DE LA SERNA SANTANDER, Carlos Antonio
Dictionnaire bibliographique choisi de quinzième siècleBrussels, J. Tarte, 1805, 1806, 1807
FIRST EDITION. Small 4to, 3 vols., pp. (vi), x, 480; (iv), iv, 478; (iv), 534, (ii). Roman letter, some Italic. Minor tears to blank lower margin of first couple of ll. Minor spotting to first few ll. A very good, complete and unmarked copy of this important work on the early history of printing, in contemporary vellum, red and brown morocco lettering pieces on spines, gilt, all edges speckled, vol.1 partly on blue paper; corners and lettering pieces a bit rubbed, small tear in two spines.
Carlos Antonio de La Serna Santander (1752-1813) was a Jesuit priest who moved to Brussels after the suppression of his order in 1773. He lived there with his bibliophile uncle Simon, and La Serna helped him build and catalogue the most notable contemporary library in the Low Countries. La Serna went on to become the librarian of the Êcole centrale de Bruxelles and one of the greatest incunable specialists of his day. He was close friends with other well-known bibliophiles and bibliographers, such as Crevenna, the Abbé Merceir de Saint-Léger, and de Murr. La Serna’s Dictionnaire bibliographique comprises an ‘exhaustive’ essay on the history of printing which fills the entire first volume, followed by an alphabetical bibliography of all known incunables. Without fold-out table. One of the first and best catalogues raisonés of early printing, much relied on by the better known incunabulists of the next two generations.‘Ouvrage très recommendable’ Peignot 273-4; Bigmore and Wyman II, 352