PERRET, Clement

Exercitatio alphabetica nova et utilissima.

[Antwerp] Christopher Plantin, 1569.


FIRST EDITION third issue. Folio. 35 engraved plates; engraved title, colophon, and 33 plates of calligraphic specimens by Perret, all within ornamental strap-work borders decorated with a variety of grotesque figures, animals, fruits and flowers. A fine copy with superb impressions of the plates, in handsome late C19th crimson morocco gilt by David, covers double gilt ruled to a panel design, large fleurons gilt to outer corners, spine with gilt ruled raised bands double gilt ruled in compartments, large fleurons gilt at centres, title and author gilt lettered direct, edges double gilt ruled inner dentelles richly gilt,  marbled endpapers, a.e.g.

First edition, third issue with the ‘rare’ engraved ‘privilege’, of this outstanding writing manual, one of the first to be printed from engraved plates. The plates combine art and alphabets, each set of letters is placed within a wonderful ornamental cartouche made of elements of strapwork and grotesque design, with monkeys, sphinxes, masks, putti, and other elements. All the elaborate writing samples are in different fanciful styles such as using mirror writing, or a calligram in the form of four hearts, woven in a single line of text in minute letters. “The Exercitatio alphabetica, was not only the first ever to be reproduced entirely by copper engraving, but also the first with examples in seven languages, [including English] all of them written in the appropriate hands. Moreover in this book, the first to be produced in the Low Countries in such a large, oblong size, all plates had lavishly executed borders, designed on an architectural framework on which a variety of objects, human figures, grotesques, animals and so on were depicted. The book was obviously designed for collectors, wealthy connoisseurs and fellow writing-masters.” Ton Croiset Van Uchelen. ‘The mysterious writing-master Clemens Perret and his two copy-books.’ “With the exception of Neudörffer’s early experiments with etched lettering samples […], Perret’s book is the first intaglio writing manual’ (Becker). Its attraction lies not only in Perret’s superb calligraphic specimens but in their extraordinary borders, strongly influenced by Hans Vredeman de Vries, which show the ornamental genius of Flemish Mannerism at its most exuberant. ‘This was a book not only for writers but also for artists, mapmakers, metalsmiths, and needle workers – in short, all those who used letters or borders in their work” Encyclopaedia Britannica. “Despite the recent revival of interest in calligraphy two writing books (both of them considerable rarities) produced in the Netherlands during the sixteenth century by Clément Perret have scarcely received due notice. The British Museum has a copy of one of them Exercitatio alphabetica 1569; of the other Examine Peritiae Alphabetum (1571), only one copy is known and that is, at present, in the custody of the ‘Heissischen Treuhandverwaltung des fruheren preussischen Kunstgutes’ in Weisbaden. Of the author of these two books we know almost nothing, and after their publication all trace of him vanishes. He was evidently precocious, as his two title pages show. It seems probably that he died when young. That he enjoyed a considerable local reputation in his day is shown by the estimate of him in Sweertius’s Athenae Belgicae of 1628. His books were published by the printer- publisher Christopher Plantin. The Excercitatio has one leaf (not present in the British Museum copy) giving the privilege of sale to Plantin for a period of six years, and dated Brussels, 13 February 1569.” Colin Clair. Bibliographical Notes: Clément Perret Calligraper.”

The plates were engraved by the celebrated Dutch engraver Cornelis de Hooge. “His skill in engraving is exemplified in a very attractive writing-book, with letters and script within a great variety of strap-work and figured borders, Clement Perret’s Excercitiatio Alphabetica. It was a most worthy forerunner of Jodocus Hondius’s Theatrum Artis Scribendi of 1594. His signature on the title, favours Breda for his birthplace rather than the Hague, which is mostly given.”

A beautiful copy of this wonderful and exceptionally rare work.

Adams P729; Becker 47; Berlin Kat. 5002; Bonacini 1404.  Voet 1961.


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LONICER, Philipp

Chronicorum Turcicorum tomus primus [-tertius].

Frankfurt, Sigmund Feyerabend for Johann Feyerabend, 1578.


