VECELLIO, Cesare

BEAUTIFULLY COLOURED

Habiti antichi overo raccolta di figure dal Gran Titiano

Venice, Combi and La Noù, 1664.

£8,750

8vo. pp. (xiv) 415 (i), lacking preliminary blank. Italic letter, printer’s device on title page and verso of last (latter part coloured), various woodcut ornaments (one fully coloured), blank outer corner of one preliminary strengthened, ‘Bruges 1735’ beside first (Papal) costume portrait, and partly erased in margin of title page. Four hundred and fifteen nearly full page costume woodcuts, all in striking contemporary colouring, expertly painted with no bleed-through. A very good clean copy in contemporary calf, spine richly gilt, morocco label, edges speckled red.

Remarkable copy of the third edition of this the most influential costume book of its day, and the first edition to ascribe the illustrations to ‘the great Titian’. Vecellio (1521-1621), painter and engraver, in fact was related to Titian and was probably his assistant who accompanied him to Augsburg in 1598. The cuts were the work of Christopher Chreiger, an artist from Nuremberg who worked at Venice in the second part of the C16. Both he and Vecellio illustrated a number of important books. In this edition the first 190 illustrations are dedicated to Italy, the next 104 to other places in Europe from Lithuania to London, then 51 from Turkey, Greece and the Balkans, 22 from Africa, 35 from Asia including China and Japan, 13 from the Americas including Florida and Virginia.

The costumes range from the richly beautiful to the homely to the exotic; many of the more far flung were partially derived from other works such as those of Nicolay and de Coeck on the Turks but Vecellio’s illustrations in turn influenced generations in their mental picture of their far away contemporaries, and still do today.

The work is handsome in black and white but richly painted in a full range of deep watercolours with beautifully enhanced details, becoming an artist’s gorgeous survey of the history of the fashions of the world.

Lipperheide 23. Colas 2978. Salin 98732. Brunet V1104. Vinet Bibl. méthodique des beaux arts p266 et seq.

L1973

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CASTIGLIONE, Baldassare

Il libro del cortegiano

Venice, Girolamo Scoto, 1556.

£1,450

8vo. ff. 204. A-2B8, 2C4. Woodcut printer’s device on title, first line of title within small woodcut border, large historiated woodcut initials, C18th engraved armorial bookplate on pastedown with ms. shelf mark above, occasional underlinings.  Light age yellowing, title page fractionally dusty, occasional marginal spot, small oil-stain at gutter of last few quires. A very good, clean copy in contemporary limp vellum.

Rare edition, revised and corrected by Lodovico Dolce from the authors’ manuscript, of the prototype courtesy book and one of the most enduringly popular and influential works of the Italian Renaissance. “The Courtier depicts the ideal aristocrat, and it has remained the perfect definition of a gentleman ever since. It is an epitome of the highest moral and social ideals of the Italian Renaissance, many of them inspired by classical examples. (…) Another section provides similar rules for the conduct of a lady and the book ends with the celebrated pronouncement on platonic love by Bembo.” Printing and the Mind of Man. The work was soon translated into most European languages and Cervantes, Corneille, Shakespeare, Spenser, Jonson and Shelley are but a few of those who are clearly in its debt. The book is based on a nostalgic recreation of Castiglione’s experience at the court of Duke Guidobaldo da Montefeltro of Urbino at the turn of the sixteenth century. It describes the ideal court and courtier, and relates the philosophical, cultured and lively conversations that occurred at Urbino, presided over by Elizabetta Gonzaga. The conversation, which takes place over a span of four days in the year 1507, addressed the topic, proposed by Federico Fregoso, of what constitutes an ideal Renaissance gentleman and is written in refined and elegant prose, spiced with humour. The speakers, prominent nobles and literati in the court of Urbino, include Giuliano de Medici, Pietro Bembo, Ludovico da Canossa Emilia Pia, Elizabetta Gonzaga amongst many others.

Ludovico Dolce, the Venetian humanist, was a prolific author or ‘poligrafo’ who produced several hundred volumes bearing his name, whether as author, editor, translator or critic. He edited 184 texts for the Giolito press alone. “As the most active writer and editor for the most productive Venetian press, Dolce played a decisive role in the dissemination of culture in the cinquecento. (…) Dolce played an important role in promulgating vernacular literature, whether by publishing corrected editions of such classics as Petrarch’s Canzoniere, Castiglione’s Book of the Courtier and Ariosto’s Orlando furioso; by translating Homer, Euripides, Cicero, Virgil, Horace, Ovid, Seneca, and other minor authors; or by publishing original works in the literary genres of widest appeal.” Ronnie H. Terpening. He is known today primarily for his Dialogue on Painting which was much influenced by Castiglione’s ideas in the ‘The courtier’. A very good copy of this attractively printed edition, rare in libraries outside Italy.

