Le Temple de Bocace, in French, finely illuminated de luxe manuscript on vellum.

Central France, (probably Tours), c. 1500.


245 by 163mm., 54 leaves (plus two original vellum endleaves and two modern paper endleaves at each end), complete, collation: i-vi8, vi6 (with fols. 3-54 foliated ii-Liii in a contemporary hand), single column, 23 lines in brown ink in a fine courtly lettre bâtarde, small initials in liquid gold on blue or burgundy grounds, long and thin line-fillers in same, larger initials in liquid gold or grey-white, on contrasting grounds heightened with white penwork, five large miniatures (either full-page or three-quarter page with a few lines of text on suspended scroll), small traces of cockling, but overall in outstanding condition on fine thick parchment with wide and clean margins, nineteenth- or early twentieth-century binding of blind-stamped morocco, profusely gilt-tooled inside front and back boards, marbled endleaves, in fitted case.

Around 1465 Georges Chastelain (1404-1474), a courtier of Phillip ‘the Good’, the powerful and staggeringly wealthy duke of Burgundy, reached the end of a work which had taken him six years to plan and compose: a continuation of Boccaccio’s De casibus virorum illustrium. He dedicated it to Marguerite of Anjou, daughter of René of Anjou and queen of England via her marriage to Henry VI of Lancaster, but at that time in exile in the Burgundian court, and made her the heroine of the drama. It opens in a dream-vision, describing her in a cemetery before the richly decorated tomb of Boccaccio, where a procession of 32 royal and famous men who were her contemporaries but have come to tragic ends is listed, including Richard II of England, James I and II of Scotland, Gilles de Rais, the notorious devil-worshipper and mass murderer, Duke Humphrey of Gloucester, who was thought to have ordered the death of his nephew Henry VI, William de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk, one of Henry VI’s supporters who was killed by the Yorkist faction, and many others. Marguerite summons Boccaccio and the two begin a long discussion on her misfortunes. That ends in Boccaccio reproaching her for her actions which inadvertently aided the rebellion against Henry VI, but offering her the

hope that while she lives her fortunes might change. Georges Chastelain served as official historiographer to the Burgundian ducal house, receiving in 1473 the extraordinary title “Chevalier es Lettres”, and thus he knew many of the subjects of this work intimately. The text was published in 1517 (but with variants not found here, hence this manuscript cannot be a copy of a printed text), again in modernised language in the 1860s, and finally in a modern critical edition produced in 1988 by S. Bliggenstorfer, having had access to this manuscript.

In addition to this one, only 15 manuscripts of the text are recorded (Bliggenstorfer in Vox Romanica Annales Helvetici Explorandis Linguis Romanicis Destinati XLIII, 1984, pp. 123- 53; Sandra Hindman’s updating of that list for Ferrini, cat. 1, adding the present manuscript, and the most recent in Bliggenstorfer’s 1988 edition). To these should be added another copy of the second half of the fi eenth century, sold by Sotheby’s, 22 June 1993, lot 92. Of these, six are in French public institutions, two are in the Royal Library in Brussels, three are in the British Library, one in the Vatican and another in the Laurentian Library in Florence. At present, there is no copy recorded in North America. Moreover, only six of these manuscripts (including the present one) are illuminated in any way with several of those having only one miniature. Hindman (for Ferrini, 1988) noted that this copy is “the most densely illustrated copy made in France”, exceeded only by Louis de Gruuthuyse’s copy which has eight miniatures (now BnF. ms. 1226). Only this one and that sold in Sotheby’s in 1993 have appeared on the market in living memory, and this is one of the very few copies to survive with a noble and important provenance.

The style of richly coloured draperies and backgrounds enclosing slightly wooden figures whose hands are o en held in dramatic gestures with long expressive figures reminiscent of Mannerism, is that favoured by the tightly knit and o en indistinguishable artists of the royal court of François I. Kraus connected his style to that of the key court artist, Jean Bourdichon (1457/9-1521), but his facial modelling owes as much to the popular Parisian miniaturist Jean Pichore (active 1501-20), and the rich palette and use of fine draperies in the backgrounds hints at the Master of François de Rohan (active 1525-46).

What is of importance here is that the cycle of miniatures stands quite apart from the Burgundian manuscript tradition, and thus must represent a separate French tradition, apparently designed by the artist of this manuscript for this commission.

