HOTMAN, François. [with] MYNSINGER von FRUNDECK, Joachim.


HOTMAN, François. Vetus-renovatus commentarius in quatuor libros Institutionvm iuris civilis.

Lyon, Apud Antonium Candidum, [1588]. [with]

MYNSINGER von FRUNDECK, Joachim. Apotelesma, hoc est corpus perfectum scholiorum.

Helmstedt, ex officina Iacobi Lucii, 1588.


Large folio. 2 works in one, pp. (xii) 525 (xix), (xl) 704 (ccxxiv). Roman letter, some Italic, occasional Greek. T-ps in red and black with printer’s woodcut devices; author’s woodcut portrait to verso of second, his large woodcut arms to β8, and large woodcut printer’s device to last; woodcut initials and ornaments. Minimal toning, I: very light water stain to upper blank margin of early gatherings, small tear from upper outer blank corner of i1, II: marginal ink splash to verso of H4 just touching side note, the odd spot, small tear to three upper edges, light water stain to upper outer corner towards end. Very good copies in contemporary Saxon pigskin, triple blind ruled to a panel design, outer border with blind roll of tendrils and small heads within roundels, second with blind roll of interlacing palmettes, third with blind-stamped full female figures of Faith, Hope, Charity, Prudence and Temperance (some signed FH), centre panel bordered by blind rolls of palmettes and tendrils, elaborate blind-stamped armorial centrepieces (signed GK) of Christian I, Elector of Saxony (upper) and Johann Georg, Elector of Brandenburg (verso), diagonally striped, raised bands, corners a bit bumped and worn, covers a little soiled. Ms. casemarks to front pastedown, C18 ‘1 Julii 1717’ to first t-p.

In a solid, handsome pigskin binding. The centrepieces are signed G.K. (Georg d. Ä. Kammerberger, EBDB w000435 and Haebler I 221-225). ‘The Kammerbergers were a family of bookbinders, whose workshops in Wittenberg were active during a large part of the C16 and throughout the C17 century. The company probably flourished under Georg Kammerberger the Younger in the 1590s, who was elected Master of the Guild in 1592’ (Haebler). This binding is stamped with the finely cut arms of Christian I, Elector of Saxony, and those of Johann Georg, Elector of Brandenburg. Christian I married Sophie of Brandenburg, Johann Georg’s daughter, in 1586; after her husband’s death in 1591, she became Regent (Sophia Electrix) during the minority of their son, until 1600. Given that, during the Regency, her personal arms were used in escutcheons and medals, this binding was probably produced for her library in the preceding years, with the Saxon and Brandenburg arms identifying her status as wife and daughter.

Two important commentaries to Justinian’s ‘Institutiones’—a cornerstone of the Western legal system. Justinian I (482-565) ruled for forty years over the Byzantine empire and succeeded in temporarily rekindling the former splendour of Rome by reclaiming Italy, Dalmatia and Spain from the Ostrogoths and Visigoths. ‘Institutiones’ is part of his ‘Corpus iuris civilis’, the first codification of Roman law. Based on the ‘Institutiones’ of Gaius, and other authorities, including Ulpian, it is a compendium of the basic institutions of Roman law devised by Theophilus and Dorotheus, two Byzantine law professors, under the supervision of Tribonian. François Hotman (1524-90) was a French Protestant lawyer associated with the anti-absolutist faction. In his revolutionary ‘Anti-Tribonian’, he advocated the substitution, in France, of Roman law based on Justinian, a change the king could have enforced with a legislative act. With a philological approach, he ‘favoured an alliance between law and history in order to distinguish between “old law” and “new law”, that is, between obsolete law and authoritative law’, being concerned with ‘salvaging what still had practical value’ among Roman laws (Kelley, ‘François Hotman’, 189). His ‘Commentarius’, also featuring a life of Justinian, sought to highlight Roman laws still relevant to the present, distinguishing originals and interpolations by later jurists, including the berated Tribonian. Joachim Mynsinger von Frundeck (1514-88) was a German jurist and writer, a judge at the Imperial Chamber of Justice in Speyer and later Vice-Chancellor of Helmstedt University. He was the first to publish documents of the so-called ‘cameralistic jurisprudence’, the decisions of the Imperial Chamber based on confidential consultation. Here in a scarce German edition, ‘Apotelesma’ was organised ‘in the form of “glossae” or annotations to single passages in the text, accompanied by brief comments. (Padoa-Schioppa, ‘History’, 269). Subjects include the laws relating to agriculture, wills, evidence, landed property and inheritance.

