VALERIUS MAXIMUS; THYSIUS, Antonius. Valerius Maximus Cum selectis Variorum observat: et nova recensione…

Lugd. Batavorum (Leiden): Franziskus Hackius (Haak), 1655

£ 250

8vo (20 x 12 cm). *8 A-Z8 Aa2– Aa8 Bb-Zz8 Aaa-Hhh8 Iii7; [8] 844 pp. plus 16 of index. Engraved title page; dedicatory letter to Christina, Queen of Sweden. Opposite the t-page is an award of merit dated 1657. Floriated initials; Roman and Italic type, in Latin. Slight yellowing and foxing, but still very crisp. Contemporary vellum; ties missing; blind-stamped decoration with two rampant lions supporting a coat of arms surmounted by a crown on upper and lower covers. Spine in five separate compartments with blind-stamped decoration; manuscript title and date on spine. Manuscript ex-libris on first flyleaf with date (1863); manuscript inscription on previous owner p. 1 (P[eter] L[aing] Gordon of Craigmyle 1860). Overall, a very good crisp copy.

The engraved title page depicts a woman who is holding a spear in her right hand, and a cornucopia and a sail in her left; she is crowned by a laurel wreath, her breast is uncovered, and she is stepping on a tortoise. In the background we see the Colosseum and what could be identified as the Arch of Constantine. At her feet is the cartouche with the imprint in Latin. The Rijksmuseum have identified her as the allegorical representation of Europa, following the description found in Cesare Ripa’s Iconologia. The engraving is by Reinier van Persijn (1615-1668), as testified by the signature at the left of the foot of Europa.

The award of merit opposite the title page reads: “Bonae spei ac liberalis ingenii adolescentulo (I. H. Tatum) hoc incitamentum laudis & virtutis praemium in Classe (Quinta) publice dabant Ampliss. Dd. Coss. & Scholarchae Amstelodamenses. Ita testor (Cornelius Stadus) Gymnasii publici in (veteri) urbis re- gione Rector. Examine (astivo). CIC I ƆC.” It is decorated by a woodcut in which we see two rampant lions supporting a coat of arms under a crown (like the blind-stamped decoration on the covers); it is likely this could have been the coat of arms of the school which awarded the book to the young student.