MORTIMER, Ruth.Harvard College Library Department of Printing and Graphic Arts Catalogue of Books and Manuscripts. Part I: French 16th Century Books.
Cambridge (Mass.), The Belknap Press of Harvard Uni. Press, 1964.
Folio. 2 vols: xvii, 358 p.; 359-728 p.. With half-titles, title-pages and numerous facsimiles of original woodcut illustrations. In original slipcase. Publisher’s buckram. Black labels to spines with gilt letterings. A fine copy.
MORTIMER, Ruth. Harvard College Library Department of Printing and Graphic Arts Catalogue of Books and Manuscripts. Part II: Italian 16th Century Books
Cambridge (Mass.), The Belknap Press of Harvard Uni. Press, 1974.
Folio. 2 vols: xvii, 383 p.; 385-840 p.. With half-titles, title-pages and numerous facsimiles of original woodcut illustrations. In original slipcase. Publisher’s buckram. Black labels to spines with gilt letterings. A fine copy.
Folio. a6 aa4 b-z6 A-B6 C8. Gothic letter, double column. Extensive title in red and black within decorated woodcut border in the guise of a classic portico. Woodcut printer’s device showing Saints Peter and Paul with their emblems, holding the Holy Shroud with Christ’s face (the “Vera Icon”) and inscribed with the motto “Salva Sancta Facies” (the title of Saint Veronica’s prayer, which became popular during the C15th);on the sides, illustrations of Juda’s kiss and Christ carrying the cross. Some attractive woodcut illustrations and initials in different sizes. Internally clean, slight browning and marginal waterstaining. Registrum partially scratched, which is incidentally repeated at the end of the table of contents. Some early Latin annotation in a neat hand. Bound in contemporary French calf, blind tooled, re-backed; substantial loss to spine, joints and extremities, contem. title inked to fore-edge as “Gilbertus in Ethica”, sewing guards with 15th-century ms waste. Remains of azzurre silk ties.
This is a rare and fine edition of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics translated into Latin by the Byzantine scholar Johannes Argyropulus for the Lord of Florence, Cosimo de’ Medici, who was one of the greatest patrons of arts and letters of his time. The text is here provided with the commentary of the Parisian theologian Gilbert Crab, who is shown in the act of addressing his pupils in one of the woodcuts at the beginning of the text.
This edition is very rare. According to USTC, only 3 copies can be located around the world: in Aberdeen, Munich and Paris. WorldCat lists only three other copies: in Freiburg, Stockholm and Seville. Not in Adams nor BMC.
THE CATHOLIC GOSPELS MEANT TO COUNTER LUTHER’S BIBLE, IN VAIN
EMSER, Hieronymus (ed.). Das new Testament durch hochgelerten Hieronymum Emser seligen verteutscht.
Freiburg, durch Stephann Graff, 1551.
8vo. Text in Gothic, glosses in Italic. Title-page, ff. 16, 399 (=407), 7; lacking initial blank. Woodcut vignette on title showing Christ at the Column with the Instruments of the Passion relating to his flagellation and the editor Emser kneeling before him, with his coat of arms at his feet. Between Jesus and the theologian, a cartouche with a motto made up of two verses from the Book of Psalms (Nos 118 and 26): “iniquos odio habui, lege[m] aut[em] tua[m] dilexi. Odi[vi] eccla[siam] malignantium, etcu[m] impiis no[n] sedebo”. Several charming woodcuts by Anton Woensam of Worms throughout, at least one for each Gospel, illustrating the Evangelists, and any other epistolary section. Decorated initials in 3 sizes, the largest ones particularly beautiful. Capital spaces with guide-letter, many printed maniculae and side-notes. Printer’s mark on colophon; without the final blanks, a few marginal repairs in first quire, some waterstains at beginning and light spotting at end. Bound in contemporary blind-stamped pigskin over bevelled wooden boards, later metal clasps, remains of leather tabs (upper joint split at head, tail of spine slightly defective, some light stains). A very good, clean copy of this scarce edition.