I: Baudrier XII, 484. Not in BM STC Fr. or Brunet.

II: No copies recorded in the US.

BM STC Ger., p.746 (1563 ed.). Not in Graesse. A. Padoa-Schioppa, A History of Law in Europe (Cambridge, 2017); D.R. Kelley, François Hotman (Princeton, 1973).


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PIGHIUS, Stephanus Vinandus.


Annales magistratuum et provinciar. S.P.Q.R. ab urbe condita.

Antwerp, ex Officina Plantiniana, 1599.


FIRST EDITION. Folio. pp. (xxiv) 469 [i.e., 467] (iii). Roman letter, with Italic. Engraved architectural t-p with allegorical figures of Fame, Justice, Prudence and the Tiber, 8 ¼-page engravings of classical deities, coins or scenes from Roman history, large woodcut printer’s device to verso of last, decorated initials and ornaments. Intermittent slight browning, light water stain to upper edge, ink burn to early ownership inscription on t-p, traces of chewing to upper and lower edge of first two gatherings. A very good, tall, well-margined copy in contemporary Flemish calf, lacking ties, stubs from rubricated C14 astrological ms. on vellum used as spine lining, single gilt and double blind ruled, centre panel bordered with roll of gilt ropework, large gilt fleurons to outer corners, large gilt corner- and centrepieces with interlacing ribbons and tendrils, raised bands, large gilt fleurons to compartments, a.e.g., expert repair to corners, head and foot of spine, and upper joint, small repairs to surface of corners. C17 ms. ‘Liber iste ex (?) et musaeo dep[re]ndet P. Mareschal Dñi de Boulans [Francisci Bouchard medicinae et (?)] doctoris Bisontini [Besançon] emptus decem libris 15 iunii 1634 de vastatione castelli Vildestein [Villedestin]’ and C18 ms. author biography to verso of fly, C17 inscriptions ‘Ex Lib. F. Bouchard med. doctoris & dono N. Viduae N. Domini [Christmas] D.’ and ‘A Monsieur P. Mareschal Baronis de Bouclan’ to lower blank t-p margin, modern label to rear fep.

In 1634, this copy was in the library of Pierre Mareschal, Baron de Bouclans, an influential personality in the government of Besançon, in France-Comté. He was an esteemed collector of Gallo-Roman antiquities, including epigraphic specimens, and books. The note says that, on 15 Jun 1634, he purchased from a physician in Besançon ten books which came from the ransacking of the Castle of Villedestin (Waldenstein), in Lower Alsace, owned by the Abbey of Murbach. The observation, arguably in Mareschal’s hand, that this work was ‘rarissimus’ (both scarce and excellent) reveals an early bibliophile’s interest in ‘rarity’, and the great appreciation in which the work was held by contemporary antiquaries. François Bouchard (fl. second half of the C17) was professor of medicine at Besançon, and the author of an account on the autopsy of ‘a monstrous child exposed in a public street at Leiden’ in 1672.

The splendid binding was most likely produced in the same workshop as BL C27k9, printed in Antwerp in 1601, given the identical corner- and centrepieces.

