GIOVIO, Paolo.


Turcicarum rerum commentarius. [followed by] Commentarius captae urbis ductore Carolo Borbonio.

Paris, Robert Estienne, 1539.


8vo. 2 works in 1, separate t-ps, continuous signatures, pp. 87 (i), 32. Roman letter, little Italic. Woodcut printer’s device to t-ps. First t-p a little dusty with slight yellowing, minimal marginal foxing to last three ll. A very good, clean copy in late C19 crushed crimson morocco, marbled eps, gilt oval centrepiece to covers, spine and inner edges gilt, a.e.g. One early ms. marginal note.

Finely bound, good, clean copy of the second Estienne Latin edition of this important Turcicum, with the second part (not always present), including G.B. Egnazio’s famous account on the origins of the Turks. Paolo Giovio (1483-1552), a major historian and ethnographer, first published ‘Commentario’ in Italian in 1531, to contribute to the debate on the Ottoman wars, in view of the planned crusade of 1532. Like other such treatises, it was dedicated to Emperor Charles V, who led Europe against the Turks; it was also ‘the most realistic, less moralistic and clearest’ (Zimmermann, 159-60). It comprises sections on the origins of the Turks, their sultans from Orhan to Suleyman, their troops and war strategies. It was first translated and published in Latin in Strasbourg, in 1537, by the Italian Reformer Francesco Negri (1500-63). Robert Estienne printed it in 1538. Estienne added, with continuous signatures but separate foliation, the anonymous ‘Commentarius captae urbis’, also published separately. It recounts the sack of Rome of 1527, led by Charles III de Bourbon, on the French troops’ rebellion against the Holy Roman Emperor. It also includes the famous ‘De origine Turcorum’ by Giovan Battista Egnazio, first published by Aldus in

1516 as an appendix to Egnazio’s biographies of Roman emperors. Based on diplomatic documents produced for the Serenissima in the late C15, it did not depict a complimentary image of the Ottomans, presented as skilful invaders of the Byzantine empire, and, especially Suleyman, ambitious conquerors. This did not suit state policy as Francis I sought instead to promote the ongoing Franco-Ottoman alliance, established in 1536. A fine sammelband of scarce Turcica.

Only Illinois copy (both parts) recorded in the US.

Göllner 644 (without second?) and 651 (separate publication of second); Renouard 48:12; French Books 72130; BM STC Fr., p.203; Brunet III, 585 (1538 ed.). T.C. Price Zimmermann, Paolo Giovio. Uno storico e la crisi italiana del XVI secolo (2012); E. Armstrong, Robert Estienne, Royal Printer (1954).


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Ordine delli molto magnifici e clarissimi signori […] sopra quello, & di quali instrumenti si debbe pagare l’Archiuio, come ancora circa il matricolare li Notai.

Florence, [Nella Stampa di lor’Altezze Serenissime], 1571.


FIRST EDITION. Small 4to. 2 unnumbered ll., A2. Roman letter. Large woodcut device of the royal press with Medici arms. T-p marginally dusty, very small bite mark from lower blank edge. A remarkably well-preserved copy, in modern wrappers, early ink ms. ‘20 luglio 1571’, ‘126’ and later ‘5’ (red crayon) to t-p, another ‘127’ to upper outer blank corner of first leaf, C20 pencilled bibliographical note to blank margin at end.

