TORNAMIRA, Francisco Vicente de

SPANISH INTERPRETATION OF THE NATURE OF THE UNIVERSE

Chronographia, y repertorio de los tiempos.

Pamplona, Tomás Porralis, 1585.

£5,250

FIRST EDITION. 4to., pp. (8), 560, (8). Roman letter; printer’s device on title and final verso, foliated initials, first historiated ‘A’ with charming Dance Macabre, numerous large astronomical woodcut illustrations, tables and diagrams, original correction slip pasted at foot of p. 60; browned in places. A good copy in eighteenth-century half vellum stained to resemble calf, spine gilt in compartments, marbled boards and endpapers, all edges blue; early ‘SE’ ink stamp at foot of title.

Rare first edition of a wide-ranging astronomical, cosmographical and historical book, one of the first of its kind to be directly written in Spanish. Little is known of the life of Francisco Vicente de Tornamira (1534 – 1597), born in Tudela, Navarre. Chronographia was the most influential work of this prominent Spanish astronomer, illustrating in 162 chapters the creation of the universe, the various branches of philosophy, the movement of planets, the constellations and the Zodiac, the universal chronology realm by realm, a series of calendars, almanacs and weather forecasts. All the subjects were elucidated further with a large number of illustrations, including, most notably, a traditional depiction of the Armillary Sphere and other globes, the Astronomical Man and the Roman gods on their chariots representing the planets named after them.

A fervent supporter of Ptolemaic vision of the universe against the heliocentric theory, Tornamira comes up with convoluted explanations to bridge the gap between mathematical calculation and the traditional model of planetary movement. A most interesting part is devoted to the solar calendar and the recent reform introduced in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII, discussing the exact days of the year in which Lent, Corpus Domini and Easter should be celebrated. Tornamira expanded on this topic in his subsequent work, the Spanish translation of the new Gregorian calendar (1591).

“On p. 40 there is a reference to the Magellan circumnavigation; on p. 497 a list of the midsummer’s days of the New World; on p. 538-539 locations of New World cities.” Alden 585/67.

Rare outside Spain. Only one recorded copy in the US (New York Public Library).

Not in Brunet. BM STC Sp., 204; Adams, T 803; Graesse, VII, 174; Houzeau & Lancaster 2763; Palau 334501. Cantamessa III 8057.

L2100

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LEOPOLD of Austria

ASTRONOMY AS THE BASICS OF ASTROLOGY, AND A MEDIEVAL UNDERSTANDING OF METEOROLOGY

Compilatio … de astrorum scientia decem continentis tractatus.

Venice, per Melchiorem Sessam & Petrum de Rauanis socios, 1520.

£4,500

4to. 94 unnumbered leaves. A-L⁸ M⁶. Gothic letter. One large historiated initial, many fine white on black floriated initials, woodcut of astronomer with celestial sphere on title page, Messsa’s woodcut cat device beneath, numerous woodcut astronomical diagrams and illustrations in text, including two sets of zodiacs, one based on that of the editions of Hyginus, the sphera mundi, celestial figures of the sun, moon, Mercury, Saturn and Jupiter etc. driving various chariots, many repeated, astrological tables of predictions. Light age yellowing, A2 and 7 a little creased and soiled at edges, expertly repaired, closed tear restored in I1, the odd marginal thumb mark or spot. A very good, well margined copy, crisp and clean, in modern olive morocco, covers bordered with a double blind rule, spine with raised bands, double blind ruled in compartments, inner dentelles richly gilt. 

Beautifully printed and finely illustrated second edition of this important and influential astronomy, by the 13th-century astronomer, Leopold of Austria, first printed by Ratdolt, in 1489. Primarily a work of astrology based on the writings of Albumasar, the sixth book concerns meteorology both from a theoretical and a practical point of view, and includes folkloric methods of weather prediction and general descriptions of winds, thunder etc.

Although virtually nothing is known of the author, the work was influential in the late Middle Ages, being cited by the great astronomer, Pierre d’Ailly, and admired by Regiomontanus, who proposed to edit it. This edition retains the dedication to Udalricus de Frundsberg, bishop of Trient, by Erhard Ratdolt, printer of the first. In the introduction Leopold states that he cannot take credit for the work as there was more than one author and he was just a ‘fidelis illorum observator et diligens compilator.’ He states his goal is to describe the motion of the stars, and to focus particularly on describing their effect. He describes astronomy as a necessary starting point and foundation for the study of astrology.