A splendidly bound copy of the first edition of this monumental survey of the chronology of the magistrates and officers of ancient Rome and its imperial provinces. ‘He who writes on Roman history cannot dispense with the work of Pighius’ (Niebuhr, ‘Lectures’, 1849). Stephanus Vinandus Pighius (Étienne Vinand, 1520-1604) was an antiquary from the Duchy of Clèves, patronised by Cardinal Farnese during an Italian stay, and later librarian of Cardinal Grenvelle and tutor of the Duke of Clèves’s son. He wrote ‘Annales’ in the later years of his life, but only published the first of three volumes; the other two were edited posthumously by the humanist Andreas Schott, following Pighius’s ms. notes. Based on a huge variety of fresh research into printed and ms. sources, ‘Annales’ lists all known Consuls, Censors, Dictators, Masters of the Horse, Praetors, Aediles, Tribunes and Quaestors, for every year from the foundation of the Republic. Pighius occasionally used fictious but verisimilar names to fill numerous gaps. His models were the histories of Rome published by C. Sigonius (1556) and O. Pavinius (1557), partly based, in turn, on the annals carved on the Capitoline Marbles (or Consular Fasti). This was a monument built under Augustus to celebrate the consular office, and which detailed, in stone, the Consuls in office each year since 509BC. A masterpiece of early modern historiography and antiquarianism, ‘Annales’ remained influential for centuries, being widely used by Gerard Vossius and reprinted by Johann Graevius. 

The C14 rubricated vellum ms. used as spine lining contains parts (e.g., ‘De aptatione et corruptione’) of Albumasar’s ‘Liber introductorii maioris ad scientiam judiciorum astrorum’, in John of Seville’s Latin translation.

UNC, Huntington and Lehigh copies recorded in the US.

Adams, P1197; Pettigree & Walsby, Netherlandish Books, 25570. Not in Brunet. G.C. Sampson, ‘The Rediscovery of a Sixteenth Century Work on Roman Magistrates: the Pighius Fasti’.


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EUCLID. Elementorum libri XV.

Pesaro, Camillo Franceschini, 1572. [with]

ARCHIMEDES. Opera non nulla. [and] Commentari.

Venice, Paolo Manuzio, 1558.


FIRST EDITIONS. Folio. Three works in one, ff. (xii) 255 (iv) 55 (ii) 63 (i), first lacking last blank, separate t-p to each. Roman and Italic letter, pages double-ruled in red. First t-p within architectural border t-p, allegorical figures, grotesques, cornucopiae and small geometrical diagrams; second and third with printer’s device to last; hundreds of fine geometrical diagrams; decorated initials. Occasional light yellowing, first t-p with odd marginal thumb mark, light marginal water stains to second t-p and a few ll. where annotations were washed, a few marginal tears without loss, old repairs to 3 ll. and one outer margin of final ll. of first work. Very good, well-margined copies in superb C17 French brown goatskin, gilt to a single- and double-ruled panel design, centre panel with gilt arms of Louis Bizeau surmounted by a plumed helmet, gilt monogram LB to corners, gilt roll of lozenges and circles to edges, all edges gilt and marbled. Spine triple gilt ruled in seven compartments, six with monogram LB, one with gilt lettering, floral scrolls with dentelles at head and foot, raised bands gilt to a roll of interlacing circles. Early casemark ‘FF. 8. 31.’ and armorial bookplate of Viscount Bruce of Ampthill and Baron Bruce of Whorleton, ‘Robert Bruce
1729’ to ffep, a few washed-out early marginalia. In modern slip box.

The superb binding bears the monogram and arms (a fess, two stars in chief, a crescent in point) of Louis Bizeau (fl. first half of C17), a prominent bibliophile of whom little is known (Olivier, ‘Manuel de l’amateur de reliures’, V, pl. 486). Some of his bindings c.1645-50 have been linked to the same workshop as worked for Dominique Séguier (Quaritch, ‘Examples of the Art of Book-Binding’, 108-9). His books, like this, had ruled pages, gilt edges and marbled pastedowns.