A remarkably scarce ephemeral survival of the first edition of this Florentine ‘Ordine’ imposing a tax on notarial acts. The new tax increased the cost of procurations to 4 soldi, contracts to a maximum of 8 soldi, and last wills to 12 soldi. This additional cost included however a copy of each document which could be requested for free by the signatories from the archive at any time. The income, which spared the state great expenditure, went into the ‘perfect preservation’ of the Archive of public documents, only possible if the archivists received ‘proper acknowledgement and treatment for their labours’. The ‘Ordine’ also required that all newly-appointed notaries, within 4 months, appear in front of the archive officers to be approved by them. The Ducal Press was established by Cosimo de’ Medici in 1547. The first ‘stampatore ducale’ was Lorenzo Torrentino; after his death in 1562, the office remained vacant for years, as Duke Francesco I decided ‘to grant [the privilege] anew for each work, so as not to favour a specific printer’ (Pignatti, ‘Diz. Biog.’). For printers, the production of and trade in administrative ‘ordini’ and ‘bandi’ was ‘safe and abundant due to the high number of magistrates issuing ordnances, regulations, provisions, etc.—which quickly expired and were quickly renewed—and many were the offices and people interested in purchasing these works, which were printed cheaply on low-quality paper’ (Biagiarelli, 318). The printer of this ‘Ordine’ was not specified and we have not been able to trace another example of the device. USTC and EDIT16 identify him as Giorgio Marescotti, who, in 1571-3, used the imprint ‘Alla Stamperia di loro Altezze appresso Giorgio Marescotti’ with the Medici device, generally used on ‘bandi’. Biagiarelli suggests this was only meant to highlight, in his quest for the post of ‘stampatore ducale’, that he had taken over Torrentino’s premises—those of the former ducal press; he received a ten-year privilege for the ‘bandi’ only in 1574 (pp.317-18). The device (here much more elaborate) and typeface do not appear to match those used by Marescotti. An undated Giunti edition, with different Medici device and typeface, was also produced, but arguably in 1572, as the privilege for each ‘bando’ usually lasted for 6 months.

Only Yale copy recorded in the US.

EDIT16 CNCE 59988; USTC 859809; Salimbeni, Leggi, ordini […] della Toscana dei Medici, 310; Cantini VII, 364-370. B. Maracchi Biagiarelli, ‘Il privilegio di stampatore ducale nella Firenze Medicea’, Archivio Storico Italiano 123 (1965), 304-70; F. Pignatti, ‘G. Marescotti’, Diz. Biog. degli Italiani (2008).


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LINDHOUT, Heinrich.


Speculum astrologiae.

Frankfurt, apud Wolffg. Richterum, 1608.


Small 4to. pp. (xvi) 191 (i) + 5 folding plates. Roman letter, little Italic. Woodcut printer’s device to t-p, 3 folding plates with astronomical diagrams and 2 astrological tables, woodcut vignettes with personifications of planets, tables and horoscope diagrams, decorated initials and ornaments. T-p a little browned and dusty, first gathering yellowed, small water stain at foot of A3-4 and water stain to lower outer blank corner of N3-4, tiny worm trails to few blank margins, clean marginal tear to T2. A good copy in English polished calf c.1700, rebacked, remounted spine with morocco label (small loss), corners worn, small loss at head and foot of spine. C19 autograph ‘Fred Hockley’ to ffep, ms. book price (?) at t-p foot, C18 astrological notes to final blanks.

This copy belonged to Frederick Hockley (1809-85), occultist, Freemason and Rosicrucian. He owned one of the richest and largest collection of occult books, many transcribed by himself from obscure documents in European libraries. It was sold after his death by George Redway, with a catalogue we have not been able to consult. In 1853, he established the Croydon Circle, the first spiritualist organisation in London. He carried out extensive experiments on techniques of spirit communication, including crystallomancy.