The miniatures comprise:
1. Marguerite of Anjou speaking with Chastelain in his study, set within a gothic interior with the author holding a sheet of parchment and stood before a writing desk filled with books; above 4 lines of text on a scroll, and all within a full border of flowers and acanthus leaves on dull gold grounds.

2. Chastellain seated in his study, resting his head on a hand, before his bookcases and lectern; above 4 lines of text on a scroll, and all within a full border of flowers, fruit and acanthus leaves on dull gold grounds.

3. A cemetery divided into three parts: pagan, Jewish and Christian, with Boccaccio’s tomb as a sarcophagus beneath an architectural canopy supported by columns, the whole enclosed within a grey stone wall with crenelated top; above 4 lines of text on a scroll, and all within a full border of flowers and acanthus leaves on dull gold grounds. This scene not illustrated in Louis de Gruuthuyse’s copy.

4. Marguerite of Anjou kneeling in prayer and calling forth Boccaccio, who lies in an open tomb before her, all below a black night sky with white-grey stars; with two scrolls with text, and all within a full border of flowers and acanthus leaves on dull gold grounds.

5. Marguerite of Anjou seated with Boccacio on heavy wooden thrones, conversing, with her gesturing towards him and he counting off points on his fingers; above 2 lines of text on a scroll, and all within a full border of flowers, fruit and acanthus leaves on dull gold grounds.

1. Almost certainly from the private medieval library of Anne de Polignac (c. 1494-1554), wife of François II, comte de la Rochefoucauld, both court favourites of François I; the Emperor Charles V in 1539 is recorded as remarking that “he had not met or seen in this kingdom a more honourable and noble lady”. The book is listed among other manuscripts which were certainly hers in the inventory of the contents of the Rochefoucauld seat, the château de Verteuil, made in 1728, as item 768 in the library (M. Gérard, ‘Le Catalogue de la bibliothèque de La Rochefoucauld à Verteuil’, in Images de La Rochefoucauld, 1984, pp. 239-92). This book is very likely to have sat for a century or so on the same shelves as the splendid Rochefoucauld Grail manuscript, last sold at Sotheby’s, 7 December 2010, lot 33, for £2,393,000 (which had the arms of Anne’s husband added to it). The contents of the château remained in family ownership until the French Revolution, when the library passed by descent to Cardinal de Rohan-Chabot, with a small parcel of manuscripts from the collection appearing in an anonymous sale by Labitte in the Hotel Drouot, 18 March 1879, in which this volume was lot 21 (the BnF. copy of the catalogue marks the unnamed owner as “Duc de Rohan”).

2. The library of the Pemberton family, Newton Hall, Cambridge: their printed armorial bookplate on front endleaf.

3. Theodore Seligman (1856-1907), New York: his pen “T.S.” added to the Newton Hall bookplate; his sale Sotheby’s 30 April 1951, lot 186.

4. Most probably from the collection of the grand bibliophile Martin Bodmer (1899-1971), and subsequently offered by H.P. Kraus among other items from Bodmer’s library in his cat. no. 126, Choice Books and Manuscripts from a Distinguished Private Library, 1971, no. 12: with Kraus’ cataloguer’s pencil notes and price code on last endleaf.

5. B. Ferrini cat 1, Important Western Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts & Illuminated Leaves, 1987, no. 114.


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De bello Peloponnesiaco libri.

[Geneva], Henry Estienne, 1588.


Fol., pp. [20], 621, [15], 73, [7]. Predominantly Greek and Roman letter in parallel columns, little Italic; large printer’s device on title, floriated initials and decorative head-pieces; worming to fore-edges of early leaves and in places in text (not affecting legibility), title slightly dust-soiled with old repair to outer blank margin and clean tear on the outer upper corner (blank); light dampstain to outer margin of pp. 119-195. A good copy in contemporary English calf, blind-tooled triple-fillet outer border and central panel, gilt floral pieces at corners and gilt central arms of William Cecil, 1st baron Burghley, within oval border; spine with raised bands, gilt ornaments and probably slightly later morocco labels, a. e. sprinkled red; some repairs to joints, a few minor blemishes, corners a little bumped; bookplate of Robert S. Pirie and the 8th Duke of Devonshire on front pastedown, c18th Chatsworth bookplate on title verso along with nearly contemporary ms shelfmark.