Excellent, well-margined copies, in fine impression, of Francesco Commandino’s Latin translations of Euclid’s ‘Elements’ and Archimedes’s ‘opera omnia’, with Commandino’s commentary, the last two issued together. These texts provided the foundations of modern mathematics and physics. Commandino (1509-75) was a humanist from Urbino renowned for his translations of the ancient Greek mathematicians including Aristarchus of Samos and Pappus of Alexandria. Several of his Latin renditions of Greek mathematical terms, for which he relied on previous adaptations by Roman authors like Cicero and Vitruvius, became the standard. Euclid (4 th century BC) was the first to reunite mathematical findings from the ancient world into a coherent, bi-dimensional system centred on simple axioms of plane geometry, based on angles and distance, from which further propositions (or theorems) could be deduced. His ‘Elements’ began with the crucial definition of ‘point’, ‘that which has no part nor size’ and which is only determined by two numbers defining its position in space—the fundamental notion on which the Euclidean geometrical system is based. Archimedes (287-12BC) was a mathematician, inventor, astronomer and engineer from Syracuse. The ‘Opera non nulla’ includes all his recorded writings, except for the treatise on floating bodies and that on the method of mechanical theorems, which was discovered later. This edition—the sole Aldine of Archimedes’s works—illustrates superbly his theorems on the area of circles, parabolae, spirals, spheres and cones, concluding with the famous ‘De arenae numero’, a calculation of the amount of sand grains needed to fill the universe. It is followed by Commandino’s commentary on Archimedes’s works, where geometrical diagrams are substituted by numerical calculations.

Charles Bruce (1682-1747), Earl of Ailesbury, Viscount Bruce of Ampthill and Baron Bruce of Whorleton, was a keen book collector. A catalogue of his vast library, comprising over 8,000 volumes, at Tottenham in Wiltshire, was printed in 1733—the second earliest catalogue of an English private library ever published (Pollard & Ehrman, 274-75), this copy being n.17, p.83. The library was eventually sold at Sotheby’s in 1919. His first-born, who died in 1738 before succeeding his father, is probably the Robert Bruce who signed the copy in 1729.

I) USTC 828478; BM STC It., p. 238; Brunet II, 1088: ‘édition bonne de cette traduction estimée’ ; Riccardi I, 362; Mortimer, Harvard Italian, 174; Thomas-Stanford, 18.

II) USTC 810251; BM STC It., p. 36; Rénouard 173:3; Riccardi I, 42: ‘bella edizione, assai poco comune’; Brunet I, 344: ‘peu commune’.


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HOLKOT, Robert.


Quaestiones super quatuor libros Sententiarum Petri Lombardi.

Lyon, Johannes Trechsel, 5-20 Apr. 1497.


FIRST EDITION. Small folio. 178 unnumbered ff., 8 8 a-n 8 o 10 A 8 B 6 C-H 8 I 10 . Gothic letter, double column. Woodcut printer’s device to last. A little marginal soiling to t-p and last, small clean tear from upper edge of t-p repaired, occasional slight toning, small light water stain to lower or upper blank margin of a handful of ll., smudge to lower blank margin of l 3-4 . A very good copy, on thick paper, in contemporary Flemish calf over wooden boards, rebacked with original spine onlaid, traces of C14 rubricated vellum ms. used as front pastedown, another (with genealogical diagram visible to verso) preserved at rear, quadruple blind ruled to a panel design, outer border with blind-stamped half-lozenges with grapes and bearded faces to corners, second border with blind-stamped tendrils and fleurons to corners, centre panel cross-hatched in blind with quadruple ruling, fleurons within lozenges and half-lozenges in blind, raised bands, spine blind ruled, corners repaired, couple of minor scratches to upper board. Early symbols to upper and lower margin, C19 bibliographical note, contemporary ex-libris Ghysbertus Konrardi(?) and C16 purchase note ‘Frater Joannes de la Vega emit hunc liber frater (?) cumdi(?), die’ (partly erased) to t-p, the odd C15 marginalia, C15 inscriptions (one with recipe of white wine from berries to treat constipation) and traces of ms. genealogical diagram (arbor consanguinitatis?) to rear pastedown.