FIRST EDITION. Folio, three vols. in one. 1) ff. [iv], 130, [iv].  )(, A-Z, a-h, i, k. (k4 blank). 2) pp. [viii], 255, [i]. a, A-D, E-Z, a-g. 3) ff. [iv], 271, [v]. (*), A-Z, a-2z. Separate title and colophon to each. Italic letter in various sizes, some Roman. Each title with fine woodcut of Turks, historiated woodcut initials, woodcut tail-pieces, 206 woodcuts by Jost Amman illustrating text, depicting notable leaders, battles and other great events, large woodcut printer’s devices to last of parts 1 and 3, small stamped monogram of Otto Schäfer collection on rear pastedown. Light age yellowing, very occasional marginal foxing. A fine copy, unusually crisp and clean, with the cuts in fine bold impression, in handsome well preserved contemp. German blindstamped pigskin over boards, covers double blind ruled to a panel design, outer panel filled with acanthus leaf blind roll, second and third with a fine rolls of religious figures, acanthus leavs to centre, spine with blind ruled raised bands.

First edition of a collection of texts about the Turks – their culture, customs, and history. Phillip Lonicer, brother of the German naturalist Adam Lonicer, contributed the general account of the Turks in volume 1 which also contains works by Menavino, Aventinus and Georgievitz. The woodcuts, which include portraits of sultans, battle scenes, embassies and executions, are attributed to Jost Amman. A second edition appeared in 1584. Lonicer’s monumental history of the Turks was the outstanding work on the subject of its day. It begins with Lonicer’s own account of Turkish origins, the lives of the Sultans up to Selimann II, and their military, civil, religious and political organization. Next comes descriptions of their principal military campaigns, particularly in Europe, drawn from various authors; Leonard of Chio’s account of the Fall of Constantinople, the capture of Negroponte, Sabelicus’ history of the wars against the Venetians, Fontani’s account of the siege of Rhodes, Crispus of the taking of Naxos, Stella on the devastation of Hungary and Georgijevic on Turkish incursions into Christendom in general. The last part includes Marinus Barletius’ compendious account of the great Albanian patriot Scanderbeg, and the history of the siege of Scutari. Many of the illustrations in this work were reused in later editions, even recycled in completely different texts.

There is no other comparable work of the period on the Ottoman Empire either for the comprehensiveness of its information or the quality and vigour of Amman’s illustrations.

The second panel of the binding has a fine blindstamped roll which appears to be a copy of one made by the “NP Meister”, see BL Shelfmark c68e5. “This master was one of the most prolific roll engravers. About three dozen rolls are recorded, dated between 1549 and 1564 (K. Haebler, Rollen- und Plattenstempel, I, p.337-357)”.

A splendid volume, and a fine copy.

BM STC Ger. p. 525. Göllner 1695. Blackmer 1030. Graesse III 256. Hammer 1090. 2215 Adams L-1455. USTC 621419.


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Basle, H. Froben 1544.


EDITIO PRINCEPS. pp. (xii) 967 (i). *6, a-z6, A-Z6, 2a-2h6, 2i4, 2k-2z6, 2A-2M6. Greek letter, preface in Roman. Title page in red and black, Froben’s large woodcut device in red, smaller woodcut device on verso of last, fine large historiated woodcut initials and white on black and strapwork headpieces, capital spaces with guide letters, rare early marginal note and underlining, modern bookplate on pastedown, engraved bookplate of the “F.F praed Conventus de Woodchester” tipped in after last leaf. T-p a little soiled at fore-edge very occasional marginal spot. A very good, well margined copy, crisp and clean, in handsome contemporary German blindstamped calf over bevelled wooden boards, upper cover triple blind ruled to a panel design, first and third panels with a fine blind figured scroll, arms repeatedly stamped in centre panel, lower cover triple blind ruled to panel design with outer border of the same figured scroll, centre blind ruled to four panels, blind scroll at centres, spine with raised bands expertly rebacked to match, lacking clasps and catches, tear to lower outer corner of lower cover, a little scratched and rubbed. f. e-p. replaced.

