later copied by Palladio in his Quattro Libri dell'Architettura of 1570 (see no. 145). “The first genuine advance in architectural illustration seems to have been made by Serlio, and his Libro Terzo set the type of architectural illustration in Italy for the rest of the Century” (Fowler).

The text and the illustrations were both the result of Serlio's own investigations and derivations from the work of other architects, above all Serlio's master, Baldassare Peruzzi, whom he had assisted on a project for the façade of the Bolognese Basilica of San Petronio in the early 1520s. At the end, Serlio adds a separate treatise on Egyptian antiquities – Trattato di alcune cose meravigliose de l'Egitto – which derives mainly from Diodorus Siculus, which presents among other things a perspectival elevation and a description of the Pyramid of Cheops near Cairo, as well as the description and imaginary reconstruction of a monument containing one hundred columns, the remains of which Serlio states were found in Greece.

Book IV – Regole generali – represents the first handbook to summarize the new architectural style, establishing a canon of the five classical architectural orders on the basis of Roman remains. Like the previous edition described, the work is finely illustrated.

The printer Marcolini issued some copies of his editions of Book III and of Book IV on large blue paper as presentation or special copies. Walters Art Gallery has a copy of each of these, while the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has a copy of Book III only.

I. Mortimer Italian, 472; Berlin Katalog 2560; Fowler 308; RIBA 2968 and 2966; II. Charvet, 2; Fowler 314; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 97.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

46. 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 book for affluent bibliophiles

48. Colonna, Francesco (ca. 1433-1527)

La Hypnerotomachia di Poliphilo, cioe pugna d’amore in sogno. Dou’egli mostra, che tutte le cose humane non sono altro che Sogno: & doue narra molt’altre cose degne di cognitione. Sons of Aldo Manuzio, 1545.

Folio (286x195 mm). Collation: [π]4, a-y8, z10, A-E8, F4. [234] leaves. Roman type. Aldine device on the title-page and verso of the last leaf. 172 woodcuts, eleven of which are full page. Blank spaces for capitals, with printed guide letters. Contemporary vellum over pasteboards with yapp edges and running stitches to spine. Smooth spine with title and date inked in black. A very good copy. First quire slightly browned. A few marginal fingermarks, pale waterstain to the upper corners of fols. a2 and a3. Minor foxing. more prominent on first two quires and the margins and woodcuts of fols. k8, l1r, and l2. Small repair to lower inner corners of fols. a1v and a2r, and to fol. E1r, without any loss; larger repair to fol. a4, affecting some letters on the recto and verso;. Some bibliographic notes in pencil on the front and rear pastedowns.

The rare second edition of the Poliphilo, the most famous illustrated book of the Renaissance. The first edition was printed by Aldus Manutius in 1499 (see no. 43), and the new printing of 1545 suggests a renewed interest in the work, in Italy as well as abroad, for within a year a French translation also appeared, followed by an English translation in 1592.

The second edition is a page-for-page reprint: the book was printed by Aldus' heirs employing the same woodblocks as the 1499 edition, with the exception of seven that were either broken or missing. The redesigned and newly cut woodcuts are found on fols. b4v, b5r, e2v, e5r, o3v, q5v, and x2r.

The text was set in a different roman type. “A single roman type has been used in a single body, although in 1545 the current state of typography offered the possibility of differentiation on roman and italic (both letter forms had small capitals). But there is a major difference: where there were printed initials in 1499 [...] here, in 1545, the printer has left open blank spaces, in which a guide letter has been printed for the illuminator who could then paint in a beautiful initial by the buyer's order [...] this means that the son of Aldus [Paulus Manutius] felt that the market for this book was with affluent bibliophiles: he produced an edition intended to be transformed into a deluxe copy by the buyer. What is special is that in 1545 this fashion had all but passed, so that this edition may be termed an anacronism” (F. A. Janssen, “The Typographical Design of the 'Poliphilus' (1499-1600)”, p. 69). Further, in 1545 the title of the book was here translated into Italian as La Hypnerotomachia di Poliphilo, with the added phrase Dov'egli mostra, che tutte le cose humane non sono altro che Sogno, the author demonstrating in his book “that all human things are nothing but a dream”.

Adams C-2414; Mortimer Italian, 131; Renouard Alde, 133.14; Ahmanson-Murphy 335; L. Donati, “Di una copia tra le figure del Polifilo (1499) ed altre osservazioni”, La Bibliofilia, 64 (1962), pp. 163-183; G. Mardersteig, “Osservazioni tipografiche sul Polifilo nelle edizioni del 1499 e 1545”, Contributi alla storia del libro italiano. Miscellanea in onore di Lamberto Donati, Firenze 1969, pp. 221-242; F. A. Janssen, “The Typographical Design of the 'Poliphilus' (1499-1600)”, Idem, Technique and Design in the History of Printing, 't Goy-Houten 2004, pp. 57-74; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 103.

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

50. 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.

51. Pincio, Giano Pirro (fl. 1st half of the 16th century)

De gestis ducum Tridentinorum. De Gallorum Senonum aduentu in Italiam. De origine vrbis Tridentinae. De appellatione et transitu Alpium. De confinibus Italiae. Libri duo. Venturino Ruffinelli, 1546.

Two parts in one volume, folio (310x205 mm). Collation: A-B8; †8, A-M8, N10. 16; [8], 104, [2] leaves. Complete with the last two leaves blank. Roman and italic type. Blank spaces for capitals, with printed guide letters. Contemporary limp vellum. Spine with three raised bands, with inked title. Outer corners of the upper cover skilfully repaired. A good, and genuine copy. A short inscription on the title-page inked out.

Rare first edition of the first printed and authoritative chronicle of Trent and surrounding regions, including what today forms South Tyrol, especially under its prince-bishops Georg Helideck (1505-1514), Bernardo Cles (1514-1539), and Cristoforo Madruzzo (1539-1567). The Mantuan humanist Pincio was court historian to Bishop Cles, and in 1539 was named poet laureate by Emperor Charles V; he dedicated his work to Aliprando, nephew of Bernardo, and especially noteworthy are the pages in which he describes the magnificent library assembled by the bishop in the palazzo vescovile in Trent.