The Compilatio is divided into ten treatises: the first and second on the spheres and their motion. There is a dissertation on the comets at the end of the fifth book, beginning with a short discussion of Aristotle’s theories, which recounts the opinion of John of Damascus (676 – c. 749), who asserts, in his ‘De Fide Orthodoxa,’ that these celestial bodies announce the death of a King, and that they do not belong to the stars created in the beginning, but are formed and dissolved by God’s will. He then gives a list of the nine comets and their latin names, ending with the meanings derived from their presence in each Zodiacal sign. These are a transcription of Albumasar’s ‘De magnis Conjunctionibus.’ A very good copy of this beautifully illustrated and rare edition.

BM STC It. C16th (assigning it to Pencio) p.375. Adams L-516. Sander 3948. Essling 2081. Caillet 6636 (first edition only). Honeyman V 1989. Cantamessa II 4422. “Imponente e importante trattato in 10 libri”. Houzeau-Lancaster 4702 “fort rare”

L2159

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ALLESTREE, Richard [with] DADE, William [and] NEVE, John et. al.

12 EXCEPTIONALLY RARE ALMANACKS FOR THE YEAR 1635

£25,000

I. ALLESTREE, Richard.1635. A new almanacke and prognostication, for the yeere of our Lord God, 1635. Collected and properly referred to the longitude and sublimity of the pole Artick, of 51. deg. 32. mi.

London, W. Stansby, for the Company of Stationers, [1635].

8vo. 24 unnumbered leaves. A-C⁸. Roman and black letter, some italic, calendar printed in red and black, title in red and black within fine red and black woodcut border with signs of the zodiac, royal arms above, woodcut diagram of the eclipses, “An appendix vnto the precedent almanacke, for this present yeere of grace M.DC. XXXV.” has a separate titlepage within double box rule, with the imprint: Printed by I. L[egat]. for the Company of Stationers. 1635. Light age yellowing, title dusty, torn with loss to lower outer corner, dust soiling on second leaf.

STC 407.18. ESTC S123562. Copies only Bodleian and Folger.

 

II. DADE, William. A new almanacke, and prognostication, with the forraigne computation. In which you may behold the state of this yeare 1635. For the meridian of London.

London, Iohn Dawson for the Company of Stationers, [1635].

8vo. 16 unnumbered leaves. A-B8. Roman and black letter, some italic, calendar printed in red and black, title in red and black within typographical border woodcut diagram of the Anatomical man, typographical ornaments. “A Prognostication, in which you may behold the state of this yeare of our Lord God 1635.” has a separate title page within a typographical border, with the imprint: “Printed by the Company of Stationers. 1635.” Light age yellowing.

STC 435.24. ESTC S125640. One complete copy only at Lambeth, BL has t-p only.

 

III. NEVE, John. A new almanack and prognostication, with the forraigne computation serving for the yeere of our Lord God, and Saviour Iesus Christ, 1635. Rectified for the elevation of the pole artick, and meridian of the ancient and famous citty of Norwich.

London, E[liz.] A[llde] for the Company of Stationers, [1635].

8vo. 20 unnumbered leaves. A-B8, C4. Roman and black letter, some italic, calendar printed in red and black, title in red and black within fine woodcut border with spheres, woodcut diagram of the anatomical man, “A Prognostication serving for this yeare of our Lord God and saviour Iesus Christi 1635” has a separate title page within typographical border. Light age yellowing, tear with loss of text to two lines on B2, the odd spot.

STC 490.11.  ESTC S125642 One complete copy only at BL, Lambeth has t-p only.

 

IV. WHITE, John. A new almanacke and prognostication for the yeere of our Lord God 1635, : calculated for the meridian of the most honorable citie of London.

London, William Stansby for the Company of Stationers, [1635].

8vo. 20 unnumbered leaves. [A]-B⁸ C⁴. Roman and black letter, some italic, calendar printed in red and black, title in red and black within fine red and black woodcut border with royal arms above, woodcut diagram of the anatomical man, “A Prognostication for this yeare of our Lord God 1635” has a separate title page within typographical border, with the imprint: Printed for the Company of Stationers. 1635. Light age yellowing.

STC  527.25. ESTC S2482. One copy only at Lambeth.

 

V. WOODHOUSE, John. A new almanacke and prognostication for the yeare of our Lord God 1635. … More especially for the meridian of the ancient city of Chichester, and the southerne parts.

London, Iohn Dawson for the Company of Stationers, [1635].

8vo. 20 unnumbered leaves. A-B⁸, C⁴. Roman and black letter, some italic, calendar printed in red and black, title in red and black within typographical border, woodcut diagram of the anatomical man, “Wood-house. 1635. A prognostication, contayning the raignes of all the kings, and queenes of this kingdome, since the conquest.” has a separate title page within typographical border. Light age yellowing.