Not in BM STC It. C16th. Adams, Gamba, or Index Aurelensis. Cf. PMM 59 (first edition).

L1407

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CAROSO, Fabritio

Il Ballarino.

Venice, Francesco Ziletti, 1581.

£12,500

FIRST EDITION. 2 parts 4to. ff. [viii] 16 184 [iv]. Italic letter, occasional Roman. Ziletti’s star device on both title pages, Caroso’s engraved portrait on B4v, 22 full-page engravings (6 repeats), large woodcut initials and ornaments, musical scores. First title page slightly dusty with hole expertly filled (no loss), one corner missing (p. 78 – no loss), small marginal wormhole towards the end, a couple of very light marginal spots, small C19th armorial bookplate on pastedown. A very good, clean, unsophisticated copy in limp vellum.

First edition of this beautifully illustrated manual and one the most important works detailing late Renaissance Italian, French and Spanish courtly dance. In it, dancing master Caroso describes fifty-four steps, provides rules for style and etiquette, and illustrates specific choreographies for eighty dances fashionable at the time, most of them designed for one couple and each provided with appropriate music notated in Italian lute tablature. Divided into two ‘Trattati’, both dedicated to Bianca Cappello De’ Medici, Grand Duchess of Tuscany, the manual opens with various poems on the dedicatee and Caroso, and with his letter to the reader, in which he praises the art of the dance and says that he has been practising it for the past twenty-seven years. Next come Caroso’s finely engraved oval portrait at the age of forty-six, here in a particularly clear impression, framed by a scrollwork border containing Caroso’s arms and two half-satyr, half-angel female figures at the sides (repr. Mortimer, cit. infr.).

The first treatise comprises fifty-four rules on, i.a., bows and curtsies, fast and large steps, jumps and partner changes, how to wear cape and sword, how a graceful lady should return to her chair after the dance, etc. The second treatise explains in detail eighty dances, each dedicated to one of the most illustrious ladies of the time, including: Margarita Gonzaga d’Este, Duchess of Ferrara; Leonora d’Austria, Duchess of Mantua (repr. Mortimer, cit. infr.); Lucretia d’Este della Rovere, Duchess of Urbino; Felice Orsina Colonna, Duchess of Tagliacozzo and Paliano and Vice-Queen of Sicily. The fine engravings by Giacomo Franco show the correct position of the body and limbs at different stages in the measure, the manner of holding hands (repr. Mortimer, cit. infr.), and how to make a reverence. They are full-length representations of ladies and gentlemen wearing costumes of the period rendered in great detail.

The book ends with an index of the rules and of the dances. Marco Fabritio Caroso da Sermoneta lived in the second half of the C16th and died in 1605. Giacomo Franco (1556-1620) was a relative of the famous Giovanni Franco and a pupil of Agostino Carracci. Such copies as now appear in the market are generally throughly cleaned, resized etc. It is rare to find one, as here, in its original state.

BM STC p. 151. Adams C 755. Brunet I p. 1594 ‘Livre rare et recherché’. Graesse II p. 53. Fontanini II p. 461. Gamba 1294. Mortimer-Harvard It. C16th 106. Lipperheide II 3055.

L156

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VECELLIO, Cesare

Habiti antichi et moderni di tutto il mondo

Venice, Giovanni Bernardo Sessa, 1598.

£6,850

8to, ff. [lvi],507. Italic and roman letter, woodcut engraved t-p, floriated and historiated initials, woodcut plates on numbered leaves’ verso, Italian ms. ex-libris on t-p “ Fran. Ant. J. Moccia” with a date “1709”, p.159 C17 ms. monogram. Very clean and good copy in C17 vellum recased.

Second and most complete edition with 507 woodcuts plates, among them 87 new one. This addition includes a section on American countries with 19 plates on Peru, Cusco, Mexico, Virginia and Florida. This edition comports a Latin translation along with the Italian original 1590 text.

This work is considered the apex of Cinquecento costume book achievement. This copiously illustrated costume compendium works from antiquity to modernity and the last discoveries. It presents, in the first part on Europe, the fashions of the different cities of Italy and focus on Venice. Starting with a bare-midriffed and brawny Trojan, the work soon moves on to bejewelled elegant Venetian ladies in rich brocades, richly-gilded merchant’s wives and surprisingly modestly dressed courtesans, a bearded doge, hooded monks, convicts in chains and tradesmen playing their wares. Intricately detailed, including even buttons, shoelaces and earrings, the drawings are appealingly presented in a selection of decorative frames. Many of the subjects appear to be based on manuscript or printed sources, for example those of Nicolas de Nicolay and Pieter de Coeck on Turkish costumes.