Pincio adds to the chronicle De appellatione et transitu Alpium, a topography of the Tyrolian Alps and a guide to the alpine pass routes which contains the first reference in print to the Non Valley, mentioning Lake Tovel as the source of the tasty char that one can fish in the lake.

An Italian translation of the work was published in 1648.

G. Nova, Stampatori, librai ed editori bresciani in Italia del '500, Brescia 2000, p. 90; G. Tovazzi, Biblioteca tirolese, R. Stenico & I. Franceschini, eds., Trento 2006, p. 569; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 105.

Orlando printed on blue paper

52. Ariosto, Ludovico (1474-1533)

Orlando furioso... nouißimamente alla sua integrita ridotto & ornato di varie figure. Con alcune stanze del S. Aluigi Gonzaga in lode del medesimo. Aggiuntoui per ciascun Canto alcune allegorie, & nel fine una breue espositione et tauola di tutto quello che nell’opera si contiene... Venice, Gabriele Giolito de’ Ferrari, 1546. [together with:] Dolce, Lodovico (1508-1568). L’Espositione di tutti i vocaboli, et luoghi difficili, che nel Libro si trouano; Con una brieue Dimostratione di molte comparationi & sentenze dell’Ariosto in diuersi auttori imitate. Raccolte da M. Lodouico Dolce.... Gabriele Giolito de' Ferrari, 1547.

Two parts in one volume, 4° (215x149 mm). Printed on blue paper. Collation: A-Z8, AA-KK8; *8,**8, ***8, ****6. 264; [30] leaves. The second part bearing on its separate title-page the imprint date '1547'. Roman and italic type, the cantos printed in two columns. The first title-page within an elaborate architectural border containing Giolito's phoenix device; imprint set in type in a cartouche in the lower part of the border; in the second part different printer's devices on the title-page, and at the end. Medallion portrait of Ariosto on fol. *8v. Forty-six woodcuts (ca. 47x87 mm), one at the beginning of each canto. The argumenti within a woodcut border. Woodcut historiated initials in two different sizes. Seventeenth-century Italian limp vellum, gilt tooled (probably a remboîtage). Covers framed within double fillets, small floral tool at each inner corner. At the centre, large gilt coat of arms of an unidentified bishop. Traces of ties. Spine with three raised bands, emphasized by gilt fillets. On the first and last compartments the early inked shelfmark 'K V 2'. A good copy, light foxing. A few spots on the title-page, the verso of the last leaf somewhat soiled. Fols. A4v and A5r lightly discoloured. Wormholes repaired to the lower margin of the last quires. Minor loss to the outer upper corner of fol. HH2. Small early ink stains, the upper margin of some leaves lightly trimmed. A few early marginal annotations and reading marks.

Provenance: early seventeenth-century ownership inscriptions on the verso of fol. *2, 'Jo. Pompilio mano propria', repeated twice, and 'Io Domenico [?]'.

The rare Giolito 1546 quarto edition of Orlando, in an extraordinary copy printed on blue paper: one of the finest illustrated books produced in the Italian Cinquecento.

Gabriele Giolito de' Ferrari printed his first Furioso in 1542, a publication which goes far beyond previous editions by other printers: for the first time the text of the poem is supplemented with commentary, and each canto is introduced by a woodcut vignette, as well as an argomento. The success of this innovative publication was immediate and unprecedented, and the Furioso became the 'symbol' of the printing house itself. From 1542 onwards the poem was constantly re-issued, both in quarto and, as of 1543, in the cheaper and more popular octavo format, thus proclaiming Giolito's success as a printer and businessman, and transforming the Furioso into a 'classic' of modern literature.

The 1546 edition opens – like that of 1542 – with Giolito's dedicatory epistle to Henri II de Valois, then Dauphin de France, who had married Catherine de' Medici in 1533. The text was edited by the Venetian Lodovico Dolce (1508-1568), one of the closest collaborators of the Venetian house, and was additionally supplemented by his Espositione di tutti i vocaboli et luoghi difficili, che nel Libro si trovano, which soon became the most frequently reprinted commentary to the Furioso. Furthermore, in the edition of 1546, Giolito includes – in response to the Cinque Canti first published in 1545 by the rival Aldine printing house – his 'novelty', i.e., eighty-four stanzas dealing with the history of Italy, which he had in turn obtained from Ariosto's son Virginio.

Another remarkable aspect of the Giolito Furioso is the illustrative apparatus that accompanied the cantos: forty-six woodcuts comprising a cycle whose stylistic quality, refined design, and abundance of detail represents a significant step in the illustration of the poem. Each vignette shows multiple scenes pertaining to the canto at hand, thereby visually capturing the multifarious and ever-changing narrative structure of the poem. The various episodes diminish in size in the receding planes of the woodcut, and are thus conceived as separate but simultaneous actions: the majority of the vignettes depict two or three scenes from the related canto, although two woodcuts each include four episodes, and one – the vignette for Canto XLI with a surface area of only 47x87 mm – presents an incredible five scenes simultaneously.

In 1541 the Venetian Senate had granted a ten-year privilege for the woodblocks or 'intagli novi' of the Furioso, giving Giolito the exclusive right for using this illustrative apparatus. They were then re-used, with a few changes, in numerous subsequent editions issued by the Venetian printer until the quarto edition of 1559. The identity of the skilled artist or artists responsible for designing and cutting the vignettes that introduce each canto of the Furioso remains unknown; recently the name of the Bolognese painter Jacopo Francia (1484-1557) has been put forth, while a once -plausible attribution to Giorgio Vasari is now generally refused.