In a charming contemporary Flemish binding, with an uncommon tool of blind-stamped bearded faces—probably green men. It bears the same design as Petrus de Palude’s ‘In quattuor sententiarum’ (Venice, 1495), now BMawrCL f.P-502 (Scott Husby Database). The latter comes from the Franciscan monastery of Louvain, though the binding was probably made in the town. ‘The binderies of the university town of Louvain produced some interesting bindings as early as the last quarter of the C15, but owing to the large scale destruction of the Louvain archives in WWI, there will be, unfortunately, no further possibility of identifying bindings from this source’ (Diehl, ‘Bookbinding’, 132). Ghysbertus Konrardi was probably the same recorded as a student from Leiden at Louvain in 1475 (see ‘Matricules – Ancienne Université de Louvain’). The copy was later purchased by the Spanish friar Juan de la Vega, who enrolled as a student in 1549 (Cole, ‘Studentenmobiliteit’, 151). This major work of Scholastic philosophy was the standard theology textbook of the middle ages. The English Dominican Robert Holkot (or Holcot, c.1290-1349) was a renowned philosopher and biblical exegete, professor of theology at Oxford and follower of William of Ockham’s scholasticism. His commentary on Peter Lombard’s (1096-1160) ‘Libri Quattuor Sententiarum’ has survived in a greater number of mss than the commentary by William of Ockham. A collection of statements on the Scriptures by acknowledged authorities, the ‘Sentences’ discussed the Trinity, the Creation, the incarnation of the word, and the doctrine of signs, touching on the sacraments, demons, sin and human will. This first edition was produced, from numerous, often imperfect manuscripts, by the famous scholar and printer Jodocus Badius Ascensius (1462-1535), editor and proofreader for Jean Trechsel in Lyon, in 1492-98.

Goff H287; HC 8763*; BMC VIII 300; GW 12890. E. Diehl, Bookbinding: Its Background and Technique (New York, 1980); T. Cole, Studentenmobiliteit tussen de Nederlanden en het Iberisch Schiereiland (Ghent University, 1996).


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Institutione del prencipe christiano.

Venice, per Comin de Trino, 1546


8vo. pp. 71 (i). Italic letter, occasional Roman. Woodcut printer’s device to t-p, woodcut initials. Occasional very slight foxing to outer or upper blank margin, small paper flaw to lower blank margin of H1. A very good, clean copy in superb contemporary Venetian olive goatskin, traces of ties, triple blind ruled to a panel design, single gilt ruled outer border, second border double gilt ruled with small ivy leaves to corners, surrounded by four gilt lotus tools, central panel with gilt arabesque cornerpieces and gilt round centrepiece surrounded by gouges and small fleurons with (upper cover) gilt title and (lower cover) the binder’s trade-mark gilt apple flanked by the gilt initials AA, raised bands and smaller false bands, eight compartments decorated with blind-tooled tendrils, bands single gilt ruled or hatched, all edges gilt and gauffered, upper joint cracking but firm, repair at head and foot of spine. Book label of Michel Wittock to front pastedown.

Superbly bound—studied and portrayed in Hobson & Culot, ‘Italian and French C16 Bookbindings’, n.11 (pp.36-37), from the library of Michel Wittock, a major C20 collector of fine bindings. The binding bears the trademark tools—small ivy leaves, lotus tools and the apple-shaped centrepiece, here flanked by the owner’s initials (e.g., de Marinis I, 2162 and 1707, and Henry Davis Gift II, 293-95)—of the Venetian Apple Binder (so named by M. Foot), active c.1530-50s (Henry Davis Gift I, 309-15). He is also known as Fugger Binder (preferred by Hobson and Schunke), as most of the books in the bibliophile Johann Jakob Fugger’s library came from his workshop; he also worked for Cardinal Granvelle and Thomas Mahieu. The same gilt initials AA flanking the apple tool are present on similar bindings gracing five other works (one unnoticed by Hobson & Culot, now Folger 182-313q), all printed in Venice between 1527 and 1546. According to Hobson & Culot, ‘it is possible—though this is pure guesswork—that A A stands for Arnoldus Arlenius, of s’Hertogenbosch, who in 1546 was employed in Venice as the librarian of the Spanish ambassador, Diego Hurtado de Mendoza’. Mendoza, himself a renowned bibliophile, was employing a Venetian binder, Andrea di Lorenzo, who used very similar tools to the Apple Binder.