The second part of the text covers Asia and Africa, with a further 59 woodcuts. Consciously exotic in the choice of costume with figures wielding scimitars, bows and spears, including a fully-veiled woman, it travels through i.a. Turkey, Armenia, Georgia, Persia, Damascus, Syria, the West Indies, Ethiopia, China, Egypt, and the Canary Isles, concluding with a couple of fearsome Americans natives, resplendent in skimpy loincloths.

Cesare Vecellio (1521-1601), painter and engraver, was related to Tiziano Veceli, named Titian, and was probably his assistant. He accompanied Titian to Augsburg in 1598. The Brera’s Museum at Milan has one of his paintings, a Trinity and he is known for his fore-edge painting in the Pilone’s collection. Several important books were illustrated by Cesare Vecellio, one of them, our book, has 420 plates engraved after the drawing of our artist by Christopher Chrieger or Krüger, named also Cristoforo Guerra (German artist from Nuremberg who worked at Venice during the second part of the sixteen century).

A fascinating insight into the fashion of the 16th century.

BM STC It; EDIT 16; Brunet, V, 1104; Sabin, XXVI, 296” Book XII. De gli habiti dell’ A1mericana, leaves 488-507. The first edition does not include this section. The woodcuts are from a drawing by Titian, according to a statement in the third edition, 1664. c. This ascription is considered doubtful by Brunet” ; Lipperheide 22 ; Maggs Bros., Bibiotheca Americana, Part V, 1598 “Libro XII contains full-page woodcuts of the costumes of the inhabitants of Peru, Cusco, Mexico, Virginia and Florida, both men and women”;European Americana, 598/112; Vinet, Bibliographie méthodique et raisonnée des Beaux Arts, p. 266 .

L1435

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NICOLAY, Nicolas de

A ROYAL VALET’S TRAVELS ACROSS THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE AND MIDDLE EAST

Les navigations, peregrinations et voyages, faicts en la Turquie, par Nicolas de Nicolay.

Antwerp, Guillaume Silvius, 1577.

£4,950

4to. pp. (xxiv) 305 (i.e. 388) (xxxii). Roman letter, occasional Italic, prefatory epistle in Civilité. Small woodcut printer’s device on title, title within typographical border, historiated woodcut initials and typographical ornaments, 60 full page woodcut plates within typographical borders. Slight age-yellowing, some mostly marginal spotting on first and last few leaves, small single worm hole in blank upper margin of thirty leaves, the odd spot or thumb mark. A very good, clean copy in C19 English calf, gilt oval armorial device of the Society of writers to the Signet at centres of covers, spine with gilt ruled raised bands, re-backed with original spine laid down.

Excellent edition of this seminal and beautifully illustrated work by Nicolay, a detailed account of his travels to the Near East illustrated with sixty spirited full-length portraits of male and female figures of all ages and ranks in local costume. It was first published in Lyons in 1568, with copperplates engraved by Louis Danet from Nicolay’s original drawings, two reproduced in Mortimer-Harvard Fr. 386. According to Mortimer, Nicolay’s illustrations are ‘the first to represent the costume of the Near East in detail,’ and were widely copied in the C16th; this edition is illustrated with fine woodcuts by Antonij van Leest, whose initials appear in the first and other plates, after those of the first edition.

Dedicated by Nicolay to Charles IX, whom Nicolay served as valet de chambre and géographe ordinaire, it also contains a long “Elegie” by Ronsard addressed to Nicolay, and a letter (in a fine Civilité type) from the publisher Silvius to Cornille Pruney. The book opens with Nicolay’s long preface on traveling and the great travelers of history, from Noes and Jason down to Marco Polo, Vasco de Gama, Columbus, Pizarro, and many more.

Book I describes, i.a., the Balearic islands, Algiers, Pantelleria, Malta and Tripoli, and its plates depict their women. Book II deals briefly with the Greek islands (i.a. Kithira, Khios, and Paros) and then concentrates on Constantinople describing in detail its antiquities, monuments, harem, mosques (St. Sophia in particular), and Turkish baths. Again, the plates portray women only, including a harem lodger, two women dressed to go to the baths, and one with two children. Contrastingly, Book III is all dedicated to men: Janizaries, the Sultan’s valets, semi-naked wrestlers, the Sultan’s cook, doctors, judges, relatives of Mahomet, pilgrims going and coming from the Mecca, and representatives of four religious confessions, one of whom has his penis pierced with a ring in order to preserve his chastity (p. 184). Book IV deals with Persia, Saudi Arabia, Greece and other Middle Eastern provinces. Its plates include an Arab and an Armenian merchant, a black slave, a Jewish merchant and a Jewish woman, a Turkish courtesan and a ‘Delly’, i.e. a ‘mad and bold man’ with plumed hat and shield, portrayed here riding a horse (p. 238).