The 1546 Giolitina is further enriched by a woodcut medallion portrait of Ariosto taken from a block first used for the Furioso of 1542, and accompanied here by a sonnet. The source is the profile portrait introduced by Niccolò Zoppino in his famous Furioso of 1530, and ultimately derived from Titian. The artist employed by Giolito re-interpreted this earlier portrait, transforming it into a classical bust of Ariosto dressed in a toga and crowned with a laurel wreath. This new iconography was an immediate success and was readily imitated by other printers.

Surviving Giolitine on blue paper are quite rare. An edition in carta turchina of the 1554 Furioso was sold in the Pinelli sale for 25 francs, and Angela Nuovo records copies on blue paper of the Giolito Furioso of 1543, 1544, 1549, 1551, and 1554. In this copy the Furioso of 1546 is supplemented by Dolce's Espositione from the reprint of 1547. Copies of the Furioso of 1546 and 1547 printed on blue paper are unrecorded. As previously stated, Giolito continued to re-issue his Furioso, often changing the dates on the title-pages during printing in order to re-present unsold copies back on the market, or inserting quires from other issues. The interior composition of this volume may therefore testify to hectic phases in the production and 'packaging' of a copy on blue paper commissioned by a rich but impatient customer, as well as the aim to supplement the text of the poem with a 'new' version of the Espositione, which – as claimed on the its title-page, dated 1547 – is now corrected and enlarged.

Bongi Annali, pp. 126, 144; Agnelli–Ravegnani, p. 76; D. Javitch, “Gabriele Giolito 'packaging' of Ariosto, Boccaccio and Petrarca in Mid-Cinquecento”, F. Fido - R. A. Syska-Lamparska - P. D. Stewart (eds.), Studies for Dante. Essays in Honor of Dante Della Terza, Fiesole 1998, pp. 123-133; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 106.

Printed on blue paper

53. 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.

One of the two known copies printed on blue paper

54. Biondo, Michelangelo (1500-1565)

Della nobilissima pittura, et della sua arte, del modo, et della dottrina, di conseguirla, agevolmente et presto. al segno di Apolline, Bartolomeo Imperatore, 1549.

8° (152x100 mm). Printed on blue paper. Collation: A4, A-G4. [4], 27, [1] leaves. Italic and roman type. Woodcut printer's device on the verso of the last leaf. Woodcut decorated initials. Dark blue morocco signed by Masson De Bonnel. Spine with five raised bands, title in gilt lettering. Marbled pastedowns and flyleaves, inside dentelles. Gilt edges. A very good copy, loss to the outer lower corner of the title-page and fol. G3, in both cases not affecting text; few lightly browned stains.

Provenance: early illegible ownership inscription in brown ink on recto of fol. A2.

A copy exceptionally printed on blue paper of the first appearance in print of the famous Della nobilissima pittura, an edition rarely seen on the market: there exists only one auction record of an ordinary copy in the last sixty years.

The treatise was written by the Venetian physician Michelangelo Biondo, who lived mainly in Naples and Rome. Della nobilissima pittura is dedicated to the 'Eccellentissimi Pittori di tutta l'Europa', and represents one of the most interesting works on art theory produced during the Italian Renaissance; in it, Biondo avers the dignity of painting, arguing for its worthy consideration as a liberal art.

Along with Lancilotti's Trattato di pittura, Biondo's work represents one of the first sixteenth-century attempts to adopt the literary form of the dream-narrative: in Della nobilissima pittura the personification of painting appears to the author in a dream and laments her low stature among the liberal arts. Biondo quotes numerous contemporary artists and authors, and further references various other writings on the topic, thereby offering a valuable survey of Renaissance art theory.

Of the first edition of the Della nobilissima pittura, only one other copy on blue paper is recorded, which is preserved in the Fondo Cicognara of the Biblioteca Vaticana. The present copy could well be that volume in carta Turchina listed in the catalogue of the Bibliotheca Smithiana, the celebrated library assembled by Joseph Smith (ca. 1682-1770), British consul in Venice between 1744 and 1760, and sold in the lagunar city in 1755.

STC Italian 106; Cicognara 82; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 108.

55. Alberti, Leandro (1479-1552)

Descrittione di tutta Italia... nella quale si contiene il sito di essa, l’origine, & le signorie delle città , & delle castella, co i nomi antichi e moderni... Et piu gli huomini famosi che l’hanno illustrata, i monti, i laghi, i fiumi.... Anselmo Giaccarelli, January 1550.

Two parts in one volume, folio (287x193 mm). Collation: [π]4, A8, B-Ζ6, Aa-Zz6, AAA-ZZZ6, AAAA-IIII6; a-d6, e4. [4], VII (lacking blank A8), 9-469 (lacking fol. IIII6 blank), [28] leaves. Roman and italic type. Woodcut printer's device on the title-page. Woodcut author's portrait on fol. [π]4v, numerous woodcut animated initials. Eighteenth-century vellum over pasteboards. Smooth spine, title in gilt. Edges mottled red and blue. A good copy, title and first leaves slightly browned and spotted, especially at the gutter, old marginal repair to fol. Oo1; waterstain at the beginning and in the middle of the volume, inner margin of the last leaf reinforced, a little hole repaired in the same leaf with the loss of a few letters. Some early marginal notes.

First edition – in its first issue bearing in the preliminary quire the author's portrait and verses by Giovanni Philoteo Achillini – dedicated to Henry II of France and Catherine de' Medici. This important historical, artistic, and geographical guide was composed by the Dominican from Bologna Leandro Alberti, who travelled widely throughout Italy and in 1536 was named vicar of Santa Sabina in Rome. Despite its great size, the work became immensely popular, and was read and referenced until the late eighteenth century by many foreign travellers embarking upon the Grand Tour. Alberti's Descrittione has an encyclopaedic character, and its reliance upon earlier antiquarian works – above all Flavio Biondo's influential Italia illustrata – is profound. At the same time, the Descrittione also reflects his individual experience as a traveller across Italy and contains numerous personal reflections and observations, including a brief reference to Vespucci's New World voyage. Furthermore, Alberti consulted Biondo's remarkable library and requested information from all major Italian scholars of his time who in turn answered enthusiastically; among his correspondents, the names of Paolo Giovio and Andrea Alciati stand out. Alberti's work quickly found an eager audience all over Europe, as evinced by its early presence in most of the academic libraries in Northern Europe. The enduring international impact of Alberti's work is also shown in its use by cartographers like Ortelius and Quad in their mapping and description of the Italian peninsula.