An excellent copy of the important Editio Princeps of Josephus’ works, edited by A.P. Arlenius and S. Gelenius, which served as the basis for all later editions of the Greek text until the end of the nineteenth century. Josephus Flavius, the ancient Jewish writer of first century Palestine, wrote a number of historical, apologetical and autobiographical works which together comprise a major part of Hellenistic Jewish literature. The original Aramaic version of his first work, the Bellum Judaicum, or The Jewish War, has been lost. However, the Greek version, and the rest of his works written in Greek during his Roman exile after the destruction of Jerusalem, were preserved by the Church, because of their general importance for the history of Palestine in the early Christian period and for the curious Testimonium Flavianum to the founder of Christianity contained in the Jewish Antiquities. Josephus’ writings represent the only contemporaneous historical account to link the secular world of Rome and the religious heritage of the Bible. His greatest work is his Antiquitates Judaicae (The Antiquities of the Jews) in which he recounts the history of the Jews from creation up until the revolt of AD 66-70 and contains contemporary references to Jesus, James (the ‘brother’ of Jesus), John the Baptist, Pontius Pilate, Herod the Great, Agrippa I and Agrippa II, as well as the Sadducees, the Pharisees and the Zealots. His Bellum Judaicum (History of the Jewish War) gives a detailed account of the revolt of AD 66-70 and includes Josephus’ famous description of the siege of Jerusalem. “The Jewish War not only is the principal source for the Jewish revolt but is especially valuable for its description of Roman military tactics and strategy” (Britannica). “Josephus gives as his reason for writing this history the contradictory reports circulated either to flatter the Romans or to disparage the Jews (ib.§ 1). He himself pretends not to have flattered the Romans, though he is distinctly partial to them. He emphasizes his exactness (e.g., “Vita,” § 4); but his claim thereto is justified only when he states bare facts. He writes partly as an eye-witness and partly from reports obtained from eye-witnesses (“Contra Ap.” i. § 9); and he had already begun to make notes during the siege of Jerusalem. Both Vespasian and Titus, to whom the work was submitted, praised his accuracy.” Jewish Encyclopedia. Arlenius of Brabant was a pupil of Gyraldus and also produced the first Greek edition of Lycophron as well as an important edition of Polybius. In 1542 he travelled to Venice, where he became librarian to the Spanish ambassador, Diego Hurtado de Mendoza, cataloguing Mendoza’s collection of Greek manuscripts, from whose library he obtained the manuscript to produce this edition. This work is dedicated to Mendoza. The beauty of Froben’s printing, typography and layout does justice to the importance of the text; a very handsome copy of this seminal work.

BM STC Ger. C16th p. 463. Adams J352. Graesse II, 480. Brunet III, 569 “assez rare.” Dibdin II,130 “beautiful and rare.” Hardwood 76 “it is one of the noblest and most venerable old books I ever saw.”


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NORTON, Robert

The gunner shevving the vvhole practise of artillerie:

London, Printed by A[ugustine] M[athewes] for Humphrey Robinson, 1628.


FIRST EDITION. Folio. pp. [xvi], 100, 99-158, [iv]. first and last leaf blank, 30 leaves of plates (22 folded). A B-Y. Roman letter, floriated initials, woodcut initials and headpieces, woodcut ornaments and printed diagrams, title within architectural border of upright cannons (McKerrow and Ferguson 291) just trimmed at fore-edge, slightly soiled at upper edge, 15 double page, 8 single, and 7 folding engraved plates, remarkably complete, engraved bookplate of Baythorne park on pastedown, contemporary manuscript note on final blank, (a recipe for powder?) A very good copy, crisp and clean, entirely unsophisticated in contemporary English calf, covers bordered with a double blind rule, spine with blind ruled raised bands a.e.r., chip at head of spine, joints rubbed.

First edition of Robert Norton’s important work, remarkably complete with all plates placed in the text in their appropriate place. Norton undertook to provide the English reader and especially gunner “who wants respect and encouragement” with the best continental writings on gunnery, artillery and all sorts of fireworks “for pleasure, triumph and war service”; largely adapted from Uffano’s “Tratado de la artileria”, reusing the splendid de Bry plates produced for that work. The text opens with definitions of terms, such as ‘swiftnesse’, ‘to mount’ and ‘to expell’. Next are the physical requirements of the gun, e.g. “That the superficies of the Columne of the Peece bee perfectly round,” followed by maxims:e.g. “The lighter are more moveable than the heavier.” The section concludes with 67 theorems of general and gun-related science: e.g. “A peece reverseth when it dischargeth”. “The sinewes of the art of artillerie,” including mathematics and its practical applications in calculating numbers of troops, optimal formations and measuring towers etc are discussed, accompanied by numerous woodcut diagrams.

The main section of the text then addresses the practise of artillery, beginning with a definition. Topics covered are the inventors of guns and gunpowder, the distribution and use of early forms of weaponry in Europe, with their weights and measures included in tabular form, the materials required for the fabrication of various kinds of gun and cannons and potential problems, the construction of moulds for cannons and other weapons with diagrams illustrating the firing power of various guns, techniques and calculations to assure the gunner of a good shot, defend a besieged fortress, make counter-batteries, to tell if powder is suitable to fire, plant mines, transport equipment, and to make ‘ordinary and extraordinary matches’. The work concludes with a chapter on ‘artificiall fireworkes for tryumph and service,’ followed by engraved plates featuring armies, cannons, firing trajectories, calibre gauges, sailors coming into land, elaborate fireworks, and cavalry.