STC 531.26. ESTC S90272. One copy only at Lambeth.

 

VI. VAUX, John. A new almanack and prognostication for the yeere of our Lord God, 1635. Calculated for the meridian of the ancient citty of Durham, where the pole is mounted above the horizon almost 55. degrees.

London, E[liz.] A[llde] for the Company of Stationers, [1635].

8vo. 20 unnumbered leaves. [A]-B⁸ C⁴. Roman and black letter, some italic, calendar printed in red and black, title in red and black within fine red and black woodcut border with spheres, “Vaux. 1635. A prognostication for the yeere of our Lord God, 1635.” has a separate title page within typographical border, with the imprint: Printed at London for the Company of Stationers. 1635. Light age yellowing.

STC 522.15. ESTC S90250. One copy only at Lambeth.

 

VII. SOFFARD, Arthur. A new almanack for the yeere of our Lord God, 1635. Calculated especially for the latitude and meridian of the most honourable citty of London.

London, E[liz.] A[llde] for the Company of Stationers, [1635].

8vo. 20 unnumbered leaves. [A]-B⁸ C⁴. Roman and black letter, some italic, calendar printed in red and black, title in red and black within fine red and black woodcut border with spheres, “Soffard. 1635. A prognostication for the yeere of Grace, 1635.” has a separate title page within typographical border, with the imprint: Printed for the Company of Stationers. 1635. Light age yellowing.

STC 515.18. ESTC S125651. One complete copy only at BL, Lambeth has t-p only.

 

VIII. PERKINS, Samuel. A new almanack and prognosticatiou [sic] for the yeere of our Lord God, 1635. … Composed and chiefly referred to the meridian of the famous citty of London.

London, E.A. for the Company of Stationers, [1635].

8vo. 20 unnumbered leaves. [A]-B⁸ C⁴. Roman and black letter, some italic, calendar printed in red and black, woodcut of anatomical man, title in red and black within fine red and black woodcut border with spheres, “Perkins. 1635. A prognostication for the yeere of our Lord, 1635.” has a separate title page within typographical border, with the imprint: Printed for the Company of Stationers. 1635. Light age yellowing.

STC 495.10. ESTC S125649. One complete copy only at BL, Lambeth has t-p only.

 

IX. LANGLEY, Thomas. A new almanacke and prognostication in which you may behold the state of his present yeere of our Lord God 1635. Composed for the meridian of the famous city of London.

London, William Stansby [and N. O[kes]] for the Company of Stationers, [1635].

8vo. 20 unnumbered leaves. [A]-B⁸ C⁴. Roman and black letter, some italic, calendar printed in red and black, woodcut of anatomical man in red and black, title in red and black within fine red and black woodcut border with Royal arms above, typographical ornaments, ”Langley. 1635. A prognostication for this present yeare of our Lord God, 1635″ has a separate title page within double ruled border, with the imprint: Printed by N. O[kes] for the Company of Stationers. 1635. Light age yellowing.

STC 479. ESTC S125185. two copies only,  BL and Lambeth.

 

X. WYBARD, John. An almanack and prognostication, with the forraine computation, serving for the yeare of our Lord and Saviour Iesus Christ, 1635. Calculated properly for the latitude and meridian o the most famous city of London.

London, Iohn Dawson for the Company of Stationers, [1635].

8vo. 20 unnumbered leaves. [A]-B⁸ C⁴. Roman and black letter, some italic, calendar printed in red and black, woodcut of anatomical man, title in red and black within typographical, typographical ornaments. Wybard’s prognostication without separate title page. Light age yellowing.

STC 532.9. ESTC S125650, two copies only,  BL and Lambeth.

 

XI. PIERCE, Mathew. A new almanack and prognosticaion for the yeere of our Lord, 1635. Calculated for the latitude and meridian of the Citty of Durham, the pole artick being elevated 55. degrees.

London, E[liz.] A[llde] for the Company of Stationers, 1635.

8vo. 20 unnumbered leaves. [A]-B⁸ C⁴. Roman and black letter, some italic, calendar printed in red and black, woodcut of anatomical man, title in red and black within fine red and black woodcut border with spheres, typographical ornaments, “Pierce. 1635. A prognostication for the yeere of our Redemption, 1635.” has a separate title page within typographical border, with the imprint: Printed for the Company of Stationers. 1635. Light age yellowing.

STC 496.2. ESTC S125652. One complete copy only at BL, Lambeth has t-p only.

 

XII. JEFFEREYS, Thomas. A new almanacke and prognostication for the yeere of our Lord Iesus Christ. 1635. Calculated, erected, and especially referred to the latitude and meridian of the ancient towne of Dorchester in the county of Dorset.