Important early edition of the greatest historical account of Greek antiquity, first published by Aldus in 1502. With his Histories of the Peloponnesian wars, Thucydides (c.460-400 BC) was the father of Western historiography alongside Herodotus. This is the second of the Estienne family’s editions and is ‘generally considered the best 16th-century edition of the greatest historian of Athens. For this new edition [Henry] Estienne has corrected the Greek text and scholia, as well as further revised Valla’s Latin translation, which is now printed on the same page with the Greek text in parallel columns, while the Greek scholia are printed at the foot of the page’ (Schreiber). The initial biography of Thucydides by Marcellinus was edited and translated by Isaac Causabon (1559-1614), Estienne’s son-in-law and one of the greatest philologists of his times. The book retains the dedication letter of the first edition (1564) in which Estienne addressed another prominent humanist, the German Reformed scholar Joachim Camerarius (1500-1574), who had himself edited Thucydides in 1540 and had subsequently published a learned stylistic commentary on the Historiae.

This highly desirable copy belonged to William Cecil, first Baron Burghley (1520-1598). The arms on the covers are from the first of the two blocks used on the books forming his vast library. A skilled and unscrupulous politician, Cecil navigated through the uncertain waters of Edward VI’ and Mary I’s reigns and succeeded in becoming the chief advisor of Queen Elizabeth and, de facto, England’s first prime minister. As Secretary of State and Lord High Treasurer, he was responsible for most of the events marking the Elizabethan era, including Mary Stuart’s execution. Educated at St John’s College, Cambridge, Cecil acquired a vast knowledge of the Greek language, thanks to Roger Ascham and his later brother-in-law and first Regius Professor, John Cheke (1514-1557).

Not in BM STC Fr. Adams, T 667; Brunet, V, 844; Graesse, VII, 149; Renouard, 152:4 (‘supérieure â la précédente … peu commun’); Schreiber, 216.


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A facile traictise, contenand, first: ane infallible reul to discerne trevv from fals religion. Nixt, a declaration of the nature, numbre, vertevv & effects of the sacraments togider vvith certaine prayeres of deuotion. Dedicat to his souerain prince, the Kings Maiestie of Scotland. King Iames the saxt

Louvain, Imprinted be Lauerence Kellam, [1600]?

price available on request

FIRST EDITION. 12mo. pp. [36], 444, [24]. [*¹², **⁶, A-S¹², T-X⁶]. Roman letter, some Italic. Woodcut initials typographical headpieces and ornaments, small woodcut of the crucifixion, Milltown Park library label on fly, William O’Brien’s ex legato label on fly, early autograph of ‘Jane Pyee’ on second leaf. Title page soiled, cut a little close just trimming a few side notes in outer margin, just touching text block on last few leaves, light age yellowing, feint waterstain in lower margin towards end, the occasional mostly marginal mark or spot. A good copy in C19th calf, covers blind ruled to a panel design, fleurons to inner and outer corners, spine with raised bands blind ruled in compartments, rubbed, upper cover and spine loose. a.e.r.

