LONICER, Philipp

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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