After the first printing in 1550, ten more editions of the Descrittione appeared between 1551 and 1631.

STC Italian 14; Harrisse no. 302; A. Pescarzoli, I libri di viaggio e le guide della raccolta Luigi Vittorio Fossati Bellani, Roma 1957, I, no. 284; F. Govi, I classici che hanno fatto l'Italia, Modena 2010, no. 87; G. Petrella, L'officina del geografo: la 'Descrittione di tutta Italia' di Leandro Alberti e gli studi geografico-antiquari tra Quattro e Cinquecento, Milano 2004; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 110.

Outstanding copy on blue paper, from a sixteenth-century private press

57. [Claudianus, Claudius ca. 370-404] Sanuto, Livio (ca. 1520-1576)

Al reuerendissimo et illustrissimo signor il cardinal di Trento La rapina di Proserpina di Liuio. Venice, [Gabriele Giolito de’ Ferrari ?], 1551.

8° (184x118 mm). Printed on blue paper. Collation: A-H8. [64] leaves. Complete with the last blank. Roman and italic type. Numerous large woodcut decorated initials. Handsome Roman eighteenth-century red morocco, over pasteboards. Covers framed within elaborated dentelle, at the centre, gilt-tooled coat of arms of the Doge Marco Foscarini. Spine with five raised bands, compartments decorated with gilt acorn tools, title in gilt on black morocco lettering piece. In a half-leather box. A fine copy. On the front flyleaf 'rarissimo 16'.

Provenance: Marco Foscarini (1726-1797; armorial binding), 117th Doge of Venice; Henry Chandon de Briailles (1898-1937; ex-libris on the front pastedown and recto of front flyleaf). Old armorial stamp on the title-page, very faded.

A superb copy on blue paper of the exceedingly rare first edition of Livio Sanuto's translation, or adaption, into Italian of the poem De raptu Proserpinae by Claudian. One of the few copies known, it is likely to have been privately printed for the Bishop of Trent, Cristoforo Madruzzo (1512-1578), who is also the dedicatee of the publication, and is well known for having the honour of hosting one of the most important events of the sixteenth century: the Council of Trent. The volume is finely bound in red morocco with the arms of the Venetian Doge Marco Foscarini, famous eighteenth-century collector of Aldines and Italian books.

Another copy on blue paper is in the Biblioteca Braidense in Milan, and is considered a printing proof for the second edition of 1553 (“Esemplare con correzioni mss. sul front. e data corretta da 1551 a 1553, e molte correzioni mss. nel testo; probabile bozza di stampa per l'edizione del 1553”). Three 'normal' copies are recorded in the libraries at Harvard, Yale, and Cambridge University, with the latter copy lacking the dated title-page and thus possibly a copy of the 1553 edition (see Adams S-376, and Adams S-377).

The reprint of 1553 is attributed by Dennis E. Rhodes to Gabriele Giolito de' Ferrari on the basis of the large woodcut capitals used there, and which occur in many other books published by the Venetian printer. However, “Gabriel Giolito de Ferrari [...] rarely indulged in anonymous printing, or printing on behalf of other publishers. He was too successful and too independent on his own” (D. E. Rhodes, Silent Printers, p. viii).

Edizioni per i Madruzzo (1540-1659). Dedicatari, committenti e autori nella famiglia dei principi vescovi di Trento, Trento 1993, no. 44; D. E. Rhodes, Silent Printer: Anonymous Printing at Venice in the Sixteenth Century, London 1995, p. 245 (for the 1553 edition); Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 113.

The Honeyman Copy

58. 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.

Defending Heliocentrism just nine years after the publication of Copernicus’ De revolutionibus

59. Doni, Anton Francesco (1513-1574)

I Marmi del Doni, Academico Peregrino. Al Mag.co et Eccellente S. Antonio da Feltro Dedicati. Francesco Marcolini, 1552 - 1553.

Four parts in one volume, 4° (207x150 mm). Collation: A-X4; Aa-Pp4; a4, B-X4; AA-MM4. 167, [1]; 119, [1]; 166, [2]; 93, [3] pages. Italic type. Woodcut printer's device on last pages of each part within full-page scrollwork borders, title-page of part 1 with large globe device; parts 2-4 each with a different device on title-pages. Forty-four woodcut illustrations in the text (three repeats) in various sizes, including portraits of Doni, the printer Marcolini, and other writers and cultural figures. Smaller woodcuts within ornamental frames of scrollwork and grotesques. Woodcut headpieces, decorated initials. Contemporary limp vellum. At the centre of both covers the blind-stamped coat of arms of Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex. Inked title on the spine and tail-edge. Covers somewhat soiled, minor loss to the bottom of the spine. An attractive copy, first title-page slightly dusted, small worm-tracks skilfully repaired in the gutter of the first leaves, slight staining in places.

Provenance: from the library of the Duke of Sussex Augustus Frederick, sixth son of King George III (1773-1843; armorial binding); Arthur & Charlotte Vershbow, acquired from John Fleming, 1966 (ex-libris on the recto of the front flyeleaf; see The Collection of Arthur & Charlotte Vershbow, Christie's New York 2013, lot 163).