Born of a prominent family at Ulm, Hieronymus Emser (1478-1527) was the most ardent literary opponent of Luther’s “pestilential heresy”, as Protestantism is defined in the present volume. George “The Bearded”, who was the very Catholic Duke of Saxony, encouraged the churchman and theologian Emser to undertake this German translation of the New Testament in order to counter the fast-spreading success of Luther’s vernacular Bible. The present book is an uncommon edition of Emser’s work, which was first published in 1527 (ABPC/RBH list just one copy in auction records). Emser compares Luther’s so-called “September Testament” (1522), which was his first translation of the Gospels from Greek, with the 1527 edition of the Reformer’s Bible, in order to prove the arbitrariness of his interpretation.
Anton Woensam was a German painter and graphic artist specialising in woodcuts. Forty-five paintings and over 500 woodcuts are attributed to him. He was a contemporary of the great artist Albrecht Dürer. Woesam’s woodcuts depict the four Evangelists (Merlo 1016, 338-341) the suffering Saviour, worshiped by the priest Emser (Merlo 1014, 330), and the authors of the Apostolic Letters.
Provenance: Bavaria, Rottenbuch Abbey (early inscription on title) – Schweinfurt, Otto Schäfer (pencil monogram on rear pastedown with library no.).
Catechismus, pia et utili explicatione illustratus
[Frankfurt, Peter Braubach], 1555.
8vo, pp.  778 , aa8 a-z8 A-Z8 Aa-Dd8. Italic letter, some Roman, sporadic Greek. Historiated initials, lacking title-page in black and red with woodcut border. Occasional early marginalia, ms. date “1789” next to colophon (Cc5v). Wormhole to lower gutter throughout, not affecting text. Light soiling and dampstaining to margins. Bookplate of Hungarian lawyer Joannes Sza’sz on aa2v and of notary public Carolus Susich on verso of last leaf. Bound in contemporary blind-tooled pigskin over boards with rolls of personified virtues (faith, hope and justice) framing central panels on covers: on front, Christ on the cross, Moses, John the Baptist and a verse from John’s Gospel underneath (1:29): “Ecce agnus dei qui tollit peccata mundi” (compare with EBDB p002865 on Einbandatenbank), plus owner’s initials “P. A. B.” and date “1560” stamped in black. On the back, Christ resurrected and triumphant defeats Satan represented as a snake, or a dragon symbolising Evil, and a biblical verse (Hosea, 13:14): “ero mors tua o mors” (see EBDB p001637). Re-hinged using remains of a German Gothic bible as pastedowns, paper repairs to upper corner of first two initial leaves, last leaf laid on endpaper. A beautiful binding.
Johannes Brenz (1499-1570) was a “leading church administrator in the first generation of the Protestant Reformation who was responsible for the start of reform in numerous German lands. He became a leading defender of Lutheran Eucharistic doctrine against the Swiss, especially through 11 his articulation of the doctrine of the ubiquity of Christ, an advocate for religious toleration, and a supporter of secular authority over religious matters. His most lasting contribution was a church order that would influence church polity in Germany until the twentieth century […] he also wrote one of the first Lutheran catechisms, which he published in 1527 and saw reprinted in over 500 edition” (see https://reformation500.csl.edu/bio/johannes-brenz/).
One copy in the British Library. Adams (only 1551 edition in 4to format – B2751). Not in Brunet and Graesse. USTC 620390; VD16 B 7566.
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.
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”.
FICINO, Marsilio.De Vita Libri tres, quorum Primus, de studiosorum Sanitate tuenda. Secundus, de Vita producenda. Tertius, de Vita coelitus comparanda.
Lyon, Apud Gulielmum Rouillium, sub scuto Veneto, 1560.
16mo, pp. 461 (iii), a-z A-F8. One work in three volumes bound together. Roman letter, some Italic. Title page with woodcut vignette of an eagle standing on a globe placed on a plinth and sided by two snakes; motto: “in virtute, / et fortuna.” Floriated initials, meanders, head- and tailpieces. Early ms. autograph in capital letters on front cover, twice, and in cursive on t-p: “Laurens Viguier”, probably the same person who left ink underlining and marginalia throughout the book. Stamp of the library of Saint Peter ad Vicula (Rome) on t-p and library shelf mark label on front pastedown. Some rare marginal spotting and light age browning to page edges. In a fine contemporary blind-ruled calf binding with gilt-tooled fleurons at centre of covers and towards corners; skilfully rebacked. A lovely copy.