Robert Norton (d.1635) studied engineering and gunnery under John Reynolds, England’s master gunner, later becoming a royal gunner. He published several works on mathematics and artillery, of which this was the last. His works were notable for their scientific explanation of gunnery and that of the mathematical principles on which it relied.

An excellent copy, completely unsophisticated in a contemporary binding, very rare complete with all the plates.

ESTC S115254. [Calls for 27 plates.] STC 18673 (both BL copies incomplete). Cockle 114. Riling 100. Spaulding & Karpinski 116.


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De legibus XII tabularum. Tertia, sed planè nova editio .(with) Notae ad lib.i.&ii.digest. Seu pandectarum. Accessit rerum & verborum memorabilium index (and) edicta veterum principum rom. De Christianis.

Basel, Johann Oporinus, 1557.


8vo. Three works in one. 1) pp. [xvi] 252 (ie. 254) [xiv]. (with) 2) pp. 151 [ix]. 3) pp. 121 [xi] Roman letter, some Italic and Greek, entirely ruled in red. Separate t-ps. Historiated woodcut initials. Light age yellowing, first title slightly dusty, the rare marginal mark or ink stain. Very good, large margined copies, crisp and clean in handsome contemporary dark French calf, covers bordered with a blind and gilt rule, gilt fleurons at centres, spine with blind ruled raised bands gilt ruled in compartments small fleuron gilt at centres, morocco label gilt, upper compartment restored, small restoration to tail, corners worn, all edges gilt, end-papers renewed, John Price’s acquisition note at head of 1st t-p.

An excellent copy of this sammelband of works by the French humanist Francois Baudouin, large copies, beautifully printed in Basle by Oporinus. Baudouin was an eminent French humanist jurist and theologian. Interested in the early history of Roman law, he emphasized the importance of history in the development of the law. The first volume is one of his principal legal works, De Legibus XII Tabularum, a study of the history and significance of the Twelve Tables. The last title addresses the legal status of the early Christian Church. Although a legal scholar Baudouin was, perhaps inevitably in mid C16th France, caught up in the religious conflicts of the period. “At first possessed of filial devotion to Calvin, François Baudouin, with his love of the Law and the tools necessary for legal study (grammar, philology, and history) developed a doctrine of the church wholly at odds with that of Calvin. While Baudouin’s transformation occured over the course of years, his final break with Calvin came with a swift ferocity and a violent animosity. Francois Baudouin’s early life mirrored Calvin’s: both began their higher education in the study of law, both had the same legal and humanist influences, and both subsequently embraced the reformation, resulting in their exiles. The trajectory of Baudouin’s Protestant pilgrimage reached its zenith in 1547, when he served as Calvin’s secretary, living in Calvin’s home. The denouement of Baudouin’s journey,.., took him back to the Catholic church, informed far more by humanism than theology. ..  the move also included a strong ecclesiological bent, one that produced rancorous diatribes between Baudouin and Geneva.”

A most interesting early English provenance. The book was owned by the British classical scholar John Price, bought by him in Rouen in 1632. He was both an author and publisher and had an extensive library and published several works himself including commentaries on the New Testament. He was a Roman Catholic who described himself as ‘Anglo-Britannus’. In 1635 he published the Apologia of Apuleius at Paris. From 1652 the Medicis employed him as their “keeper of coins”. He was also appointed professor of Greek at Pisa. In 1661 he moved, under patronage of Cardinal Francesco Barberini, to Rome where he died in 1676. Rouen was an important centre for publishing outside of Paris.

1) Adams B93 2) Adams B101  3) Adams B84. Not in BM STC Fr. C16th.


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Biblia sacrosancta veteris et noui instrumenti, iuxta vulgatam et consuetam aeditionem..

Lyon, apud Jacques Giunta, 1535.


8vo. ff. [viii] 506 [vi]. [*8, a-z8, A-2S8.] Roman letter, double column, entirely ruled in red. Jacques Giunta’s large fleur de lys woodcut device on title, smaller woodcut device on verso of last, later autograph of ‘Joseph Bruysoloxi’ on fly. Light browning, t-p a little stained and dusty, early repairs to the blank margins of first four leaves, occasional marginal stain or mark. A good copy in contemporary, probably Lyon calf, covers triple blind ruled and double gilt ruled to a panel design, fleurons to outer corners, central panel with a blind and gilt ruled lozenge, scrolled tools gilt to corners and at centre, spine, rebacked with original spine laid down, double gilt ruled in three compartments, large fleurons gilt above and below,  smaller to central panel, edges and corners restored, some worming to spine,  a little rubbed, slightly later marbled paste-downs, a.e.g.