First edition of one of the most famous and esteemed works by the eccentric Florentine writer and former priest Anton Francesco Doni, a collection consisting mainly of a series of imaginary dialogues involving more than a hundred different characters, some real, some fictive, who are portrayed conversing upon the marble steps (I marmi) of the Duomo in Florence: the wide-ranging topics under discussion are unrelated and include, in the second part, the invention of printing (fol. Aa4r) and the publishing production of Aldus Manutius (fols. Cc2v-Cc4r). Further, the first dialogue contains a noteworthy passage of particular import to the reception history of Copernican theory during the sixteenth century, when the 'buffo' Carafulla defends the heliocentric system just nine years after the publication of Copernicus' De revolutionibus.

On fol. LL1r of the fourth part the title-page of another of Doni's works, the Inferni, is reproduced to announce the forthcoming publication, followed by a description of its contents on fol. LL2r and LL2v. This is probably the first time in the history of printing in which the imminent publication of a new work is promoted through the insertion of its soon-to-be-released title-page within another published work.

Adams D-824; Mortimer Italian, 165; Casali Annali, 95; Gamba 1368; C. Ricottini Marsili-Libelli, Anton Francesco Doni scrittore e stampatore, Firenze 1960, no. 40; R. Mortimer, “The Author's Image: Italian Sixteenth-Century Printed Portraits”, Harvard Library Bulletin, 7 (1996), pp. 45-46; M. R. Macchia, “Le voci della scienza nei 'Marmi' di Anton Francesco Doni: la divulgazione scientifica fra oralità e scrittura”, R. Librandi - R. Piro (eds.), Lo scaffale della biblioteca scientifica in volgare, secoli XIII-XIV: atti del Convegno, Matera, 14-15 ottobre 2004, Firenze 2006, pp. 469-484; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 115.

... and printed on blue paper

60. Alighieri, Dante (1265-1321)

La Divina Comedia di Dante, di nuovo alla sua vera lettione ridotta con lo aiuto di molti antichissimi esemplari.... Gabriel Giolito de' Ferrari and Brothers, 1554 - 1555.

12° (136x72 mm). Printed on blue paper. Collation: *12, **6, A-Z12, AA-BB12. [36], 598, [2] pages. Italic and roman type. On the title-page and on the verso of the last leaf woodcut printer's device. Woodcut medallion portrait of Dante on fol. *3v; twelve woodcuts in text, mostly smaller copies of the woodcuts in the Marcolini edition of 1544. Woodcut initials and headpieces. Nineteenth-century vellum with yapp edges, over pasteboards. Smooth spine, with inked author's name. Pastedowns and flyleaves renewed. A good copy, in the first quires the upper and lower margins of some leaves have been restored. Repair to the upper margin of the last leaf. A few waterstains, spots, and ink stains. Fols. *3, A1, B3 and B4 from an ordinary copy, and later coloured blue. Possibly an eighteenth-century hand has annotated the upper margin of the first leaf with the number '1265', corresponding to Dante's date of birth.

Another copy of the famous Divina Commedia edited for Giolito by the prolific Lodovico Dolce (1508-1568), one of Giolito's closest collaborators, and here exceptionally printed on blue paper. The colophon bears the date '1554'.

The copy presented here is one of the few copies of the Commedia printed by Giolito on blue paper, a mode of production first introduced by Aldus Manutius in 1514. This stylistic choice was in keeping with oriental practices that were particularly widespread in Venice, a city with strong trading links to the East as well as a thriving dye industry. Like his illustrious predecessor, Giolito reserved the use of blue paper for those volumes he considered exceptional and evidently commissioned by distinguished clientele, while still providing a less expensive alternative to vellum.

Copies of this edition printed on 'carta turchina' are recorded by Bongi in his Annali di Gabriel Giolito de' Ferrari. “Se ne conoscono esemplari in carta turchina, come quello bellisimo già appartenuto all'avv. Alberghini di Roma, citato da Ugo Foscolo e dal Batines, passato poi presso il sacerdote Raffaelo Pagliari di Roma, e andato in vendita coi suoi libri nel Dicembre 1891, catalogo primo” (Bongi Annali I, p. 475).

Adams D-101; STC Italian 210; Bongi Annali I, pp. 475-476; Batines I, pp. 90-91; Mambelli 39; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 117.

The Great Apollo and Pegasus Myth

61. Plutarchus (ca. 45-120)

La prima [- seconda] parte delle Vite... nuouamente da M. Lodouico Domenichi tradotte. Con due tauole, le quali sono poste nel fine della seconda parte.... Gabriele Giolito de' Ferrari and Brothers, 1555.

Two volumes, 4° (256x168 mm). I. Collation: *4, A-Z8, AA-ZZ8, AAA-PPP8. [8], 973, [3] pages. Roman and italic type. Woodcut printer's device on the recto of fol. PPP8. II. Two parts. Collation: †4, a-z8, aa-kk8, ll4; aaa-fff8, ggg4. [8], 535, [1]; [104] pages. Roman and italic type. Woodcut printer's device on both title-pages, and a smaller version at the end of each part. Woodcut animated initials, and headpieces.

Handsome Venetian bindings, executed around 1555 by Anthon Lodewijk. Gilt-tooled red morocco, over pasteboards. Gilt and blind fillet borders. Central medallion with radiating tongues-of-flame within lobed panel, the two volumes slightly differently tooled with solid outline and azure tools. The central medallion of the first volume overstamped with forged Apollo and Pegasus plaquette. Spines with five double raised bands, decorated with one, and outlined with two gilt fillets. Compartments gilt, open circle border at the head and foot of the spines. Edges of the boards decorated with a double vertical line in blind. Edges gilt and gauffered with double dotted-line frame. Missing four ties, probably in red silk. Vol. 1 with minor repairs to the corners, rebacked preserving most of the original backstrip, some gilding renewed. Skilful repairs to the corners and joint of vol. 2, a little worming in flyleaves. In modern cloth solander cases, in brown for vol. 1 (on the spine 'PLUTARCHIS VENEZIA 1555 CANEVARI'), and in green for vol. 2 ('PLUTARCHA [SIC] LA SECONDA PARTE DELLE VITE, VENETIAN BINDING VENICE 1555'). A fine copy, some spotting. Minor ink stain in the first volume, a few leaves uniformly browned. On the recto of the front flyleaf of the first volume, the inked note 'Reliure Canevari Iere moitié du XVime S. Genes'.