The De vita libri tres (Three Books on Life) was written in the years 1480–89 by the Italian Platonist Marsilio Ficino. It was first circulated in manuscript form and then published on December 3, 1489. It was constantly in print throughout the middle of the seventeenth century. The present copy is an excellent pocket edition. The first book is about physical health, the second is about prolonging life, and the third (De vita coelitùs comparanda) is about astral influences. The work focuses not only on the soul and the body, but also, and especially, on the notion of “spiritus”. The work focuses on the health and wellbeing of the scholar. Scholars are described as being naturally prone to extremes of melancholy and thus the ambivalent influence of Saturn, which can be remediated by the influence of the benign planets (the Sun, Jupiter, Venus and Mercury). Ficino considers three types of things beneficial to the spirit: wines and aromatic substances, odours and clean air, and music. De vita is an amalgam of philosophy, medicine, magic, and astrology. Alongside passages explaining the immortality and divine source and nature of the soul, there are astrological charts and remedies, speeches from various Greek gods arguing with one another, philosophical digressions, medieval prescriptions for various ills, attempts at reconciling the Neoplatonism of Plotinus with Christian Scriptures, and magical remedies and talismans. Ficino was one of the major philosophical voices of the Italian Renaissance, but he was also a physician, and the son of a physician. De vita is an example of the medical thinking of the early Renaissance, steeped in Galen and Hippocrates and the theory of the four humours and their attendant Aristotelian qualities (e.g., hot, cold, moist,dry), but also beginning to align this viewpoint with the awakening sense of the archetypal significance of the pagan gods, derived from the first exposure in the West for many centuries to the dialogues of Plato and to the Corpus hermeticum.
ISOCRATES. Orationes ad Demonicum, et Nicoclem: Nicocles et Euagoras.
Ingolstadt, ex officina typographica Adami Sartorii, 1597.
8vo, pp. (ii) 133, A-H8 I4. Italic Greek type and Roman letter. Small t-p vignette of crowned goddess within a rondel, standing on a globe and holding a sceptre in the one hand and a brazier in the other hand. Blank t-p verso with stamped large coat of arms, which resembles the one of Maximilian III (1558-1618), Archduke of Austria. This must be a later addition, nearly contemporaneous, since it cannot be found in two other digitised copies from the Bayerische StaatsBibliothek. Double column, decorated initials, head- and tailpieces. Early ms. note of provenance on top of t-p: “Collegii Societatis JESU Oenipontis [Innsbruck] 19 December 97”. In contemporary vellum wrappers, remains of ties, ink title to spine, charmingly worn and stained, hole to spine, a.e.b.; an excellent copy.
Isocrates, (436-338 BCE), ancient Athenian orator, rhetorician, and teacher whose writings are an important historical source on the intellectual and political life of Athens of his day. The school he founded differed markedly in its aims from the Academy of Plato. “Isocrates’ concern with the moral basis for power also appears in the three other so-called Cyprian orations, which should be read in conjunction with the Evagoras. In the To Demonicus, assuming that it is genuine, Isocrates advises his addressee through a series of traditional maxims, familiar from Hesiod, Solon, and Theognis, somewhat loosely strung together. Not surprisingly, piety (1.13), justice (1.15 and 38-39), moderation (sôphrosynê) (1.15), and self-control (enkrateia) (1.21) figure prominently. In this work, Isocrates gives advice to Demonicus both as a private citizen, telling him to emulate the character of kings (1.36) and as a future ruler, instructing him to govern fairly and justly (1.37-39). In the To Nicocles, which is also full of traditional gnomic maxims, likewise somewhat loosely organised, Isocrates addresses himself more specifically to the moral virtues necessary for the ideal ruler…Throughout, Isocrates advices that a successful ruler must voice be a moral ruler. In the third Cyprian oration, speaking through the voice of Nicocles himself, Isocrates gives the flip slide to the moral virtues necessary to the ideal by showing how the behaviour of the subjects in the ideal state ought to correspond in moral virtue to that of the leader” Frances Pownall, “The Moral Education of the Elite”, in “The Politics of Orality” (Craig Richard Cooper, Ed.), 2007, p. 239.
