Emblemata…Emblemata, elucidata doctissimis Claudij Minois commentarijs ; quibus additae sunt eiusdem auctoris notae posteriores.

Lyon, apud haeredes Gulielmi Rouillij, 1614.


8vo. 2 parts in one. [xlviii], 816, [xxiv]. (a, e, i)8, A-Fff8, Ggg4. Roman letter, some Italic and Greek. General title printed in red and black with woodcut printer’s device, commentary with separate title with same device, 197 emblems of which 196 illustrated with woodcuts (all but n. 62) and 14 woodcuts of trees, woodcut initials and head and tail-pieces, “This booke is warranted perfit by me John sherley” in slightly later hand on rear pastedown, monogram I (or J) H to the side, early shelf mark on fly, C19th bookplate of ‘Hopetoun’ on pastedown, A.H. Bright’s on fly and contemp shelf/price marks(?).. Light age yellowing, occasional marginal light waterstaining, t-p a little dusty, the odd mark or spot. A good copy in near contemporary speckled calf, covers bordered with double blind rule, monogram I.H. gilt at center with plants between, paper label on spine. a.e.r.

Revised and expanded edition of the first and most popular emblem book. Landwehr records close to 80 editions published in France from 1534 to 1616, nearly two dozen from the Rouille press. Most of the woodcuts are from the set by Pierre Eskrich (Pierre Vase), commissioned by Guillaume Rouille in 1548, in imitation of the series designed by Bernard Salomon for Jean de Tournes. (Landwehr Romanic, 94.) “Alciato’s emblems were first published in Augsburg in Germany (two editions in 1531 and one in 1534); from 1534 onwards publishing shifted to France and remained there for the next thirty years. Chrestien Wechel at first produced Latin editions (from 1534), like those in Augsburg. He can be said to have set the standard for clear presentation of emblems, with each emblem beginning on a fresh page, featuring the motto or title, the picture below that, and then the subscriptio or verse text .. the main focus of publication for emblems shifted more firmly to Lyons from the mid 1540s, with a programme of editions, by Guillaume Rouille and Macé Bonhomme from 1548 onwards. At the same time, the total number of Alciato’s emblems had been growing. In particular 86 new emblems were published in Venice in 1546, and others enter the corpus piecemeal. Commentaries had been added at an early stage, by Barthélemy Aneau, Sebastian Stockhamer and Claude Mignault. Although Mignault’s commentaries were first published by Denis du Pré in Paris, the Antwerp (Plantin) editions were particularly important in producing versions with much more extended commentary by Mignault. [As here]” Alison Adams, “Alciato at Glasgow.”

Most probably that I H monogram on the covers is that of Sir James Hope of Hopetoun; He was in London from June 1653 as he joined the English Council of State, and served on important committees. He represented Scotland in the parliament of 1653. In 1654 he was made a commissioner for the sale of forfeited estates, but omitted in the new commission of justice, as his conduct at the dissolution of Barebone’s Parliament had displeased Cromwell. Hope was reappointed in March 1660, though died a year later. John Shirley or Sherley (d. 1666) was a bookseller of Little-Britain in the City of London and it seems from the initials next to his note that this was bought from him by James Hope.

This is the earliest example we have seen of an English bookseller’s ‘collated perfect’ note.

BM STC FR C17th. p. 6, A 239. Brunet I 149.


Print This Item Print This Item