Provenance: Pietro Benincasa (ownership inscription on the title-pages 'Pietro Benincasa', partly removed from the first volume); Curtio Bertini, from Colle val d'Elsa (sixteenth-century ownership inscriptions on the title-pages, 'Di Curtio Bertini' and 'Di Curtio Bertini da Colle' partly removed from the first volume). By the early twentieth century the two volumes became separated:

Vol. 1: the bookseller in Florence Tammaro De Marinis (1878-1969), 1911; early twentieth-century ex-libris engraved by Stern on the front pastedown, eradicated; Cartier library (sale Sotheby's Monaco, 28 November 1979, lot 1366); GDV (monogram blindstamp on the title-page); Rossignol (sale Paris, Valleriaux expert, 27 February 2003, lot 557); Michel Wittock (see The Michel Wittock Collection. Part I: Important Renaissance Bookbindings, Christie's London 2004, no. 97).

Vol. 2: Baron de Sant'Anna (sale Brussels 16 May 1925, lot 105); Michel Wittock (ex-libris on the front pastedown; see The Michel Wittock Collection. Part i: Important Renaissance Bookbindings, Christie's London 2004, no. 97).

A remarkable copy, in its original Venetian binding, of the first edition of Domenichi's Italian translation of the Vitae by the Greek historian Plutarch. The two volumes have only recently been reunited after a century's separation; they were bound around 1555 by the famous Flemish craftsman Anthon Lodewijk or Lowies, who was active in Venice between 1553 and 1557.

Anthon Lodewijk “seems to have arrived in Venice not later than 1553. In his mature work he imitated the style of the 'Mendoza Binder' or the 'Fugger Binder', but using his own kit of Italian tools. These are found in presentation copies of books printed by Giolito in 1554, 1556 and 1557, for his distinguished clientele, which included among others Jakob Fugger and Antoine Perrenot de Granvelle. Lodewijk probably left Venice soon afterwards and is next found in Augsburg binding Greek manuscripts and printed books for Johann Jakob Fugger and decorating them with the Italian tools brought from Venice” (Hobson-Culot, Italian and French 16th-Century Bookbindings, p. 43).

These volumes demonstrate his more mature, elaborate Venetian style; in all likelihood the bindings were executed on behalf of the printer Giolito for a notable recipient. For a similar binding see for example the copy of the Giolito edition of Musso's Prediche (1554) presented by the Venetian printer to the Duchess of Urbino, Vittoria Farnese della Rovere (see Hobson, Renaissace Book Collecting, p. 131, pl. 80).

By the early twentieth century the two volumes had become separated, and the first one now offers a striking example of a perfectly genuine Renaissance binding to which a forged medallion had been added. In fact, on its cover a forged Apollo and Pegasus round plaquette was carefully applied, possibly before 1911, when it appeared in a catalogue published by the Libreria De Marinis in Florence. The volume was later seen in Sotheby's sale of the Cartier library in Monaco on 28 November 1979. The Apollo and Pegasus medallion may have been made either in the nineteenth century by the best known Apollo and Pegasus forger, the Milanese binder Vittorio Villa (d. 1892), who often worked for Guglielmo Libri; or later, in the first quarter of the twentieth century by Domenico Conti-Borbone, another bookbinder active in Milan who had inherited Villa's tools after his death. These skilful forgeries were sought by some collectors as specimens of fine Renaissance bindings or desirable curiosities.

STC Italian 528 (vol. 1 only); Bongi Annali, pp. 479-480 (“É difficile trovare uniti i due volumi”); H. Harrisse, “Les falsification bolognaises. Reliures et livres”, Bulletin du Bibliophile, (1902), pp. 428-442, 445-666, 505-523; (1903), pp. 449-452; De Marinis, Legatura artistica in Italia, I, no. 3146, pl. 4 (vol. 1); M. Wittock, “À propos de reliures, vraies ou frelatées, au médallion d'Apollon et Pégase”, Bulletin du Bibliophile, (1998), pp. 330-336 (no. 33, only vol. 1); M. Wittock, “Il medaglione di Apollo e Pegaso”, L'oggetto libro 2000, no. 37 (only vol. 2); A. Hobson, Renaissance Book Collecting, App. 9, nos. 9a-b; Hobson-Culot, Italian and French 16th-Century Bookbindings, no. 15 (only vol. 2); Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 118.

A bio-bibliographical survey on surgery and surgeons, by the Father of Bibliography

62. Gessner, Conrad (1516-1565)

Chirurgia. De Chirurgia Scriptores optimi quique veteres et recentiores, plerique in Germania antehac non editi, nunc primum in unum coniuncti volumen.... Andreas and Jacob Gessner, March 1555.

Folio (321x205 mm). Collation: †6, *4, A-Z6, a-z6, Aa-Yy6, α-β6, γ8. [10], 408 [i.e. 406], [21] of 22 leaves. Lacking the final blank leaf, but complete with blank *4. Roman, italic, and Greek type. Printer's woodcut device on the title-page and fol. Yy6v. 260 woodcut illustrations in the text (some full-page) cut by Jos Murer. Seventeenth-century half-vellum, boards covered with decorated paper. Spine with four raised bands. Title inked on the spine and tail edge, in an early hand. Covers somewhat rubbed and worn. A good copy, title-page slightly stained with a short tear not affecting the text; second leaf remargined, pale waterstain to the upper margin of the final leaves.

Provenance: early ownership inscription ('Ego Gabriel [?]', barely legible) and small old stamp on the title-page.

First edition of this collection of works on surgery selected and edited by Conrad Gessner, who also included his own treatise, De medicinae chirurgicae praestantia et antiquitate.