Exceptionally rare edition of this finely printed portable bible, a version of the Vulgate with corrections taken from the original Hebrew and extra notes on its interpretation. For example the work follows the Vulgate order but gives an explanatory comparative table of the chapters of the Vulgate and the Hebrew texts which occur in a different order. It was placed on the index of prohibited books in 1584 along with the re- editions of 1542 (shared by Giunta with Guillaume Bouillé) and 1546. The work is finely printed by Jacques Giunta, originally of Florence, and nephew of the Venetian publisher Lucantonio Giunta. He was one of the most successful Lyon printers with an international outlook who owned book deposits in Antwerp, Frankfurt, Lisbon, Medina del Campo, Salamanca and Saragossa. Lyon in 1535 was the perfect place for such experimental printing. “due to its commercial, banking and publishing activity, as well as its strategic geographical location, Lyon remained a place of ceaseless exchange and circulation of ideas, a free zone that the inquisitorial authorities found it difficult to control. Repressive action was limited by the high standing of Lyon’s humanist printers; their activity was essential for economic prosperity and cultural prestige of the city. From the beginning of the 1530s the city had to come home to a lively humanist circle around the publisher Sebastien Gryphe. In 1532 Rabelais arrived from Montpellier and published his Pantagruel the same year, the Gargantua in 1534. On August 1, 1534 Etienne Dolet arrived from Toulouse, closely followed by Ortensio Lando and Cornellius Agrippa in 1535. .. The Italian contingent of this lively Humanist circle included illustrious names…” Giorgio Caravale  ‘Beyond the Inquisition: Ambrogio Catarino Politi and the Origins of the Counter-Reformation”

The contemporary binding was probably made at Lyon and follows the Italianate style of French binders of the period. It shares much in common with the style of Picard though without the same quality. It also shares strong stylist similarities with a binding attributed to the Salel binder; See BL bookbindings Davis330.

Baudrier. VI p. 161. “ Nous n’avons jamais rencontré cette Bible.” Not in Gultlingen or Darlowe and Moule


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I.M. [MARKHAM, Gervase?]

The most famous and renowned historie, of that woorthie and illustrous knight Meruine sonne to that rare and excellent mirror of princely prowesse, Oger the Dane,

London, By R. Blower and Val. Sims, 1612.


FIRST EDITION thus. 4to. Two parts in one. pp [viii], 352. A-Y8, Z4. Black letter, some Roman. First title within typographical border, typographical head and tail-pieces, second title with small woodcut device, historiated and floriated woodcut initials, stamp at foot of A2 “Duplicate. Bridgewr. Liby.”. Title-page dusty with blank lower outer corner expertly restored, lower outer corner of last leaf restored with the loss of five words on recto, a few thumb marks, mostly marginal stains and spots. A very good copy in modern calf antique, covers bordered with a double blind rule, spine with raised bands, red morocco label gilt, all edges marbled.

Exceptionally rare first edition in English of this medieval Romance translated, possibly by Gervase Markham, from the 1540 Paris edition of ‘L’histoire du preux Meurvin.’ This copy is a duplicate from the Bridgewater library, “the oldest large family collection in England to survive intact into modern times” Stephen Tabor, now at the Huntington Library. Presumably the Huntington copy, which is one of only four American libraries to record owning this work, is the other copy from Bridgewater. Estc records two other copies, at the BL and at Oxford Bodleian. This work was described by J. Payne Collier in his “A Catalogue, Biographical and Critical: Of Early English Literature; Forming a portion of the library at Bridgewater House, the property of the Rt. Hon. Lord Francis Egerton.” 1865. He states “From the phraseology this is obviously a translation from the French. The fact is not stated by J.M., who subscribes the address “to the readers whosoever they may be”, preceding the ‘first part’ of the work; but it is admitted by the printer in his brief preface to the second part. The initials J.M.would point to John Marston, among the authors that time, but it is not likely that he, who was then a popular dramatist, would engage in such an undertaking, and bears no marks of his vigorous, although somewhat rugged style. In the preliminary matter to the first part, he promises the second part “the next term, and if I live,” and the title page to the second part bears the same date. The paging and the signatures run on from one part to the other; and, although this is the first edition known, it is very possible that was printed at a somewhat earlier period, and that the paging and signatures of the two parts were then distinct. Two poetical pieces are inserted in the first division of the work, but they are of no merit.” Collier also includes this work in his ‘A Bibliographical and Critical Account of the Rarest Books in the English Language” 1865.