A good copy, of fascinating provenance, of the scarce third edition of this important work in defence of judicial astrology—‘excellent treatise of pure astrology’ (Cantamessa). Born in Brussels, Henricus Lindhout (1572-1620) was student at Leiden before practising as a physician. His most renowned work is ‘Introductio in Physicam Iudiciariam’ (Hamburg, 1597, see Bib. Belgica I-II, 456), reprinted in 1598 and, in the third edition, as ‘Speculum Astrologiae’. Lindhout begins by contextualising judicial astrology within theology and natural philosophy, to show how it is intimately connected with, and cannot go counter to, God’s plan. He discusses the microcosm and macrocosm, the principles of creation and three causes of human actions. He engages directly with detractors (ancient and Arabic philosophers) of planetary influence on the microcosm, with an explanation of theoretical and practical astrology, the nature of fixed and movable stars (handsomely represented in a large, finely-produced folding diagram), planetary motions, virtues and influence (portrayed as humans according to the traditional iconography, flanked by their ‘houses’), and the principles of judicial astrology for devising horoscopes. A large table details the division of the microcosm according to judicial astrology, and the basic information required for horoscopes—e.g., the subject’s religion, descent, children, continence/incontinence, physical appearance, medical conditions and ailments, time of death, etc. The second half is entirely devoted to ‘judicia astrologica’. ‘Interesting are his observations on the horoscopes provided in the text, one of which (on p.133) is certainly the author’s, which confirms he was born in 1572’ (Cantamessa 4597). The remainder form an interesting mixture of ‘greats’: Alexander, Henry of Navarre, the astrologers and occultists Pico della Mirandola, Cornelius Agrippa and Henricus Rantzovius, and Cicero, plus a couple unspecified. These are accompanied by half a dozen pages of detailed mathematical calculation. The later annotator of this copy was a skilled astrologer who elaborated on the horoscope of Alexander the Great.

Only Harvard copy recorded in the US.

Cantamessa 4597; Dorbon 2708: ‘très rare’; Thorndike VI, p.141; Bib. Belgica I-II, 456 (1597 and 1618 eds); Houzeau-Lancaster 4979.


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PADOVANI, Fabrizio.


Tractatus duo alter de ventis alter perbrevis de terraemotu.

Bologna, apud Giovanni Battista Bellagamba, 1601.


FIRST EDITION. Folio. 2 parts in 1, pp. (viii) 163 (xiii). Roman letter, little Italic. Printer’s woodcut device to t-p, 39 full- or half-page engravings of nautical charts (including one world map), buildings and instruments, decorated initials and headpieces. Early inked over ex libris to t-p, lower outer corner of B1 repaired, occasional slight thumbing or foxing to outer margin, a few ll. lightly browned, tiny hole touching one letter on K4, small holes to lower margin of last. A very good copy in contemporary vellum, rebacked, recent eps.

A very good copy of the first edition of this superbly illustrated work on the mechanics of air flow, with a short, appended treatise on earthquakes. Little is known of Fabrizio Padovani (fl. late C16-early C17), a ‘philosophus’ and ‘medicus’ from Forlì. Grounded in the tradition of Aristotelian meteorology, ‘Tractatus de ventis’ examined the physics of winds discussing their names, composition, cause, location in relation to the cardinal points, direction and effects on the weather, navigation, agriculture, architecture and mechanics. The sections on the directions of winds are handsomely illustrated with engraved round charts in fresh impression—in which the latest cartographic developments meet the Renaissance art of scientific engraving—reprising the structure of volvelles used for calculations in astronomical books. The section on the mechanics of air flow illustrates several kinds of air-operated machines including windmills and a steam ‘aeliopile’ called ‘inflator’, attributed to Johannes Anglicus. The second treatise discusses the nature of earthquakes and their causes, providing a final section on key questions including why earthquakes frequently occur at night time and are often followed by eclipses, plague or strong winds. A scarce, surprisingly little-known work on the sciences of meteorology and cosmography.

Riccardi II/1, 230: ‘Bella edizione’; Honeyman VI, 2387. Not in BM STC It. C17, Houzeau & Lancaster or Brunet.


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De mystica numerorum significatione.

[Paris, Henri I Estienne, 1513.]


FIRST and ONLY early edition. 4to. ff. 41 (iii). Roman letter, white on black decorated initials. T-p and couple of others a bit thumbed, a very good, thick paper copy in contemporary vellum. Bookplate of Erwin Tomash to front pastedown, illegible remains of early inscription on t-p. In modern folding box.