London, William Stansby [and John Norton] for the Company of Stationers, [1635].

8vo. 20 unnumbered leaves. [A]-B⁸ C⁴. Roman and black letter, some italic, calendar printed in red and black, title in red and black within red and black woodcut border with royal arms above, large woodcut diagram of the anatomical man on A2 verso another with another on verso of the title of the prognostication, typographical ornaments, “Jeffereys. 1635. A Prognostication, written by Thomas Jeffereys, this present yeere of our Lord Jesus Christ, 1635” has a separate title page within double ruled border, with the imprint: Printed by I. N. for the Company of Stationers. 1635. Light age yellowing, verso of last soiled, the last few leaves a little dog-eared.

STC 464.7. ESTC S125667. Three copies only, British Library, Durham University Library, Lambeth.

 

A sammelband of twelve volumes. Very good copies, generally crisp and clean, in contemporary polished vellum, yapp edges, covers bordered with a double gilt rule, gilt arms of Charles I at centres, spine triple gilt rued in compartments, large fleurons gilt at centres, all edges red (faded), remains of ties, a little soiled, outer edge of upper cover a little chipped, block loose in binding.

An extraordinary collection of twelve almanacs, all for the year 1635, and all of the utmost rarity, many surviving in a single copy and many recorded with just the title page, all preserved in a very good contemporary binding with the Royal arms. Whether this collection was made for presentation to Charles I, or simply gathered over the year 1635 and bound by a royal institution is not known, but they form a large part of all the almanacks published in the year 1635.

These Almanacks were all printed in London but provided prognostications for specific places. Jeffereys was made “to the latitude and meridian of the ancient towne of Dorchester in the county of Dorset,” others were made for Durham, Chichester, and Norwich. All these exceptionally rare almanacks are complete with the interesting Prognostication (or ‘Appendix’) called for on the title-page, which are often missing from almanacks of this period. The ephemeral and popular nature of these almanacks provides a most interesting and rare insight into the lives of ordinary people, revealing their daily concerns and routines.

The ordinary users of almanacks often made their way into contemporary literature. “The writers of this age thought of the Almanack and prognostication with mixed feelings: it was a thing of eternal humour as it had been to Pico, Turnebe, Montaigne, and others before them; and it was, too often, the sole furniture of many private libraries, the untrustworthy source of faith and learning for numerous foolish and simple Englishmen. That it was the superstitious and the untutored who were the regular purchasers of these catchpenny publications is suggested by the reliance of Shakespeare’s mechanic actors on an almanack. By similar instance, in ‘The Witch of Edmonton,’ Jonson sends the childish Abel Drugger to consult Subtle about the rubrication of his almanack, and draws the picture of Sordido, who is one of the prognostication-trusting farmers Fulke or Perkins brought to life. … Webster, whose skill in astrology has been recognised, describes a lying character as an almanack-maker.” Don Cameron Allen. The Star-crossed Renaissance: The Quarrel about Astrology and Its Influence.

The almanacks provide such things as “Husbandry instructions” for each month of the year, even weather forecasts for the entire year. “General Rules of Physicke” suggest that one should “cut no veyne nor let no blood, when the sign is in the place where the incision is to be made,” with reference to the zodiac on the anatomical man. There are adverts for lawyers’ services, offering “an abstract of a direction, concerning Real Contracts,” and lists of the principal “Fayres of England” with their dates, with pages on forthcoming eclipses, and aspects of planets and definitions for astrological terms.

An extraordinary, unique collection of these most ephemeral and rare publications.

L2148

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PEUCER, Kaspar

FIRST EDITION OF THIS ENCYCLOPAEDIC WORK ON DIVINATION

Les Devins ou Commentaire des principales sortes de devinations

Lyon, Barthelemi Honarati, au Vaze d’or, 1584.

£2,950

4to. pp. (xxii) 653 (xxvii) lacking last blank. Roman and italic, woodcut initials, head- and tail-pieces, side notes, title page with printer’s device of water vessel in architectural border flanked by cherubs. Crossed out C17 manuscript ex-libris ‘De Raelet?’ ontitle page, C18 ownership marks on fly of ‘Pierre Duges?’ with shelf mark in manuscript on pastedown. Light age yellowing, faint dampstaining to margin of first two and last gathering. A clean and well-margined copy in slightly later calf, panels double gilt on covers, spine with four raised bands, floral decoration gilt-stamped in compartments, a bit worn, upper board scratched.

