SAMBUCUS, Johannes

SAMBUCUS, Johannes (ZSÁMBOKY, János). Emblemata et aliquot nummi antiqui operis.

Antwerp, Christophe Plantin, 1569.




£ 1,200


16mo, pp. 352, A-Y8, wanting the two initial leaves, which include the title page. Italic letter, a little Roman. Printer’s device on t-p (lacking); portrait of the author (missing), 222 woodcuts, 90 medallions with ancient figures and profiles, devoted to the eminent collector Jean Grolier; engraved by A. Nicolai, C. Muller and G. Van Kampen after Pieter Huys et Lucas de Heere. Capital spaces with guide-letters, tailpieces. Two wormholes throughout outer blank margins, one going through the whole text block, no loss. In modern blind-ruled panelled calf, joints cracked, spine skilfully rebacked, a.e.r. A crisp copy, unfortunately incomplete.


This is the third edition of this famous collection of moral and political emblems, first published in 1564, by the Hungarian humanist János Zsámboky (1531-1584). He was advisor and historian to the Emperors Maximilian II and Rudolph II. This work of the Latinist poet, a nostalgic of Antiquity, expresses his poetic and artistic talent at the best. After the publication of his work in 1564, he immediately became renown as a master in this genre. At page 121, one can see one of the earliest representation of the “Jeu de paume”, which is today considered the forerunner of tennis.


Bibliography: Adams S220.