Extremely rare first edition of this counter reformation treatise by the formidable Scottish Jesuit Priest John Hamilton, most probably printed for distribution on his clandestine return to Scotland the same year, dedicated to James VI. “Hamilton became one of the most prominent members of the Catholic League, especially during the resistance to Henry IV. ..(He) was one of the representatives of the Sixteen of Paris who offered the crown to Philip II of Spain. The society also decreed the death of Brissot, president of the parliament of Paris, and of L’Archer and Tardif, two of the councillors. When Tardif could not be found Hamilton went out to seek him, and, discovering him ill in bed, dragged him as he was to the execution chamber. Hamilton is stated to have said mass frequently in his cuirass, and to have baptised an infant in full church without taking off his armour. When Henry entered Paris in 1594 Hamilton was apprehended with a halbert in his hand about to join the band of fanatics who gathered to resist the entrance of the king, but though the other ringleaders were executed, he succeeded in making his escape, and retired to Brussels. In his absence he was condemned to be broken on the wheel for the murder of Tardif, and the sentence was executed on his effigy. About 1600 he and Edmond Hay the jesuit returned to Scotland, apparently on a secret proselytising mission. In 1581 Hamilton had published at Paris ‘Ane Catholik and Facile Traictise, Drauin out of the halie Scriptures, treulie exponit be the ancient doctores, to confirme the real and corporell praesence of Chrystis pretious bodie and blude in the sacrament of the alter.’ It was dedicated to Queen Mary, and appended to it were ‘twenty-four Orthodox and Catholic conclusions’ dedicated to James VI, containing ‘Certan Questions to the quhilks we desire the Ministers mak resolute answer at the next General Assemblie.’ … It was probably as preparatory to his return to Scotland that he published at Louvain in 1600 ‘A Facile Traictise, contenand, first: ane infallible reul to discerne trevv from fals religion: Nixt a declaration of the Nature, Numbre, Vertevv and effects of the Sacraiments: togider vvith certaine Prayers of deuotion. Dedicat to his Sovereain Prince the kings Maiestie of Scotland, King Iames the Sext. Be Maistre Ihone Hamilton, Doctor in Theologie in Brussels.’ Burton says that Hamilton ‘had that subtle gift, the empire over language; and the words came to him at his bidding,—words expressive of Christian meekness, humility, charity, and all that might seem more appropriate to the secluded anchorite than to the man of storm and strife.’ This is undoubtedly true of Hamilton’s prayers, but his controversial writings are chiefly notable for the wild extravagance of their calumnies against the reformers, and the gravity with which extraordinary stories are related of their commerce with the devil. On 24 Nov. 1600 a proclamation was issued by the king and council against Hamilton and Hay. On 22 June 1601 an act was passed against resetting them, but for several years they not only succeeded in eluding capture, but even in holding frequent meetings in different parts of the country for the celebration of the mass and other catholic services. His escape was probably procured by his nephew, Thomas Hamilton, first earl of Haddington, who was then practically at the head of the justiciary of Scotland. .. He was, however, finally captured in 1608, for on 30 Aug. of that year Sir Alexander Hay desired the lieutenant of the Tower to receive two priests, Hamilton and Paterson, sent by the Earl of Dunbar.… Hamilton died in prison, but the date has not been ascertained.” DNB. A most interesting and extremely rare work.

ESTC S118183. STC 12730. Allison & Rogers II, 370.


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THE NEW TESTAMENT of  Jesus Christ: faithfully translated into English, out of the authentical Latin, diligently conferred with the Greeke. ..

Antwerp, Daniel Vervliet, 1600.,


4to. pp. [xxxvi], 745, [xxvii]. [a-d⁴, e², A-5D⁴, 5E².] Roman letter, some Italic, Hebrew and Greek. Title within ornate typographical border, woodcut initials, head and tail pieces, typographical ornaments, occasional lengthy manuscript annotation in an early hand, Milltown Park label, William O’Brian’s ex legato label, and engraved armorial book plate of Sir Tho. E. M. Turton on pastedown. General light age yellowing, title page fractionally dusty, small waterstain at blank gutter in last part. A very good, unusually clean copy, in late seventeenth century calf, covers bordered with a double blind rule, leaf fleurons blind stamped to corners, spine with raised bands, blind ruled in compartments, red morocco label gilt, edges marbled in red, rubbed and worn.

Second edition of the Roman Catholic version of the New Testament, with extensive commentary and notes, first published at Rheims in 1582, here revised with additions such as the ‘Table of Heretical Corruptions’. It remained the standard and virtually the only English Catholic bible for some four hundred years. “The Douai-Reims Bible was created in response to the multiplication of Protestant English Bibles in the first half of the 16th century. It was the brainchild of Roman Catholics who fled England at the accession of Elizabeth I. This group established an English College in the Flemish town of Douai in 1568. Europe’s ongoing political upheavals led the College to relocate temporarily to Reims in nearby France. While there a team led by Gregory Martin completed a translation of the New Testament in 1582. Modern scholars now generally recognise that this text played an important role in the formation of the King James Bible. The Douai-Reims Old Testament did not, however, appear until 1609-10 by which time the English College was once again based in Flanders” University of Canterbury Libraries. The Douai version, as it is now universally known, was translated from the Vulgate chiefly by Gregory Martin (d. 1582), His text was revised by Thomas Worthington, Richard Bristowe, John Reynolds, and Cardinal Allen himself – all of them Oxford men. A series of notes was added, designed to answer the theological arguments of the Reformers; these were prepared by Allen, assisted by Bristowe and Worthington. They translated directly, not from the original Hebrew or Greek, but from the Latin Vulgate of St. Jerome which had been declared authoritative for Catholics by the Council of Trent. The translation retained many technical words, such as pasch, parasceve, azmes, etc. In some instances where it was difficult or impossible to find an English equivalent for a Latin word, the latter was retained in an anglicised form, in preference to supplying an inadequate rendering. As many Protestant versions of the Scriptures were compiled by the reformers for polemical purposes, their texts showed signs of controversial bias; English Catholics needed an accurate translation of their own, which they could appeal in the course of argument. The notes take up a good deal of the volume and have both a polemical and patristic character. They also offer insights on issues of translation, and on the Hebrew and Greek source texts of the Vulgate. From the point of view of scholarship, the Douay-Rheims Bible is seen as particularly accurate. Although not officially mentioned as one of the versions to be consulted, it is now recognised to have had a large influence on the King James Version.