Very good copy of the first and only edition of this numerological treatise. Educated at Leuven, Josse van Clichtove (1472-1543) was a Belgian theologian and philosopher, and librarian at the Sorbonne; many of his works were harsh critiques of Lutheranism. One of his earliest works, ‘De mystica numerorum significatione’ is a pamphlet on the mystical meaning of numbers in the Scriptures using major ancient and medieval numerical theories including those of Pythagoras, Aristotle, Boethius and St Augustine. It associates numbers to their manifestations in the Bible—e.g., one (the gnostic Monad), three (the Trinity), four (the Evangelists)—reflecting on fundamental theological concepts like hypostasis or the existence of one god in the three distinct persons of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The work looked back to the ancient numerological tradition criticised on the one hand but on the other widely employed and transmitted to medieval theologians by the Church Fathers, and assimilated in the early Renaissance through the lens of Neo-Platonism. The final ‘epilogus’ summarises the chapters listing the main meanings for each number: e.g., 11 as ‘transgression of the Ten Commandments and sin’ and 40 ‘expiation of sin and time of penitence’. A little known and extremely learned product of late medieval exegesis and the numerological tradition.

Tomash & Williams C103; Renouard 14:5; Brunet II, 108; BM STC It., p. 117; Honeyman II, 725. Not in Riccardi or Smith.


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VIO, Tommaso de.


Questiones rare.

Cologne, [Quentell], 1515.


FIRST EDITION. 4to. 4 unnumbered ll., A4. Large Gothic letter. Decorated initial. A few small scattered wormholes touching a couple of letters. A very good copy in modern pasteboards.

A remarkably well-preserved copy of this scarce and unusual theological florilegium. Tommaso de Vio (or Cardinal Caetano or Cajetanus, 1469-1534) was a Dominican theologian. He held important offices as archbishop and diplomat of the Papal states at the Diet of Augusta in 1518, where he argued against Martin Luther and the tenets of the Reformation. In 1534, he officially delivered the Pope’s refusal to acknowledge the divorce between Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. A follower of Thomas Aquinas, Vio wrote biblical exegesis and philosophical commentaries on Aristotle and Porphyrius. ‘Questiones’ is a collection of six brief essays, all dated 1513-15, examining specific ‘cases of conscience’ concerning the application of canon law to situations of daily life, with special attention to religious vocations and adultery. Four are personal replies to ‘questiones’ raised by the Dominican theologians Cherubino of Florence, Conradus Roellin, Matthias from Salamanca and Vincenzo of San Gimignano. The Quentell press from Cologne, mentioned in the colophon was responsible for the publication of parts of Tyndale’s Bible in the 1520s.

Only Columbia copy recorded in the US.

ZV19182. Not in BM STC Ger., Brunet or Graesse.


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[GRASSUS, Antonius.]


Ars notariatus.

Rome, Stephan Plannck, c.1490.


8vo. 6 unnumbered ll., [*] 6 . Large Gothic letter, initials heightened in red throughout. Faint marginal waterstaining, marginal ink marks to last two ll., marginal soiling to verso of last, first and last reinforced at gutter. A good, well-margined copy, in a leaf from Korenberg’s 1483 German Bible over modern boards, a.e.r.

Very good, well-margined copy of this scarce Roman edition of an extremely successful manual for notaries. First composed c.1400, it circulated extensively in ms. before reaching the press in Rome in 1474 and undergoing numerous reprints in Italy, Flanders, France and Germany, as well as a German translation, until the early 1500s. Its authorship is debated: although the Brescia edition mentions the name of the Bolognese Antonius Grassus, judge of the Apostolic Tribunal of the Sacred Rota, it has also been attributed to the French jurist Johannes de Gradibus or simply considered anonymous. The title ‘Ars notariatus’ was constructed a posteriori following a variation of the incipit found in some ms. copies—‘Notariatus [instead of ‘Notaria’] est ars scribendi et dictandi…’. It is a very simple and clear summary of a notary’s work which it introduces as follows: ‘the art of being a notary is the art of writing and expressing arguments in writing so as to straighten the complexities of human fragility and commit them to perennial memory.’ There follows a clarification of what a notary is by law and who can become a notary—a free man, not of peasant origins, not constrained by other ties (e.g., holy orders), a male individual compos mentis (e.g., he should not be prone to excessive anger), with good eyesight and hearing, sound reputation and character (still desirable). The rest of the work is concerned with what and how a notary should proceed in his everyday business dealing with contracts, obligations, customs, sales arbitrations and stipulations, and, most importantly, how to deal with last wills and testaments and the subdivision of inheritance (e.g., if a son refuses to ransom his father from the Saracens and the father dies in prison, his inheritance will go to the Church). A little jewel of early legal studies, from one of the most productive presses in late C15 Rome, shedding light on the professional role and individual character of the medieval notary.