The book can rightly be considered both a history and a bio-bibliography of surgery and surgeons, one of the first of its kind. It covers 150 authors, including Guido Guidi, Jean Tagault, Jacopo Dondi, Mariano Santo, Angelo Bolognini, Michelangelo Biondo, Bartolomeo Maggi, Alfonso Ferri, Jacques Houllier, and Joachim Lang, to mention just a few.

The woodcut skeletal illustrations were taken from Vesalius, the field surgery scenes from Gersdorff (see no. 98), and the depictions of surgical instruments mainly from Guidi.

Conrad Gessner was a polymath: one of the leading Hellenists of the sixteenth century, he was also a physician, botanist, zoologist, bibliographer, prolific editor, and professor of philosophy. He was a native of Zurich and studied classical languages and theology in Strasbourg, followed in 1533 by studies in medicine undertaken in Bourges, Paris, and Montpellier. In 1537 he was appointed professor of Greek at the Academy in Lausanne. In 1541 he settled in Zurich, where he practiced medicine. In 1546, in addition to his medical activities, he also became professor of physics, natural philosophy, and ethics. In 1565 the plague – which has been identified, based on Gessner's description, as a form of pulmonary bubonic – came to Zurich, and he succumbed to it on 13 December.

Besides the Chirurgia, three other major projects preoccupied Gessner in his life. The first was the Bibliotheca universalis (1545), which earned him the title of the 'father of bibliography'. The second project was the Historia animalium (four volumes between 1551 and 1558), a monumental encyclopaedia of animals. The third was the Historia plantarum (1541), a magnificent herbal, for which Gessner worked to produce a significantly augmented edition up until his early death in 1565 at age 49.

Adams G-520; Durling 960; Garrison-Morton 5562; Waller 1959; Wellcome 1460; L. Pinon, “Conrad Gessner and the Historical Depth of Renaissance Natural History”, G. Pomata - N. S. Siraisi (eds.), Historia: Empricism and Erudition in Early Modern Europe, Cambridge, MA 2005, pp. 241-268; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 119.

The device of three interlaced crescents

64. 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

66. 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

67. 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’

68. 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 Lod.co Domen[i]chi con li suoi Sommarij con la dichiarat.ne 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.

Se ne trovano copie in carta grande ed in carta turchina — S. Bongi

69. Pigna, Giovanni Battista (1529-1575)

Gli Heroici di Gio. Battista Pigna, a Donno Alfonso da Este II. Duca di Ferrara V.... Gabriele Giolito de' Ferrari, 1561.

4° (210x152 mm). Printed on blue paper. Collation: A-M4, N6, *4, **4. 105, [19] pages. Complete with fol. N6 blank. Roman and italic type. Woodcut printer's device on the title-page, a different device on fol. N5v. Woodcut animated initials, head- and tailpieces. Fol. L4v within woodcut architectural border. Nineteenth-century cardboards, covered with brown paper. Spine with title in gilt lettering. A good copy, a few repairs to the lower gutter, not affecting the text.

Provenance: from the library of Count Henry Chandon de Briailles (1898-1937; ex-libris on the recto of the front flyleaf).

First and only edition of this famous heroic poem, exceptionally presented in the only-extant copy printed on blue paper.

The Heroici was composed by the renowned humanist Giovan Battista Nicolucci, better known as Giovanni Battista Pigna, secretary to Alfonso II, Duke of Este, historian at the Ferrara court and great commentator of Ariosto's Orlando Furioso. The work is dedicated by Pigna to his illustrious patron, and narrates, over forty-nine ottava rima stanzas, the true event of the duke's fall from his horse during a tournament. The poem is introduced by three books in prose, in which Pigna expounds his theory on tragic poetry and the heroic epic and provides an analysis of the peculiar features of these poetic genres.

Bongi states that of Pigna's Heroici “se ne trovano copie in carta grande ed in carta turchina”, one of which is in the hands of the “cav. Andrea Tessier di Venezia”, referring to the library of Andrea Tessier, sold in Munich in 1900 by Rosenthal, which contained a copy “tiré sur papier bleu” (lot 534), possibly purchased by Henry Chandon de Briailles. A copy on blue paper was also sold in London in 1783, at the sale of the distinguished library collected by Thomas Croft. The catalogue Bibliotheca Croftsiana lists the entry “Pigna (Gio. Batt.) gli Heroici 4° perg. Vineg. per Gab. Giolito 1561. printed upon blue paper”.

Adams P-1208; Bongi Annali II, p. 121; Olschki Choix, 18620; Nuovo-Coppens, I Giolito e la stampa nell'Italia del XVI secolo, Genève 2005, p. 423; 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. 126.

Blue paper used by a Milanese printer

70. Davidico, Lorenzo (1513-1574)

Columba animae... Quae in hoc opere continentur. De Columba animae in Deo proficientis, De congrua gratioris nominis electione, De mira summi Pontificis dignitate. Vincenzo Girardoni, 1562.

4° (252x182 mm). Printed on blue paper. Collation: A-N4. [2], 50 leaves. Roman and italic type. Woodcut arms of Pope Pius IV on the title-page. Woodcut vignettes on fols. A1v, F2r, and I4v. Numerous woodcut animated and decorated initials. Eighteenth-century marbled calf, covers within a gilt chain border. Smooth spine, richly gilt tooled with leafy pomegranate and volutes, title in gilt lettering. Marbled pastedowns. Very good copy, title-page remargined to the outer and lower sides, without any loss.

Provenance: 'D. Petrucci' and 'N. Lagomaggiore' (ownership inscriptions on the verso of the front flyleaf); Aldo Ravà (1879-1923; ex-libris on the front pasteboard).

A rare edition, and the only known copy printed on blue paper, of this mystical work by the enigmatic preacher Paolo Lorenzo Castellino from Castelnovetto (Vercelli), known by the name of Lorenzo Davidico, a disciple of Battista da Crema. Davidico was involved in an interesting and complex inquisitorial case, to which the Columba animae and its mystic content are a striking testimony.

