ARISTOTLE

A VERY IMPORTANT AND VALUABLE EDITION

ARISTOTELES. [Opera Omnia] Aristotelis Omnem logicam, rhetoricam, et poeticam disciplinam continens, tomus I [-VI]

Venice, [heirs of Aldo Manuzio the Elder, 1551-53] (colophon: apud Aldi filios, expensis nobilis viri Federici de Turrisanis eorum auunculi), 1551.

£6000

8vo. Vols 6, all lacking initial leaf (i.e. title pages): Titles: Aristotelis omnem logicam, rhetoricam, et poeticam disciplinam continens, Tomus I. (1551); Aristotelis De physica auscultatione, De coelo, De mundo ad Alex., De generatione et corruptione, et Meteorologicam disciplinam continens, Tomus II. (1551); Aristotelis De historia animalium disciplinam et reliquos huic disciplinae agnatos libros continens, Tomus III. (1553); Aristotelis Problemata cum Alex. Aphrodis. Probl. et mechanica, et metaphysices disciplinam continens, Tomus IIII. (1552); Aristotelis Moralia magna, et Moralia Eudem. et Moralia Nicomach. et Rei familiaris, civilis que disciplinam continens, Tomus V. (1552); Theophrastus. Theophrasti Historiam de plantis, et De causis plantarum, et quosdam alios ipsius libros continens, Tomus VI. (1552). Greek type, a little Roman. Decorated initials, large woodcut diagram on p. 122 of vol. 1, occasional early marginalia and underlining. Printer’s device on each t-p (here unfortunately wanting, as stated above) and also at end of each volume, except for vol. 3, which is complete without the final Aldine anchor. Light age yellowing to margins and occasional waterstaining. In early calf binding over boards with gilt ruled double fillet. Skilfully rebacked, perfectly blending in with the covers. Gilt spine in compartments with author’s name and volume numbers on red morocco labels. Bookplate showing the crest of the Clan Scott on pastedowns. A clean, fresh copy, unfortunately slightly incomplete. This most excellent and rare Aldine collection of Aristotle’s works printed in a handy 8vo format was the result of the erudite philological work of Federico Torresano. The brother of Giovanni Francesco and Maria, who married Aldo Manuzio the Elder, the “prince” of the Renaissance printers, Federico was son to Andrea Torresano the Elder, who trained in Nicolas Jenson’s workshop and then became Aldo’s first partner in business, together with Francesco Barbarigo. Federico was a learned editor of Ancient Greek and Latin authors and a successful printer active in Venice between 1538 and 1561. He married Paola, sister to Aldo. Besides editing several publications of classics, he took part in a printing enterprise called the Company of the Crown, which was devoted to the edition of law books, in association with other major families of printers active in Venice at the time, such as Gunti, Scoto, and Giolito de Ferrari. Adams, I, 1733; Goldsmid, p. 48: “a very valuable edition, rarely found complete”.

BUDÉ, Guillaume

BUDÉ, Guillaume. Libri V. de asse, et partibibus eius.

 Venice, In aedibus Aldi, et Andreae Asulani soceri, 1522.

£5000

4to, ff. (xii) 263 (i), aa8 2b4 a-t8 u6 A-N8. Italic letter, some Greek, a little Roman. Aldine device on title and final leaf, light dampstain to lower fore-corner of d1 onwards but generally clean, nineteenth century vellum, spine gilt-tooled with gilt black morocco lettering label. Very occasional light soiling and thumb marks. An impressively clean, crisp and wide-margined copy; a beautiful sample of what an Aldine edition is, printed on excellent thick, fresh and immaculate paper.

First and only Aldine edition of this work concerning Roman coinage, weights, and measures written by the French humanist Guillaume Budé. This is the third edition, which was revised and emended by the author (first edition printed in Paris in 1514; second in 1516). De Asse contributed to the popularity of “Budaues”, as he stylised his Latin name according to the humanist fashion of the time. This essay on measures included also a plea for humanistic studies to accompany study of the Bible and theology. Similar pleas were being made by many other contemporary authors, Erasmus and Thomas More just to mention two among the most important. Jean Grolier (1479-1565) a noted bibliophile, obtained a copy of the book and sent it to Francesco Asula, an associate of the famous printer Aldus with a letter detailing how it wanted it to be printed and published. 

Provenance: George Fortescue, of Boconnoc and Dropmore (1791-1877), blindstamped arms (and ink shelfmark “102 V”) on upper cover.

Adams B3101; Ahmanson-Murphy 212; Renouard 94:3.

DIO CHRYSOSTOM

DIO CHRYSOSTOMUS. Logoi 80. Dionis Chrysostomi Orationes LXXX. Apposita est in extremo libro varietas lectionum, cum orationum indice.

Venice, Apud Federicum Turrisanum [1551?].

£2750

FIRST EDITION. 8vo, ff. 451 (5), A-3L8. Greek type, a little Roman. Aldine device on t-p, several fine decorated strapwork initials. Ms. note reporting “Editio Prima” on verso of second front flyleaf and other details concerning this edition. Extensive marginalia in Greek and Latin throughout. Rare occasional waterstaining and some spotting, yet pages appear rather clean and unspotted. Margins slightly trimmed. Detached bookplate showing the crest of the Clan Scott. In contemporary limp vellum, visible ties, damaged headcap with vellum fragment torn away, remains of laces.

First edition of this important collection of orations. The ancestor of the Roman historian Cassius Dio (155-235 BC), Dio Chrysostomus was a Greek historian and man of letters born in Prusa (now Bursa), Bithynia (now a part of Turkey), in 40 BCE within in a powerful and rich family. He died in ca. 115. His nickname was Chysostomus, literally “golden-mouthed”, by virtue of his eloquence. He became a Roman citizen earning the surname of Cocceianus after his connection with Marcus Cocceius Nerva, the famous Emperor, whose family offered him patronage. The orator Philistratus (170-247 BC) is our main source on Dio’s life and career. In his Lives of the Sophists, he referred to Dio as a sophist, a master of language, skilled in the art of rhetoric and philosophy. His most renowned oration is In Praise of Hair. The present work was edited by Federico Torresano, one of Andrea’s sons, being his brother Giovan Francesco, who both took over the successful Manuzio-Torresano partnership in 1533 and continued the printing and editorial activity of classics, holding to the exclusively humanistic address of the firm, under the denomination of “haeredes Aldii Manutii Romani et Andrea Asulani soceri”. Federico Torresano dedicated this work to Cardinal Rodolfo Pio da Carpi, as his dedicatory letter at the beginning of this collection of speeches makes clear. Rodolfo was son to Alberto III Pio, Prince of Carpi, whose maternal uncle was the great humanist Giovanni Pico della Mirandola. In the introductory letter, Federico Torresano points out the common effort made by Alberto and Aldo Manuzio the Elder to foster the publication of the Greek classics. Aldo Manuzio was mentor to Alberto, who helped him fund the most important and productive printing house of the Italian and European Renaissance, established in Venice in 1494.

Adams D500; Brunet, II, p.714: “Edition rare, la première de cette auteur”