Only Jacob Burns Law Library copy of this ed. recorded in the US.

GW 2650; Proctor 3749; ISTC ia01129000. Rolandino e l’ars notaria da Bologna all’Europa, ed. G. Tamba (Milan, 2002).


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Dala’il al-Khayrat, illuminated manuscript in Arabic on polished paper

Ottoman Turkey, first half of nineteenth century


Sm. 8vo, 175 by 120mm., 97 leaves plus two later flyleaves at each end, complete, text-block in single column throughout, 11 lines scribal black naskh per page, illuminated head-piece opening the text with gilt and polychrome decorations, opening two leaves with gilt borders and interlinear colouring of pounced gilt decorations, polychrome headings opening sections of the text throughout, two full-page coloured illustrations of Mecca and Medina, verses marked throughout by gilt roundels, leaves ruled in gilt, red and blue, some very small smudges, one blank upper outer corner repaired, erroneous inscription dating the manuscript to 1050 AH at the end of the text, twentieth-century bookplate of “Pamela and Raymond Lister” to upper pastedown. In fine red morocco boards with flap, covers decorated with three-piece central medallion of inlaid green leather, embossed with spiralling gilt decorations, covers ruled and tooled in gilt, spine and crease of flap repaired, lightly rubbed in places, housed in custom red cloth drop-box.

A popular collection of Sunni prayers and blessings dedicated to the Prophet Muhammad for the purposes of daily recitation. The text was compiled by the Moroccan Sufi leader al-Jazuli in the fifteenth century and is commonly considered the earliest collection of liturgies in Islamic history dedicated entirely to the Prophet. Manuscript copies of the text often feature the double-page illustrations of Mecca and Medina which sometimes depict the tombs of Prophet Muhammad and the Caliphs. The inclusion of illustrations is unusual for Islamic manuscripts as the Muslim tradition generally condemns iconography, and the illustrations in this text are a break from that common principle. The 99 names of Allah and 100 names of the Prophet are also common additions, the latter present in this copy. Since al-Jazuli’s death in 1465, this prayerbook has become one of the most popular collection of daily prayers among Sunni muslim communities worldwide, and particularly throughout North Africa, the Levant, Turkey, and some areas of South Asia. 

This copy of the Dala’il al-Khayrat is a fine example of Ottoman manuscript production, skillfully illuminated and copied by the copyist named in the colophon. Hafiz Ahmed Aziz bin al-Zahidi was likely a court calligrapher, specialising in Qur’anic texts, whose neat and scribal naskh calligraphy are exemplified to a high standard in this manuscript. This particular copy was likely commissioned by a noble patron and produced in a skilled Ottoman workshop, for private use by the consignor. 

Manuscript from the collection of the late Pamela and Raymond Lister. Dr Raymond Lister founded the Golden Head Press and was notably the governor of the Federation of the British Artists during his lifetime.


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copied by scribe Ali bin Shahab al-Din, decorated manuscript in Arabic on polished paper

Safavid Persia, dated Jumada II 973 AH (December 1565 – January 1566 AD)


185 by 120mm., 216 leaves, complete, text in single column throughout, 14 lines of black naskh, headings and key word in red, catch-words throughout, marginal annotations throughout copied in both contemporary and later hands, early twentieth-century Persian export stamps to preliminary and penultimate leaves, large paper label to upper pastedown, in contemporary blind-stamped morocco, perhaps missing a flap, spine and outer extremities repaired in later morocco, paper label to spine, wear to covers.