CASTIGLIONE, Baldassare (CHAPPUYS, Gabriel, Tr.). Le parfait courtisan…
Paris, Par Nicolas Bonfons, 1585.
8vo, ã8 ê8 a-z A-V8, pp. (xxxii) 678 (=658) (xxx). Double column, French in Roman letter, Italian in Italic. Printer’s device on title page with motto: “proba me deus et scito cor meum” (Psalm 138:23). C19th ms. note on title page “Monneraye / Monneraye / bon garçon”, with name “Monneraye” appearing occasionally throughout the book on margins. Paper evenly yellowed because of aging, occasional small wormholes to outer and lower blank margin, no loss to text. Some light dampstaining and spotting, edges of initial leaves slightly worn. Rebound in modern vellum with yapp edges.
This is an early French translation of this greatly renowned work of Baldassare Castiglione (1478-1529). Castiglione was an Italian courtier, diplomat, soldier and a prominent Renaissance author. He was born at Mantua, where he served the Gonzaga family, then moved to Urbino in the service of its duke, Guidolbaldo da Montefeltro. In 1506 he was in England to receive the Order of the Garter for his master from Henry VII. In 1524 he went to Spain as papal envoy; he died there in 1529, universally mourned. Finished in 1518, the book sets forth in a series of dialogues the author’s conception of the ideal courtier and the norms of courtesy in a cultured society. Kendall Tarte has shed light on the influence of this work on the French culture of the time in relation to another similar work, especially with regard to the role of women: “La Puce de Madame des-Roches offers a complex portrait of one woman. The book’s fictionalized accounts of Catherine’s body, her expressions of virtue, and her participation in salon activities help the modern reader imagine the Poitiers community of the late sixteenth century. The poets of that group engage with contemporary codes of conduct in their renderings of the salon interactions. Portraits of Catherine Des Roches reflect an idealized view of women, and in her poems Des Roches adopts a stance suggested by such guidelines. A consideration of contemporary conduct books will illuminate the ideas that set the tone of interactions between sexes. Of particular importance are contemporary works that deal with codes of conversation between men and women, and that discuss specifically the question of the speech of women. Two Italian texts, Baldassare Castiglioni’s Libro del Cortegiano, or The Book of the Courtier, and Stefano Guazzo’s Civil Conversatione, provide guidelines for women in polite society. First published in Italian in 1528, Il Cortegiano was enormously influential throughout Europe. The first French translation, by Jacques Colin, appeared in 1537 at King François I’s request. Another translation, Gabriel Chappuy’s 1585 bilingual edition, testifies to the book’s popularity throughout the sixteenth century. Castiglione’s directives for the conduct of the courtier and his lady-in-waiting apply to the parallel situation of sixteenth-century humanist salons. Despite the obvious class difference, the Poitiers group resembles the Italian court in its makeup – both consist primarily of men – and its social practices, which place special emphasis on speech.” Kendall B. Tarte, Writing Places: Sixteenth-century City Culture and the Des Roches Salon, 2007.
MARCELLINO, Evangelista.Della metamorfosi cioè trasformazione del virtuoso libri quattro.
Florence, Nella Stamperia de’ Giunti, 1583.
8vo, 331, [xiii], †8 A-V8 X4. Italic letter, a little Roman. T-p with small vignette of Florentine lily and between two putti; same vignette on verso of last leaf with additional motto in cartouche: “in domino confido”. Decorated initials, small tailpieces. Some browning and occasional spotting throughout, especially on initial and final leaves. Rebound in C19th vellum over boards, visible ties, gilt spine with labels. Blue marine pastedowns, orange silk bookmark. Bookseller’s label on front pastedown: “Libreria di Luigi de Romanis, Piazza di Sciarra sul Corso, N° 319” (Rome).
Evangelista Marcellino (1530-1593) was a Franciscan monk, chronicler of the order and writer, nee Lorenzo Gerbi. Born in San Marcello Pistoiese, he died in Rome. He used the pseudonym Lorenzo Selva. This is a rare novel, only five copies census on the public Italian libraries. Passano I, 364: “questo libro, pubblicato sotto il pseudonimo di Lorenzo Selva è un romanzo degno in molte parti, della elegante penna del Firenzuola”.