FIRST FRENCH EDITION of Peucer’s encyclopaedic work on divination; “it seems to have been the most influential of his numerous writings which were concerned with the varied fields of medicine, astronomy, mathematics, natural history, and psychology”, (Thorndike VI p. 493). On the whole the work approves of divination in natural circumstances – reading dreams, for instance, or the stars, but agrees with the Bible in condemning certain branches of divination related to demons and witchcraft. Peucer’s bias is unflinchingly Protestant, denying the possibility of Miracles, and he attributing the successfulness of relics and invocations of saints to demons rather than divinity.”

After discussing divination in general, he turns to oracles and theomancy, then to magic, which he thus incorrectly implies is a variety of divination, whereas the opposite is true, then to divination from entrails, to augury and aruspicina, to lot-casting under which he puts geomancy and divining from names and numbers and to dreams and their interpretation. Next he considers medical prognostications, meteorology and weather prediction, physiognomy and chiromancy, astrology, and last prodigies and portents” (Thorndike VI p. 495). He is highly suspicious of Alchemy as a purely devilish art on the one hand, but on the other entirely approving of Astrology, which he himself put to practice and considered essential to the study of medicine.

Kasper Peucer (1525 – 1602) was a prominent physician and scholar who studied with Melanchthon (and married his daughter) at the University of Wittenberg where he was appointed in turn professor of philosophy, mathematics, and medicine. His pupil, John Garcaeus, called Peucer the “most celebrated professor of mathematics in this academy”. Peucer’s religious views were influenced by his close relationship with Melanchthon, which deviated from the local Lutheranism in its Calvinist colourings, and when Melanchthon died in 1560 Peucer became a prominent religious authority. Although he climbed the academic ranks quickly, and gained appointment as physician to Augustus I, Elector of Saxony, his “Crypto-Calvinist” beliefs were his downfall. In 1574, letters discovered by his patron that expressed a desire to convert Augustus to Calvinism led to a twelve year imprisonment in Königstein Fortress. After his release from prison in 1586, he became physician to the duke of Anhalf, where he remained until his death in 1602.

Baudrier IV 147 . Hozeau & Lancaster II 4860 “Rare”. Brunet IV 582 “De tous les ouvrages de ce savant fécond, c’est celui-ci qui a eu le plus de succès.” Thorndike VI p. 493-501. Cantamessa II 3440 (Latin ed). Wellcome I 4970, Adams P934.

L1479

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GALLUCCI, Giovanni Paolo

PRINCEPS EDITION OF SIXTEENTH CENTURY CELESTIAL ATLAS

Theatrum mundi, et temporis.

Venice, Giovanni Battista Somasco, 1588.

£9,500

FIRST EDITION. 4to, pp. (16), 478, plus additional leaf after Mmiv and final folded table, final gathering misbound; decorated initials and tail-pieces, printer’s device on title; 144 astronomical illustrations, of which 31 (out of 51) with volvelles, very few skilfully restored with possible integrations from another exemplar; light foxing and little stains to margins in places. A good copy in contemporary vellum, early title inked to spine; couple of minor stains to front, spine chipped at tail; eighteenth-century Italian ms filling verso of title and other blank portions of text; early ink stamp of private library with crowned monogram ‘EME’ on title and verso of last leaf.

First issue of the princeps of this beautifully illustrated book, commonly regarded as the most charming celestial atlas of the sixteenth century. This copy also retains the additional folded table ‘Canon sexagenarius’ at the end. Giovanni Paolo Gallucci (1538 – c. 1621) was a well-known private teacher to the Venetian nobility and founding member of the Second Venetian Academy. For all his life, Gallucci engaged greatly with the Venetian printing industry: he edited a collection of astronomical medical essays including writings of Marsilio Ficino, published many works on astronomical and time-measurement equipment and translated into Italian Peckham’s essay on perspective, Dürer’s treatises on body symmetry and Acosta’s history of the New World. His most successful work, however, was certainly the Theatrum Mundi, a vast survey on terrestrial and celestial physics. It provides almost 150 maps for measurements, each accompanied by a Biblical quotation.

The work is dedicated to pope Sixtus (1585-1590), who had just banned all astrological literature since 1586. Although Gallucci could not resist to touch on some astrological implications of constellations, he questioned their alleged influence over human health and fate and pioneeringly tried to draw up a pure astronomical treatise. In his numerous diagrams and maps, Gallucci combined a coordinate system with a trapezoidal system of projection for an accurate determination of the star and zodiacal positions. Alongside the extraordinarily ingenious volvelle illustrations forming the first four books of Theatrum Mundi, there are depictions of Hell and its circles as inner portions of the Earth, the New World hemisphere and the wind rose, as well as calculators for tides and daytime at every longitude and latitude. Book 5 presents 48 maps of the Ptolemaic constellations and the related mythological illustrations. The star positions were taken from Copernicus’s catalogue.