One of the founding pillars of Islamic Fiqh – Islamic jurispudence based on divine law – is the ritual of purity and cleanliness. The faith determines that if impurities exist on the human body, the negative impacts of this on their health and mental state will pollute the soul. Therefore one of the methods of purification for the soul lies in the hygiene and cleanliness of the human body. This work outlines the methods by which muslims can practice ritual purity in their daily lives as outlines by the Shi’a understanding of Islamic jurisprudence. This Kitab al-Taharah (literally meaning the book of purification) is divided into multiple sections covering a wide range of topics including: ablution, tayammum (the Islamic ritual of dry purification using purified sand or dust), death washing rituals, and performing wudu (cleaning parts of the body in preparation for prayer).

The wide margins and informal annotations throughout this volume indicate that it was probably copied for practice in an Islamic school, likely connected to a mosque, during the reign of Shah Tahmasp I of the Safavid dynasty. The hand is not consistent with the formal scribal practices at the time, but has clearly been copied by a trained hand suggesting that the scribe here, Ali bin Shahab al-Din, was likely either a scholar himself or an educated student copying the text for personal use.

This volume was formerly part of the both the Hagop Kevorkian and Mohamed Makiya private libraries, these important twentieth-century collections of Islamic books and manuscripts.


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Sharh al-Mulakhas fi’Ilm al-Hay’a (a commentary on the Compendium of Cosmology), decorated manuscript in Arabic on polished paper

Region of Samarkand, likely last decades of fifteenth century


12mo, 170 by 95mm., 86 leaves (including 4 contemporary flyleaves), complete, text in single column throughout, 19 lines delicate black nasta’liq, some overlining and headings in red, numerous diagrams throughout the text also in red, contemporary annotations to margins, catch-words throughout, some very faint water-staining to extremities, a few early ownership annotations and stamps to preliminary and penultimate leaves, including some quatrains of Persian poetry, early eighteenth-century russet morocco with flap, centrally placed medallions stamped in blind to covers and flap, also ruled in blind, some staining and light wear to extremities.

Musa bin Muhammad Qazi Zadeh al-Rumi (d.1436), known simply as Qazi Zaheh, was an Ottoman astronomer and mathematician based in Samarkand. Qazi Zadeh was a celebrated scholar in his field and is best known for the Zij’i Sultani, his collaborative work with fellow astronomer and Govenor of Samarkand Ulugh Beg (d. 1449). Their treatise is considered the first truly comprehensive stellar catalogue containing over 900 stars and is still considered an important treatise in the field of cosmology today. During his career Qazi Zadeh also became the directory of the Samarkan educational observatory, built under the direction and patronage of Ulugh Beg, which became the centre for astronomical research and education in the region.

The present text is a commentary on Mahmoud ibn Muhammad ibn Umar al-Jaghmini’s influential astronomical text entitled Al-Mulakhas fi’Ilm al-Haya (Compendium of Cosmology) which was likely compiled in the early 13th century. Qazi Zadeh’s treatise both acts as a summary and commentary of Jaghmini’s text, dealing with the configuration of the celestial and territorial worlds combined (including the arrangement of Ptolemaic celestial orbs). These treatises are compiled in a simplified format to accommodate a wider scholarly community and thus explain cosmographic theories in basic elementary terms and target broad audiences. The approachable nature of this text meant it became particularly widespread, often copied alongside Jaghmini’s text, and was even used as a curriculum for schools in Ottoman regions. 

This particular manuscript was probably copied for personal use by a scholarly student. Though there are wide margins throughout (for annotation) the text itself is miniscule and copied in a very tight format, an economic solution for self funding copyist. The contemporary marginalia and ownership seals are in keeping with the Eastern regions of Timurid Persia, not far from Samarkand, and probably copied only a few decades after the author’s death. 


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