The Douai version was printed in very small quantities for export to England and suffered from persecution whilst there, not to mention centuries of use; complete and attractive copies, in good condition such as this are rare.

STC 2898. ESTC S102510. Darlow & Moule I 198. Allison and Rogers (rev. edn.) II 174. Lowndes I 185.


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Eight Bohemian Landscapes [Prague, c.1607]


8-plate series of copperplate engravings on thick laid paper depicting Bohemian Landscapes.Engravings measure 270x205mm, pages 245×355 A very good, well-margined copy in modern 1/4 calf over green cloth boards.   


The sun bursts through the clouds above a mighty river on which are all sorts of boats  A town in the background basks in the sun, a few laden travellers continue along the road in the foreground.


A river runs through the scene, passing travellers, a mill and  various buildings, finishing with some women washing clothes in the waters. One small rustspot to centre.


After a city, the travellers continue on their way, passing vast, dark trees.  The river cascades in a miniature waterfall to the right.


Underneath a vast tranche of sky, travellers pause in a small settlement.  Far below, boats meander around riverside towns.


An impressive array of pinnacled buildings greet the travellers, rising in the distance to a lofty citadel.  The sky is thronged with birds.


In the shade of a great tree, two horsemen appraoch a small cottage.  Beyong, bathed in sunlight, a castle and river valley.


Preparing to cross a river, the travellers pause briefly before a wooded stoney outcrop.


A river in spate beneath an open sky.  In the very foreground, two hunters with gambolling hounds.

Ægidius Sadeler (c. 1568-1629) is generally considered to be the most talented scion of the Sadelers (Hind), a “phoenix among engravers” (von Sandrart).  Encountering both the Mannerist circle of Hendrik Goltzius, Rubens and Brueghel, nonetheless Aegidius developed his own distinctive artistic personality and style. He experimented with different burin techniques, using patterns of hatching to add texture and tonality, emphaissing the unnatural stylistion of the landscapes.  His contact with the Mannerists was slo influential, leading him to experiment widely with chiaroscuro in his later career.  After a diverse education and training, he settled in Prague in 1597, and was appointed Imperial engraver by Emperor Rudoph II.  It was in Prague that he produced the major part of some 150 landscapes that have been attributed to him.  They are representative of his collaboration with the Prague court artists, Roelandt Savery, and Pieter Stevens – whose works form the basis for some of the current series.  These landscapes are in several cases the sole surviving record of the artist’s work, adding to their importance.

Hollstein Aegidius Sadeler II.  XXI.255-262– State 2.


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HERBERT, Sir Thomas

 A relation of some yeares trauaile, begunne anno 1626. Into Afrique and the greater Asia, especially the territories of the Persian monarchie: and some parts of the orientall Indies, and iles adiacent.

London, Printed by William Stansby, and Iacob Bloome, 1634.


FIRST EDITION fol. pp. (x) 225 (xv) lacking first blank. Roman letter. Woodcut printer’s device on letterpress title, large floriated woodcut initials, grotesque woodcut headpieces and ornaments, fine engraved title by Marshall depicting i.a. a priest and warrior (Johnson p. 38:19), numerous engravings of views, animals (including the famous first flying fish and dodo), inhabitants and their costumes, maps of Madagascar and the Caucasus, in text, C19th engraved armorial bookplate of Arthur Viscount Dillon on pastedown. A very good copy, crisp and clean, in late C19th speckled calf antique, covers blind tooled to a panel design with alternate speckled panels, blind fleurons to outer corners, spine with  gilt ruled raised bands, double gilt ruled in compartments, richly gilt, red morocco label gilt, re-backed, original spine laid down, a.e.r.