‘Somasco printed blocks for division into small squares of woodcut ornament (a few with grotesque faces) to be pasted on the verso of the leaf over the string by which the separate pieces were attached. He left space for these squares in setting the text. On the verso of leaf Ooo4 are instructions to the bookseller, printed first in Latin and repeated in Italian. They state that the four leaves of separate illustrations were not to be bound in the book but should be cut apart and the pieces attached to the appropriate illustration [with silk thread] … the illustration on leaf Qir had six different version of one part; the one to be attached depended on the place in which the book was to be used.’ Mortimer, Italian Sixteenth Century Books, I, p. 298.

Rare. Only three copies recorded in the US (two in Harvard, one in Rochester).

BM STC It., 288; Adams, G 168; Graesse, III, 19; Mortimer It., 206; Riccardi, I, 568 (‘Raro … molto importante’); Cantamessa, 1682; Houzeau-Lancaster, 2725 (‘Rare’); Thorndike, VI, 158-159; Alden, 588/33.

L1975

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BONATTI, Guido

Decem tractatus astronomiae

Augsburg, Ehrard Ratdolt, 1491.

£47,500

FIRST EDITION (first issue without added register). 4to, 408 leaves, a-z8, A-Z8, AA-EE8. Gothic letter. White-on-black decorated initials, unusually large printer’s device printed in red and black on final recto, several woodcut tables and diagrams, over a hundred beautiful mythological and zodiacal illustrations hand-coloured with remarkable variety, almost certainly in the print-shop, red hand-marking of all capitals throughout; couple of tiny wormholes on title and first gathering, mostly interlinear, marginal light dampstains on a few leaves at end, paper flaw to Ziiv affecting a couple of letters, old repair to outer margin of EEvi. A very, very good, unwashed and well-margined copy in sixteenth-century Germanic light-brown calf over boards, blind-tooled double-fillet panel, dentelles pattern to spine; a.e. later mottled in red; slightly scratched, minor old repairs to head and tail of spine; contemporary Latin ex libris on title ‘Liber sancti Nicolai ep[iscop]i in Bruwylre propre Colonia’.

Editio princeps of this vastly influential astronomical guidebook. One of the most handsome astronomies of the incunable period. Guido Bonatti of Forlì (died about 1296) was the most acclaimed mathematician and astronomer of the thirteenth century. His advice was sought by the Emperor Fredrick II and many of the Italian rulers or municipalities supporting the imperial cause against the pope, such as Florence, Siena and Forlì. In his Commedia (XX, 118), Dante placed Bonatti in Hell, amongst other astrologers forced to walk and look backwards for eternity as punishment for their sinful attempts to look into the future in life. Bonatti’s most famous work was this Book on Astronomy, written about 1277. This first edition was edited by the astronomer Johann Engel (1463-1512), including some additions by the German scholar Jacobus Canter Frisius (c.1471-1529).

The marvellous illustrations of the zodiac and the charioted Roman gods and goddesses are here coloured very skilfully by a contemporary hand using an uncommonly vast range of tones in the same image. Such a work must have been accomplished directly in Radtold’s print-shop, together with the painstaking simple rubrication. This striking copy was once in the Benedictine abbey of St. Nicholas in Brauweiler, in North-Western Cologne. Its valuable library was dispersed following the Napoleonic secularisation of 1802. A register was added to later copies of the print run but the majority had been distributed before it was available.

‘Opera importantissima, ripetutamente citata dagli astrologi e, in particolare, dagli astrologi inglesi del XVII secolo.’ Cantamessa, Astrologia, I, p. 119.

ISTC ib00845000; BM STC, II, 384; GW, 4643; Goff, B-845; Hain, 3461; Klebs, 195.1; Brunet, I, 1089; Graesse, I, 438; Cantamessa, I, 579; Thorndyke, II, 826; Houzeau-Lancaster, 4160; Ricciardi, I, 448-449.

K39

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SACROBOSCO, Ioannes de

Textus de sphaera: introductoria additione commentarioque, ad vtilitatem studentium Philosophiae Parisiensis Academiae illustratus. Cum compositione Annuli astronomici Boneti Latensis: Et Geometria Euclidis Megarensis

Paris, vaenit apud Simonem Colinaeum, 1538.