The story of Mervine first appears as part of a series Old French chansons de geste, ‘The Chevalier Ogier’ (ca. 1220) which belongs to the Geste de ‘Doon de Mayence’ or the “cycle of the rebellious vassals”. “A later romance in Alexandrines (Brit. Mus. MS. Royal 15 E vi.) contains marvels added from Celtic romance. . The prose romance printed at Paris in 1498 is a version of this later poem. The fairy element is prominent in the Italian legend of Uggicri il Danese, the most famous redaction being the prose Libra dele halaglic del Danese (Milan, 1498), and in the English ‘Famous and renowned history of Morvine, son to Oger the Dane, translated by J. M. (London, 1612). The Spanish Urgel was the hero of

Lope de Vega’s play, the Marques de Mantua.” Encyclopædia Britannica.

“This tale of medieval chivalry is a very late outgrowth of the ‘chansons de geste’ and is intended as a sequel to the thirteenth-century epic of ‘Ogier le Danois’ .. This tale begins with the introduction of Ogier to Morgan le Fay by Artus; they fall in love and a son, Mervin, is born to Morgan. She arranges for him to be brought up as his own son by a knight who instructs him in the whole practise of chivalry. Mervin grows up to become the typical crusading knight of the medieval tale, encountering all kinds of dangers, natural and supernatural, performing great deeds of valour in tournaments at home and in battle against the saracens abroad, with the love of some fair lady as his reward for victory in both. Markham’s English version is of a higher literary quality than the original, but is not one of his better pieces. Although its character might lead us to suppose that it belongs to his earliest period his preface makes it clear that it was written in 1612, during a severe illness, and he promises the second part ‘next term (if I live)’” Poynter.

An exceptionally rare work. We have located no copy at auction.

ESTC S112619. STC 17844. Poynter, Markham, pp. 72-74.


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Grammatica.. Accessit tractatus de Orthographia recens.

Wittenberg, n.pb., 1569.


8vo. pp. [xxiv] 517 [iii] [last blank]. Italic letter, some Roman and Greek. Woodcut printer’s device on title, historiated woodcut initials, “Nec primus nec ultimus. Sum ex libris Mich: Oldisworthi. Magdalensis. ii 8” in  a slightly later hand on f.e.p. Light age yellowing. A very good copy, crisp and clean, in contemporary English dark calf, covers bordered with a triple blind rule, large oval with strap-work and scroll work blindstamped to centres, spine with raised bands blind ruled in compartments, blind hatched at head and tail, small repairs to head and tail, a.e.r.

Extremely rare edition of this popular and most influential Latin grammar initially written by Melanchthon and enlarged by his student Camerarius, in a contemporary English, probably Oxford binding. The work belonged to the English parliamentarian Michael Oldisworth whilst he was at Magdalen College, where he graduated in 1614. It was published at Wittenberg throughout the C16th, however this 1569 edition seems particularly rare. It is not recorded in USTC and OCLC records three copies only.

“Melanchthon implemented the curriculum through his numerous text-books. The Greek grammar which he published at the age of twenty-one, for example, was used in the schools of Germany for one hundred years. His Latin grammar went through more than fifty editions and was used in all the schools of Saxony until the beginning of the 18th century. Melanchthon wrote other text for theology, rhetoric, logic, ethics, history, physics, and psychology. .. Originally Melanchthon wrote his Latin grammar for a boy named a Erasmus Ebner of Nuremberg, and it was published in 1525, against Melanchthon’s will. .Two of Phillip’s noted disciples – Joachim Camerarius and Michael Neander – revised this basic text. Neander shortened it to 130 pages, and Camerarius enlarged it to 507. Melanchthon had said that he did not want to discourage students with too much grammar, and on the other hand he wanted to be thorough. When Camerarius asked for permission to have the bookseller Papst in Leipzig bring out a larger edition, Melanchthon approved in advance whatever changes Camerarius might make. When Schenk, a latin teacher at Leipzig, saw this enlarged edition, he exclaimed that the little book had at last been brought to perfection.” Clyde Leonard Manschreck ‘Melanchthon, the Quiet Reformer.’