This most influential and much reprinted ‘mirror for princes’ was originally published in Castilian as ‘Relox de Príncipes’ (Valladolid, 1529) by the Franciscan Antonio de Guevara (1481-1545). It first appeared in Italian in 1543 in a shortened form, translated and revised by Mambrino Roseo da Fabriano. Guevara’s ‘Relox’ was divided into three sections—brought together by the protagonist, the Philosopher-Emperor Marcus Aurelius—instructing Princes on the importance of Christian faith, their relationship with their wife and children, and political virtues. Reprinted nearly two dozen times in the C16, Mambrino’s translation was a collection of selected passages, under a title which reprised Erasmus’s famous ‘Institutio Principis Christiani’ (Buescu, ‘Corte’, 93).

Simplifying for a wider audience the genre of the ‘mirror for princes’, the ‘Institutione’ gathers exemplary anecdotes from the lives of ancient princes. It includes the customary warnings on the importance of virtue (e.g., patience and understanding of poverty) and the abhorrence of vice which might endanger the state (e.g., flattery and ambition). But it also covers topics closer to a prince’s family life. With an eye to a broader readership among aristocrats and the upper middle classes, Mambrino translated sections concerning the fundamental role played by women in the career of a prince, with instructions to princely wives how best to love their spouses, and to their husbands how pregnant princesses should be carefully looked after. A section is also devoted to the education of heirs, and the major role played by nurses; these should be ‘good orators’ and ‘learned, if possible’, women of this kind being still possible to find, ‘though more rarely, in modern times’.

Only Pratt and BYU copies recorded in the US.

EDIT16 CNCE 47315; Hobson & Culot, Italian and French C16 Bookbindings, n.11 (this copy).

A.I. Buescu, ‘Corte, Poder e Utopia: O Relox de Príncipes (1529) de Fr. Antonio de Guevara e a sua fortuna na Europa do século XVI’, Estudios Humanísticos. Historia 8 (2009), 69-101; I. Schunke, ‘Venezianische Renaissance-Einbände’, in Studi di bibliografia e di storia (1964), IV, 173-6.


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The First and Second Volumes of Chronicles [with the Third] Volume.

London, John Harrison, George Bishop, Rafe Newberie, Henrie Denham and Thomas Woodcocke, 1586/7


Folio, 3 vols, [vol. 1] pp. (viii) 250, (viii) 9-61, (xi) 183 (iii) 3-464 (xxxviii). [vol. 2] (iv) 202 (xvi) : (vi) 798. [vol. 3] (ii) 799-1592 (lviii). – Vol.1: A5(lacking first blank), B-X6, Y4, A-E6, A-Q6, R2, A-V6, 2A-2N6, 2O4, 2P-2Q6, 2R5 (with original cancel), 2S-2T6. A6, *6, ¶7 (lacking blank). Vol 2: Y5+6, A-Q6, R5 (lacking blank), B8 (all assembled from vol I). A6, B-V6, 2A-2V6, 3A-3V6, 4A-4G6, 4H1. Vol 3: *1, (lacking third title, replaced here with part title) 4H2-6, 4I-4V6, 5A-5V6, 6A-6V6, 7A-7N6, 7O3 (lacking blank). C-F6, G5 (Lacking last blank). Cancel leaves replaced, from the 1723 edition, in vol. I on 2Q3-4 and 2S2-5 and in vol. 3 on 7A-7I6, 7l 2-5, G3-5. Mostly Black letter, double column. general title within vine and tendril architectural woodcut border inscribed N.H. (supposedly the miniaturist Nicholas Hilliard, McKerrow & Ferguson 148), part title (repeated) within architectural woodcut border comprising arch, termini, figures and fruit and satyrs at sides (copied from the frame of Holbein’s portrait of Erasmus) McKerrow & Ferguson 122, part-title (repeated) within elaborate woodcut cartouche with fruit and flowers (McKerrow & Ferguson 147), vol. 3 t-p, replaced with part title, some large ornate woodcut initials and ornaments, printer’s woodcut device on verso of last, pencil inscription on vol. I front free endpaper: “From Lord Londesbrough’s Library”, (Londesbrough was one of the richest peers in England) armorial bookplates of Theod. H. Broadhead on front pastedowns. Light age yellowing with occasional slight browning in places, some slight marginal staining, a few ink marks, first title lightly browned and laid down, four leaves expertly remargined in vol. I, a few scattered single wormholes in places in vol II, small tears in 3G4, 3M3 and 4C5 repaired, vol. III with small tears to edges and corners expertly repaired. Unusually good clean copies in superb late C18th straight grained dark blue morocco, covers bordered with a triple gilt rule and framed with alternating gilt leaf and floral tools, gilt flowers to corners, gilt ‘temple’, comprising columns surmounted with a crescent, at centre of each side, spine richly gilt in compartments with the same leaf and floral tools, oval laurel wreath gilt at centers surrounded by semé of pointilé tools, inner dentelles gilt with a ‘Greek key” border, a.e.g., extremities fractionally rubbed.