£6,950

Folio. ff. 35. a-b8, c-d6, e8 (without final blank e8). Roman letter in two sizes. Fine white on black crible woodcut initials, fine full page white on black crible woodcut on t-p of the celestial sphere with Mercury and the Author below signed with the cross of Lorraine and attributed to Oronce Fine, full page woodcut on A3 verso with Ptolemy, Astrologia, and Urania in a landscape, standing beneath an armillary sphere, the sun, moon and stars at corners within floral white on black border signed O.F. with the crowned dolphin of Oronce fine at foot, 24 woodcut diagrams, some printed in margins, and 18 tables. T-p fractionally dusty at outer margin, rare marginal mark or spot. A very good copy in excellent C18th (?) Italian vellum? recased, covers bordered with gilt rules, large fleurons gilt to corners, central circle, gilt all around with fine gilt tooling and scrolled gilt tooling above and below, spine gilt with fleurons, remains of ties.

Beautiful edition, finely illustrated by Oronce Finé, of Sacrobosco’s De Spaera with the commentary of Lefèvre d’Etaples designed for use of students at the University of Paris. It is the last of five editions printed by Simon de Colines using Oronce Finé’s fine woodcut illustrations. “In addition to the text of Sacrobosco and Lefèvre commentary, Colines includes two other works, which had first been added in Lefevre’s second edition (Paris, Wolfgang Hopyl, 1500); These are Bonnetus de Latis’s Anulus astronomicus a description of the finger ring that functioned as a miniature astrolabe, first published c. 1492, and the enunciations from the first four books of Euclid’s Elements in the translation attributed to Boethius.” Sacrobosco’s Sphaera (editio princeps 1472) was the first printed astronomical book, and a fundamental text of medieval and post-medieval astronomy. It is a synthesis of Ptolemy and his Arabic commentators, presenting an elegant, accessible cosmology, and for this reason was adopted as the most authoritative astronomical textbook of its time.

“About 1220 he went to Paris, where he spent most of his life and where he was elected as member of the university in 1221. Elected professor of mathematics soon afterward, he won wide and enduring renown and was among the first exponents in the thirteenth century of Arab arithmetic and algebra. By 1231 he was the outstanding mathematician and astronomer. Sacrobosco’s fame rests firmly on his De sphaera, a small work based on Ptolemy and his Arabic commentators, written about 1220 and antedating the De sphaera of Grosseteste. It was quite generally adopted as the fundamental astronomy text, for often it was so clear that it needed little or no explanation. It was first used at the University of Paris. During the middle ages the De sphaera enjoyed great renown, and from the middle of the thirteenth century it was taught in all the schools of Europe. In the sixteenth century it gained the attention of mathematicians, including Clavius.. As late as the seventeenth century it was used as a basic astronomy text. After Manilius’ Astronomica, The Sphere was the first printed book on astronomy. Twenty-four more editions appeared in the following twenty-eight years, and more than forty editions from 1500 to 1547″ (DSB).

BM STC Fr. C16th. p. 389. Schreiber 153. Mortimer 475 (the 1531 edition.) Renouard 295. Cantamessa 7008

L1928

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STÖFFLER, Johannes and PITATI, Pietro


Ephemeridum reliquiae … superadditae novis.

Tübingen, Ulrich Morhard, 1548.

£4,850

4to, ff. [4], 78, [182]. Roman letter, little italic; historiated initials, xylographic portrait of the author aged 79 on *ivv; fine astronomical maps throughout and detailed tables comprising more than half of volume; occasional light damp stain in upper margins, small repair to f. 48 affecting 4 numerals; margins of ff. 44 and 45 folded as slightly larger. A very good copy in 1/2 calf, marbled boards, about 1900; title gilt on spine; contemporary marginalia in neat humanist hand, occasionally referring to Stöffler’s Kalendarium.

An expanded and beautiful edition of the almanac by Johannes Stöffler. As with all books of this kind, it had a wide circulation, but complete copies are rare and sought after. The volume provides the positions of stars at regular intervals of date and time, through detailed tables of value. It includes five introductive treatises on astronomic rules and phenomena, along with the celestial calculations from 1551 up to 1555, all by Pietro Pitati. Stöffler (1452-1531) was a German mathematician, astronomer and priest. He invented some astronomical instruments and taught at the University of Tübingen. Embracing the timespan 1499-1551, his celestial calculations continued those by Regiomontanus (1436-1476) and exerted a paramount influence over contemporary astronomical and astrological knowledge. The sixteenth-century Italian scholar Pietro Pitati was a professor of astronomy in Verona. The book is dedicated to the city bishop and prominent cardinal Gian Matteo Giberti. Pitati’s ephemerides published in Venice in 1542 are regarded as the earliest Italian publication of this genre. He kept publishing his calculation up to the year 1562. In his Compendium super annua solaris (1560), he put forward for the first time the idea of omitting the Julian leap day in three out of four centennial years, so to keep the calendar in line with the solar year. Rare.