In 1555, Davidico was imprisoned on the charge of curses and sodomy, but “his repeated and exaggerated declarations of orthodoxy and his violent (thought not particularly original) attacks on the Lutheran heresy [...] procured for him not only 'absolution' for his writings but also the glories of Counter-Reformation spirituality” (G. Caravale, Forbidden prayer, p. 51). In fact, despite repeated attempts to incriminate him, the Roman Inquisition failed to find any trace of heresy in his books, and even given his long stay in prison, Davidico remained untouched by censorship.

The Columba animae is dedicated to Pope Pius IV and is Davidico's last work to appear in print. It also contains – as a statement of his probity and righteousness – his spiritual testament, written on 30 July 1560 in Morbegno, in the low Valtellina Valley.

M. Firpo, Nel labirinto del mondo. Lorenzo Davidico tra santi, eretici, inquisitori, Firenze 1992; D. Marcatto, Il processo inquisitoriale di Lorenzo Davidico (1555-1560), Firenze 1992; G. Caravale, Forbidden Prayer, Farnham 2011, pp. 51-54; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 129.

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

71. Dolce, Lodovico (1508-1568)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

72. 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.

Rampazetto’s re-issue of the Marcolini Commedia, unrecorded in the Dante bibliography

73. Dante, Alighieri (1265-1321)

La Comedia di Dante Alighieri con la nova esposizione di Alessandro Vellutello.... Venice, Francesco Rampazetto, 1564 [at the end: Francesco Marcolini for Alessandro Vellutello, 1544].

4° (223x150 mm). Collation: AA-BB8, CC10, A-Z8, AB-AZ8, BC-BH8, BI8. 441 of [442] leaves, lacking only the last blank leaf, BI8. In this copy, fols. F3-F6, and AY3-AY6 are misbound. Roman and italic type. Rampazetto's woodcut device and headpiece on the title-page. Marcolini's colophon, dated 1544, on the recto of fol. BI7. Three full-page and eighty-four smaller woodcuts. Seven-line woodcut animated initial on black-lined background on fol. AA2r; smaller animated initial on the verso. Late seventeenth-century bazzana leather, over pasteboards. Spine with four raised bands, underlined with gilt friezes; each compartment decorated with small floral tools, title in gold on red morocco lettering-piece. Edges speckled red. Corners of both covers restored, later flyleaves; minor losses to the lettering-piece. Front hinge slightly weak. A good copy, title-page rather browned and soiled. Some foxing and spotting; a few fingermarks and ink stains, more significant on fol. AR1. The upper margin of some leaves are slightly trimmed. A tear on fol. AZ8 has been carefully restored.

Provenance: a small, old, illegible stamp on the title-page; the Tuscan clergyman Giovanni Ciabattini (nineteenth-century ownership inscription on the title-page).

The second known copy of a Rampazetto's re-issue of Marcolini's famous 1544 edition, the illustrated Commedia supplemented with the Vellutello commentary (see no. 102). Francesco Rampazetto somehow came into possession of an unsold, and possibly defective, stock of Marcolini's twenty-year-old edition and replaced some leaves. He reset the Marcolini title-page with his own address, setting the line in a roman capital type of various sizes. He also set the dedication to Paul III in a large italic font (fol. A2r), while the first page of the Letter to the readers (fol. A2v), and a portion of the Descritione de lo Inferno (fols. A7 and A8) were set in a small roman type.

The extremely rare Rampazetto re-issue was, until now, known only in a unique and incomplete copy preserved in the library of the University of Notre Dame. In that copy, fols. BB1 and BB8 (both illustrated), as well as the last blank BI8 are lacking, and only fols. AA1-AA2 and AA7-AA8 are reset. On the contrary, this newly discovered copy is complete from a textual point of view, lacking only the last blank leaf. Most importantly, it contains more leaves reset by Rampazetto, as well as leaves misprinted by Marcolini.

They are as follows:

- fols. AY3-AY6 (Par. xv) were reset by Rampazetto with the text in the same large italic he used for the dedication to Paul III (fol. A2r), while the commentary is cast in the same small roman type used for fols. A2v, A7 and A8. In fact, as he had no small italic type, he used a small roman type in place of the italic.

- the four central leaves of quire K were misprinted (K3v on the verso of K5r, K4v on the verso of K6r, and vice versa) by Marcolini himself, as they are in his 1544 type. This further suggests that Marcolini kept some incomplete or bad copies, which were sold to Rampazetto who had to reset the leaves missing in this copy; instead, he did not reset the misprinted leaves.

A different matter is the variant at the end of fol. V7r, which is present in this copy as well as in the copy at Notre Dame: a terzina (Purg. II, 64-66) was omitted in the Marcolini edition, and as the 63rd line came at the bottom of the page, Rampazetto could add these lines in hand-printing, with different spacing and in a darker ink, using the letter 'u' for the 'v' found in Marcolini as well as, in the second line, the letter 'e' for the ligature '&t' used by Marcolini (in the present copy the impression of these lines is grey and blurry).

This newly discovered copy is therefore of the greatest significance, and gives precious insight into the history of the Venetian press. “In 1564, the printer Francesco Rampazetto had in some way come into possession of unsold stock of the twenty year-old 1544 Marcolini edition [...] No listing of 16th-century Dante editions includes this imprint. Its extreme rarity is due to its odd history, a curiosity in the annals of early Dante publishing, providing insight into the commercial wiles and ways of the Venetian press during this period” (Renaissance Dante in Print).

For Marcolini's edition: Adams D-94; Mortimer Italian, 146; Casali Annali, 72; Batines I, pp. 82-84; Mambelli 30; Essling 545; Sander 2328; University of Notre Dame, Renaissance Dante in Print (1472-1629) (accessed January 2018); Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 133.

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