“Oldisworth (1591-1664) was educated at Oxford, becoming a fellow of Magdalen College and receiving a master’s degree in 1614. He is not known to have enrolled at an inn of court, but by 1617, when he married Susan Poyntz, the daughter of a prominent Gray’s Inn lawyer, he was living in St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster, presumably at his father’s house in St. Martin’s Lane. As a younger son Oldisworth could not expect a substantial patrimony, but his wife was joint heiress to a moderate landed estate in Essex, and this property must have provided a welcome boost to his income. Oldisworth’s father developed serious financial problems in the late 1610s, and emigrated in 1620 to Virginia, where he died soon afterwards leaving debts of more than £6,000. Oldisworth entered the service of the lord chamberlain, the 3rd earl of Pembroke, by December 1621, when he was entrusted by the latter with the task of organizing a Christmas masque at Court. The two men had possibly become acquainted through the Mineral and Battery Company, of which Pembroke was a governor, though Oldisworth’s father had enjoyed connections with the earl’s circle for several decades. By 1624 Oldisworth was the earl’s secretary, and during the remainder of this decade he became the principal intermediary between his master and supplicants for household offices and miscellaneous favours. Oldisworth’s election for Old Sarum to four successive parliaments in the 1620s was arranged by Pembroke, who controlled the borough jointly with William Cecil*, 2nd earl of Salisbury.” Henry Lancaster. ‘The History of Parliament.’

BM STC Ger. C16th. Adams. M1153.


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An ansvver to a challenge made by a Iesuite in Ireland. … Whereunt certain other treatises of the same author are adjoyned.

London, Printed by R[obert]. Y[oung, John Legat, and Thomas Cotes]. for the partners of the Irish Stocke, 1631.


4to. pp. Five vols in one. [xxviii], 583, [ix]; [iv], 50, [ii]; [iv], 42, [ii]; [viii], 133, [xi]; [ii], 12, [ii]. a(a1+chi²) A, B-2P, 2Q²; ²A-G; ³A-F; A, B-I, K, *, 2*-3*. [a1, ²A1. ²G4, ³A1, and ³F4 are blank.]“The other parts are ideally: (2) “A sermon preached before the Commons House of Parliament” (STC 24544a); (3) “A briefe declaration of the universalitie of the Church of Christ .. The third impression ..” (STC 24548); (4) “A discourse of the religion anciently professed by the Irish and Brittish” (STC 24549); and (5) “A speech delivered in the castle-chamber at Dublin” (STC 24555). Each of these was probably also issued separately. In fact the contents of individual copies differ, and some preliminaries may be missing or cancelled.” ESTC. Roman and Italic letter, some Greek and Hebrew. Most titles within double box rule three with woodcut devices, large woodcut head and tail pieces, floriated woodcut initials, eaarly autograph ‘Tho. Mason’ on f. e-p., monogram WB in later hand below,  ‘Ex libris Ben: Lay sr.” in early hand on fly, his purchase price 76 at head of t-p, mss ex dono from G Dailey to Mr G E Woodhouse dated 1892. Very light age yellowing, very occasional marginal mark or minor stain. A very good copy, crisp and clean, in contemporary calf, covers bordered with a double blind rule, spine with raised bands ruled in blind,, a.e.r. upper joint split but sound, slight loss to head of spine.

Excellent edition of the complete works to date, of James Ussher, one of the most important biblical scholars and theologians of the 17th century. Each of these was also issued separately. In a later issue (STC 24544.5) the first three leaves were cancelled and replaced with a general title.  “Ordained priest in 1601, Ussher became professor (1607–21) and twice vice-chancellor (1614, 1617) at the university where he had received his B.A., Trinity College, Dublin. He was made bishop of Meath in 1621 and archbishop of Armagh in 1625. Ussher became primate of all Ireland in 1634. He was in England in 1642, when the Civil War broke out, and he never returned to Ireland. Having earned the respect of both Anglicans and Puritans, he proposed in 1641 a method for combining the episcopal and presbyterian forms of church government in the Church of England. .. Ussher wrote widely on Christianity in Asia Minor, on episcopacy, and against Roman Catholicism. An expert in Semitic languages, he argued for the reliability of the Hebrew text of the Old Testament and employed an agent in the Middle east to collect biblical and other manuscripts for him. Scholars still respect him for his correct distinction between the genuine and the spurious epistles of the 2nd-century St. Ignatius of Antioch,”. Enc. Brit. The five works in this vol. represent the most important of his early works and are mostly controversial in nature. “(Ussher) continued to battle over the identity of the early church with another Dublin Jesuit, William Malone. His 1619 challenge .. produced Ussher’s 1624, ‘An Answer to a challenge Made by a Jesuit in Ireland’. This was a massive historical treatise on the protestant purity of the early church and the subsequent introduction of abuses and superstitions by the increasingly corrupt Church of Rome.  … Ussher’s instinctive determination to return ‘ad fontes’, and to prove that those earliest springs were pure and protestant, was not just a product of his humanist or antiquarian instincts. It sprang directly from his historical apocalyptic vision”. Brendan Bradshaw ‘British Consciousness and Identity: The Making of Britain, 1533-1707’. A very good copy, unusually complete, in a contemporary,, binding.