Adams, S 1896; Houzeau & Lancaster, 14471. Not in BM STC It., Brunet, Graesse, Ricciardi or Honeyman.

L1860

LATIN

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SCEVOLINI, Domenico

Discorso nel quale con le auttorita’(sic) cosi de’ Gentili, come de’ Catolici si dimostra l’Astrologia Giudiciaria esser verissima e utilissima.

Venice, Giordano Ziletti, 1565

£1,450

FIRST EDITION. 4to. ff. 30 (numbered 3-29, last blank), Roman and Italic letter, t-p slightly foxed to upper and outer margins, printer’s device, three woodcut initials, first large, a couple of headpieces. Very light age yellowing, one gathering a bit foxed, paper ex-libris of ‘Domenico Cesconi’, bookdealer in Verona in 1838 on outer upper corner of front pastedown, ms bibliographical reference. A good copy, generally clean in C19th marbled paper over boards, ms shelf marks at head of spine.

First and only edition of this rare work on “astrologia giudiciaria” or judicial astrology, discussing the question of the influence of the stars on the fate of man and earthly events. The work is introduced by a preface of the unkown ‘Giulio Fl.’ explaining that a friend of Ziletti, after a discussion in the publisher’s bookshop, gave him this ‘Discourse’, which Scevolini had written before his death. It is also the only published work of the author. In this work “by the authority alike of Gentiles and Catholics it is shown that judicial astrology is most true and most useful, condemning those who abuse it and impose necessity on human actions… Scevolini contends that good astrologers do not subject mind and will to the stars… [though they do the body] [He] is not interested in declaring true the astrology of any particular writer or pratictioner but in defending the art and science of astrology at large. Scotus, Henry of Ghent, Alexander of Hales, Durand, Albertus Magnus and many other schoolmen in their volumes of theology confirm the dominion of the stars and heavens over us. But Scevolini is content to rest his case on the judgment of St. Thomas Aquinas alone. He remarks that Francesco da Ferrara had interpreted the ‘Contra gentiles’ of Aquinas against Pico della Mirandola.” (Thorndike VI pp. 124-125).

Scevolini Domenico, mathematician of XVI century was one of the last and most thoughtful proponents of judicial astrology in Italy before the suppression of the art by the index and the inquisition.

Censimento CNC 41109. BM STC It. p. 617. Riccardi I S 432. Houzeau & Lancaster I 4893. Thorndike VI pp. 124-26. Cantamessa II 4069. Rosenthal 3525.

L378

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PARTLICIUS Simeon, von Spitzberg


Prognosticon divinum et verum. Das ist: Wahre und klare Prohezeiung, wie es noch der in Welt werde zugehen.

Alkmaar, heirs of Jacob Meister, 1635

£1,750

FIRST EDITION(?) 4to., 12 unnumbered ll, A-C4 , Gothic letter, woodcut vignette on t.p. of fire breathing dragon and figures in landscape, woodcut ornament. General paper browning (poor quality paper), a good, otherwise clean and well margined copy in modern boards.

An extremely rare prognostication based on Scripture various Christian authors, probably in its first edition. There were two issues in that year and no precedence has been ascribed, if indeed there is one. Astronomer and physician Simeon Partlitz or Partlicius (1588-1640) was an exile from Bohemia and a millenarist influenced by the Calvinist theology of Alsted and by Rosicrucianism. His prognostication is divided into three sections where he collects excerpts first from the Old and New Testament, then from the works of Martin Luther and other Lutheran theologians, and finally from earlier Christian scholars. All portend violent renewal for the world and for Germany, and an unpleasant reversal for Rome. He then attaches a ‘Confutation’ which expresses his anger that various astronomical and astrological works had been published under his name, without his knowledge, consent, or, implicitly, any chance of his being paid for them. He counsels against avarice, states that God will punish these wrong-doers, and notes that he doesn’t even have the time to write anything of that sort, busy as he is with his medical practice. The final four pages of the pamphlet comprise a poem in German criticising the immorality of the rich and emphasising the futility of all wealth gathering, unless accompanied by moral repentance. VD 17 lists only four entries for printing in Alkmaar, Northern Holland, all of the present title, two in 1635, and two in 1637. One of the entries queries whether the imprint is fictitious. The paper is in fact typically German of the period.

Not in BMC Ger C17. Cantamessa VIII 5867, locating copies only at Berlin, Halle and Göttingen. Worldcat adds none.

L1283a

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