Drawing partly on his experiences as a member of the first English embassy to Persia, Herbert devotes much of this account to the topography, customs, commerce, etc. of that kingdom, but also includes sections on the peoples, ways of life and religious beliefs of Angola, the Cape of Good Hope, Madagascar, Malaya, Java, Sumatra, India, Ceylon, Thailand, the Persian Gulf and Georgia, and also touches on China, which, however, he had not visited. He describes Persepolis, Shiraz, Isfahan and other Persian cities, discusses the religion, diet, costumes and weapons of the country’s inhabitants, and speculates on the location of Paradise. The section on China includes references to the Chinese invention of printing and of gunpowder; and there is a chapter on Mauritius which consists largely of fauna and flora, since the island is said to have “no humane Inhabitants”. Word lists of Persian, Malay and Arabic are given, and also a general index. He is particularly interested in the social position of women and the sexual mores of the societies described. “The book had great vogue in its time…..Written in a lively and agreeable style, it contains much that is interesting and curious, particularly a dissertation to prove that America was discovered three hundred years before Columbus by one Madoc ap Owen” (DNB IX 667). Herbert coasted the eastern shores of North America on his return voyage to England.

The work was expanded by Herbert in many editions in his lifetime however the first edition retains all the immediacy of his youthful discoveries. “Some readers have complained that whilst Herbert himself obviously preferred to be remembered by the latest version of his book, the freshness of the experiences as described in the 1634 edition has given way to a great deal of embellishment and reflections, depriving his text of the spontaneity of a young man’s wide-eyed wonder as he gazes on the splendours of the Persian court, the stately ruins of Persepolis, or the architectural marvels of Tabriz and Isfahan, as well as his amusing and sometimes self-deprecating accounts of the hardships he experienced during his journey.” Encyclopaedia Iranica.

ESTC S119687. STC 13190. Cordier, Bibl. Indosinica 874 & Bibl. Jap. 343. Gay 62. Alden 634/68. Sabin 31471. JFB H 116.


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Medieval Seal Matrix and Impression II

n.p. n.p. 14th century


A small circular medieval seal matrix, and red impression of the seal, in an attractive dark glazed wood display frame. The seal has a ring of lettering round the edge and the central design of the item shows a Greek cross, each arm of the main central cross being itself a cross.

Seals such as these were used to proclaim the authenticity of official, and especially legal, documents. The design identified the individual who owned the seal, and prevented forgery and tampering with important papers and correspondence.


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Medieval Seal Matrix and Impression

n.p. n.p. 14th century


A small circular medieval seal matrix, and red impression of the seal, in an attractive dark glazed wood display frame. The seal has a ring of lettering round the edge and the central design of the item shows a Greek cross, with barbs coming off each arm.

Seals such as these were used to proclaim the authenticity of official, and especially legal, documents. The design identified the individual who owned the seal, and prevented forgery and tampering with important papers and correspondence.


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SPERONI, Sperone (with) GIRALDI, Giambattista

Canace. Tragedia. (with) Giudicio Sopra la Tragedia di Canace et Macareo

Lyon D. Farri 1566


8vo. Two works in one, ff. 48 + 54 [ii] last two blank. Italic letter. Historiated initials, printer’s woodcut device on both titles, “Franco di flamminis” ms. In contemporary hand on second, small ms. armorial device below, extensive marginalia in the same hand in the second work, bookplate of Allardyce Nicoll. Light age yellowing, the odd marginal spot. A good copy in C18 marbles paper wraps.

Excellent edition, with Giraldi’s important ‘guide,’ of Speroni’s most famous, influential and controversial play, first published in 1546. A versatile and extremely influential man of letters, Speroni was known for his literary criticism, in the many prose dialogues and treatises he wrote over his long career, and for this Senecan revenge tragedy, Canace, which instigated a feud among the Italian literati on the tragic genre that lasted for decades. Sperone was born in Padua and taught in various capacities at the city’s university, where he was acquainted with Pietro Bembo, Giraldi, and Tasso, and was at the center of the powerful literary circle at Padua. This is a verse tragedy, undivided into scenes, based on the Greek legend of Canace, daughter of Aeolus, who was forced by her father to commit suicide for having fallen in love with her brother, Macar. It was composed for Padua’s literary academy, the Accademia degli Inflammati, and was printed at Firenze in 1546. The work was highly polemical, the subject of incestuous twins was always going to be controversial, and was performed only once. “It was Speroni’s Canace that most exploited the incest theme. In fact, Speroni theorized that incest may not be an evil: but even if it is, an evil hero may evoke a catharsis. In the critical battle over Canace, one thing is clear: incest is justified as a legitimate way to arouse pity and fear… Canace was, nevertheless castigated for its lasciviousness.” Richard Fabrizio. The public reaction led Speroni to write an Apologia (1550), which he never finished. It is accompanied by Giraldi’s long essay on the work and on the nature of tragedy in both theatre and poetry in general. This was long attributed to Cavalcanti but is now considered Giraldi’s, himself an influential playwright. He is renowned as the author of the ‘Hecatommithi,’ a collection of tales told in the manner of Boccaccio which provided the plots of Measure for Measure and Othello. A good copy of one of the best editions of this work.