STC 24544 2) STC 24544a. 3) STC 24548. 4) STC 24549. 5) STC 24555. Lowndes 2744.L1471


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GAURICO, Pomponio

De sculptura liber. Ludo Demontiosii De veterum sculpturâ, cælatura, gemmarum scalpturá, & pictura libri duo. Abrahami Gorlaei Antuerpiani Dactyliotheca.

N. pl. [Amsterdam], Np., 1609.


FIRST EDITION thus. Two parts in one. 4to. pp. [viii], 174. + 152 engraved plates without accompanying text. Roman letter, some Italic and Greek. Engraved title page to both parts with fine borders incorporating figures of Virtue and Nobility, fine full page engraved portrait of  Abraham Goorle displaying his collection of rings and coins (with what looks like a books shaped drawer to conceal his coins) floriated woodcut initials, engraved plates of carved gems with figures numbered 1-196, mostly with two figures per plate, and a second suite numbered 1 – 196 with four figures per plate, engraved armorial bookplate of John Plumptre on pastedown, and of E. J Nason on fly with the stamp of Horstman & co, below. Light age yellowing some light browning in places, occasional light marginal spotting, pale mostly marginal water-stain on a few quires of the first work, rare mark or spot. A good, very well margined copy, with good impressions of the plates in contemporary calf rebacked, corners restored, title of works mss on front edge, pastedowns from a early printed leaf of a religious work (dealing with sexual sins, ‘pollutio nocturna’ etc.)

Most interesting collection of works concerning the history of sculpture and painting, the first being the most important treatise by Guarico, followed by De Montjosieu’s Commentarius which is in turn followed by two short works: Aldus Manutius De caelatura et pictura (p. 168-173) and Philostratus’, Iconum initio : de pictura (p. 173-174). Gaurico’s De sculptura was originally published Florence, 1504. Montjosieu’s Commentarius originally published as part of his ‘Gallus Romae hospes’ (Rome, 1585). These works are followed by Goorle’s Dactyliotheca first published at Delft, 1601. Gauricus’ famous work on sculpture, perspective and the aesthetic theory was of particular importance for the diffusion of perspective theory to the north of Florence. Pomponio Gaurico (1482-1530) was Prof. of Philology at the University of Naples, poet and humanist par excellence. His brother Luca was a celebrated mathematician, and made an influential Latin translation of Peckham’s treatise on perspective. “The very first printed book containing a description of perspective was Gaurico’s De sculptura (‘On sculpture’) from 1504… Gaurico dealt with perspective in a minor section, describing a single technique incompletely… Like the distance point method, the construction presented by Gaurico was probably developed in a workshop by experimenting with constructions – rather than by an inspiration of theoretical insight” K. Andersen, ‘The Geometry of an Art: The History of the Mathematical Theory of Perspective from Alberti to Monge.’  “Gauricus was not the first person to connect the natural magic of physiognomy with art. Many medieval manuscripts contained a version of the legend of the encounter between the famous face reader Zopyrus and Socrates, in which is told as an encounter between Zopyrus (or ‘Phileno’) and a painted image of Hippocrates […] However, Gaurico was the first to incorporate an entire exposition of physiognomical doctrine into a printed tract on art, and this, significantly enough, from the pen of a Neoplatonic poet” M. Porter, ‘Windows of the Soul. Physiognomy in European Cultures 1470-1780.’

Gorlaeus published Dactyliotheca, the catalog of engraved gems in his cabinet of curiosities. It was the first extensive repertory of Greco-Roman intaglio gems. Such gems had been avidly collected for the previous century, at first in Italy. In 1609, the cabinet was purchased on behalf of Henry, Prince of Wales, an isolated early example of English interest in engraved gems. Gorlaeus’ Dactyliotheca remained useful for the rest of the century. Here the prefatory text, accompanying the plates of his collection, was never bound in, as witnessed by the title ms on the fore-edge

BM STC Dutch C17th. G 126 (1st edn. only)


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