Nicolay (1517 – 1583) was, as Ronsard notes in his Elegie, extensively travelled and one of the best draughtsmen of his time. In 1551 he followed Gabriel d’Aramon, the French ambassador, to Constantinople, and visited all of the places mentioned in this book. He could speak nearly every European language and wrote several travel books. A landmark in the history of the travel to the Near East, handsomely illustrated throughout with very accurate costume plates. “His (Nicolay’s) illustrations have been called the most influential introduction to Turkish costumes” (Blackmer). Colas notes “c’est la première série de documents serieux sur les habillements du proche Orient.”

Not in BM STC Fr. C16th. Adams N 254. Brunet IV p. 67. Graesse IV p. 671. Göllner 1664 (the 1576 Silvius edition). JFB N144 (first french edition) “one of the earliest descriptions of the lands and peoples of the Near East.” Alden has a later English translation only.

L1011

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MODIUS, Francois (AMMAN Jost)

RELIGIOUS ATTIRE OF THE MIDDLE AGES, FROM THE LIBRARY OF COUNT BRIENNE

Cleri totius Romanae Ecclesiae subiecti, seu, Pontificiorum ordinum omnium omnino vtriusque sexus, habitus … nunc primum a Iudoco Ammanno expressi.

Frankfurt, Sigismund Feyrabend, 1585.

£5,950

FIRST EDITION. 8vo. ff. (114). A6, B-Z4, a-e4. Italic letter. Woodcut of the Pope on title page, woodcut printer’s device on recto of last leaf of first part, second title and recto of last, 103 half-page woodcuts, floriated initials and tail pieces in second part, “Ex libris Joannis Triludani, ex dono Dni. magistri guillimi legros. DelaMari” in contemporary manuscript on title page. Light age yellowing, title page slightly dusty, small tear with old repair in blank margin, minor marginal water stains, occasional thumb marks. A very good copy in C17th French calf, covers bordered with triple gilt rule, large arms of Louis-Henri de Loménie, Comte de Brienne gilt at center, spine with raised bands richly gilt in compartments, red morocco title label, all edges red. Tail band missing, joints slightly scratched and rubbed.

First edition of this important work on the costumes of the clergy and religious orders, the fruit of the creative partnership of Jost Amman and publisher Sigismund Feyrabend, illustrated with over one hundred woodcuts, among the finest examples of the use of the woodcut for illustration. There is a short text by Franciscus Modius which traces the origins of the Religious Orders, and each cut is accompanied by Latin verses, which include descriptions of the colours of the various monastic garments, and details of the orders.

The costumes represent the most important figures of the Roman Catholic Church (Pope, cardinal, patriarch, bishop, deacon, legate, canon, priest), and the medieval and modern Religious Orders, counting among the most significant the Theatines, Benedictines, Vallombrosians, Celestines, Templars, Camaldulians, Hieronymites, Carthusians, Cistercians, Premonstratenses, Augustinians, Dominicans, Carmelites, Capuchins etc. The illustrations depict the main monastic Order (the Benedictines being the largest), mendicant Orders (e.g. the Dominican Order, founded in 1215 by St. Dominic), and regular Clerics (e.g. the Theatines, founded in 1524 by St. Cajetan and Caraffa, later Pope Paul IV). They also include nuns (e.g. Dominicans, Poor Clares, Brigittines), women who, hardly less than men, played a great part in monasticism. All are standing, apart from the first four figures (Pope, cardinal, patriarch and bishop), who sit on a throne.

The costumes are depicted in considerable detail with great verve and realism. Amman, whose career flourished after his move to Nuremburg in 1561, succeeded Virgil Solis as artist for the printer Carl Sigmund Feyerabend. He was hugely prolific; one of his pupils stated that the drawings he made over four years would have filled a hay wagon, and about 1,500 prints are attributed to him. He was one of the last major artists to produce woodcuts for book illustration, as during his lifetime engravings started to gradually take over. Like most woodcut artists, he normally let a specialist ‘formschneider’ cut the block to its drawing, although he sometimes included both a cutter’s knife and a quill pen in his signature on prints, suggesting he sometimes cut his own blocks.

From the extraordinary collection of Louis-Henri de Loménie, Comte de Brienne (1635 – 1698). His madness, brought on by the death of his wife, and relieved by periods of lucidity, did not prevent him from writing memoirs which present much invaluable historical information, or from assembling a fine library, on which he spent almost 80,000 livres. “Presque tous ses livres sortait des mains de Dusseuil.” Guigard. After his death, the collection was dispersed by his son, also named Louis-Henri. “Au grand détriment de la bibliophilie française” (Guigard, 328), it was sold by the London bookseller James Woodman in 1724. Books on the market with Loménie de Brienne’s arms are now rare.

BM STC Ger. C16. p. 623. Fairfax Murray. I 33. Adams A966 & M1535. Colas 120 Guigard II p. 327.

L1184

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