BM STC C16th It. p. 636. cf. Gamba 1653. Fontanini, I, p. 507.


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Institutiones anatomicae, nouis recentiorum opinionibus et obseuationibus

Leiden apud Franciscum Hackium 1641


FIRST EDITION thus. 8vo. pp. [xx], 496, [xliv]. 8 fldg plates. Roman letter, some Italic. Fine engraved title page with border of roundel portraits of famous doctors, Caspar Bartolin’s above, a scene of a public dissection below, 70 fine engraved plates, and eight folding plates, floriated woodcut initials and headpieces, “By the kindness of Morneo Balt.,  S. E. Robinson, West Union Iowa. 1890 on front fly” (genealogical note loosely inserted confirming him as a Physician from West Union). Light age yellowing, minor marginal waterstaining to upper margin in places, very rare marginal spot. A very good copy, with rich dark impressions of the plates, in contemporary vellum over thin boards, a little soiled. The first edition of Thomas Bartholin’s revision of his father’s classic Anatomicae institutiones (1611), the first of his influential series of revisions bringing his father’s text up to date in view of the discoveries of Harvey, Aselli and other contemporaries, and presenting his own significant anatomical findings. The work is beautifully illustrated with seventy very fine engravings and eight folding plates. “Thomas … edited and republished many of Caspar’s writings including the present work. It was first published in 1611 and went through four editions as well as several translations. The majority of the books seventy anatomical engravings and eight folding plates were taken from the work of other anatomists. Many of the engravings of the brain were drawn by Sylvius and appear in print for the first time in this edition. The work also contains the ‘Epistolae duae .. de motu sanguinis of Johannes Walaeus, and ardent supporter of Harvey.” Hiers of Hippocrates.

This first edition of 1641 includes the earliest depiction of the fissure of Sylvius, the lateral cerebral fissure, the only part of the surface of the cerebral hemisphere to be given a name between 1641 and the nineteenth century. Sylvius (Franciscus le Bok, 1614-72) first made his neurological observations in 1637, but did not publish his own descriptions until 1663. However, he did collaborate with Bartholin in the present revision of the Institutiones, publishing here a series of illustrations of the brain based on his own drawings. Thomas Bartholin is commonly credited with the first description of the thoracic duct in man. He described the intestinal lymphatics and their drainage via the thoracic duct into the venous system. He edited one of the earliest medical journals, Acta medica et philosophica hafniensa, and described an encephalitis epidemic in Denmark in 1657. “Bartholin’s greatest contribution to physiology was his discovery that the lymphatic system is an entirely separate system. At first he sought to explain the lymphatics, already recognized as anatomical structures, as providing the liver with chyle for the manufacture of blood. On 28 February 1652, working with his assistant, Michael Lyser, Bartholin concluded that the lymphatics formed a hitherto unrecognized physiological system. This was reported in Vasa lymphatica nuper hafniae in animalibus inventa et hepatis exsequiae (1653). Failure, in this edition, to indicate the date of discovery by more than the term “28 February” and the inclusion of the further date “1652” in the second edition led to the belief by many that the true year of discovery was 1653. Such was the opinion of Olof Rudbeck, who claimed priority of discovery by reason of his demonstration of the lymphatics in April 1652. Although there was extended controversy, there is now little doubt of Bartholin’s priority. In Vasa lymphatica in homine nuper inventa (1654), he confirmed the existence of the human lymphatic system.”. DSB. A very good copy of this important work, beautifully and profusely illustrated.

Hiers of Hippocrates 288. not in Garrison-Morton or BM STC. Ger. C17th


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