The second and best edition of the single most comprehensive and valuable early history of the British Isles, which rapidly became the standard work of its kind. Shakespeare used this edition as the source for his historical plays, as well as Macbeth, King Lear and part of Cymbeline, adopting not only the facts but sometimes whole phrases from the text (see e.g. Richard III Act IV. Sc. II). The first edition was the work of Holinshed, William Hanson and others, but Holinshed died shortly after, and the publication of this second, very much enlarged edition was prepared under the supervision of John Hooker, assisted by Francis Thynne (especially on Scotland), John Stow and Abraham Fleming – who contributed the invaluable indexes not present in the first edition. The Chronicles were the first complete history of the British Isles (and even of England) to appear in print, of an authoritative character, composed in English and in a continuous narrative, in this edition covering the whole of British history from earliest times to 1586. Although the work borrows from earlier chroniclers, as well as more recent ones such as Hall and Stow himself, it did not do so uncritically, and the compilers themselves carried out research into original sources as well as using French and Italian materials more extensively than any previous English historians, especially for the later periods. For the history of the 15th and 16th centuries it is unequalled and irreplaceable. Unfortunately the accuracy with which the chronicles recorded contemporary events, particularly Elizabeth’s negotiations with the Scots, the machinations of Leicester, Cecil and Burley (derived from his own mss), Babington’s conspiracy, Drake’s return and the lives of certain Archbishops of Canterbury, caused great offence. The work was investigated by Whitgift and the excision and cancellation of numerous passages was ordered and delegated to Fleming. In 1722-23 three London booksellers republished the castrated pages, carefully edited by John Blackburn so that possessors of the volume might perfect them. They were beautifully printed to match the original. In this copy all the castrated leaves have been replaced, and the text is therefore complete as originally intended.

The order of this copy has been altered, bringing the English parts of the history together and placing the tables by the appropriate text, creating three vols. of similar size, (eg. part of vol. one has been moved to vol. 2 along with its title page and corresponding table. Changing the order of the text and adding the reprinted cancels from the C18th was clearly done in order to create what would, in its time, be considered the best possible copy of this work, by someone who clearly knew it well enough to enhance its coherence.

The sumptuous and finely worked binding in very high quality morocco, is very reminiscent of work by Kalthoeber or Baumgarten, and is certainly from the period in which they were most active, c.1780. A very beautiful set, that would have taken pride of place in any Georgian library.

Theodore Henry Broadhead was born in September 1741, he was given the name of Theodore Henry Brinckman at birth though his name was legally changed to Theodore Henry Broadhead by Act of Parliament. He held the office of High Sheriff of Surrey in 1786. He lived at Holly Grove, Windsor park. Baron Londesborough was Born Hon. Albert Denison Conyngham, In 1824, he was Attache to Berlin, Vienna in 1825 and Secretary of the Legation to Florence in 1828 and Berlin from 1829-31.Conyngham was knighted in 1829, and at the 1835 general election he was elected as  Liberal Member of Parliament for Canterbury. In 1849, he changed his surname to Denison under the terms of the will of his maternal uncle, William Denison, and was created Baron Londesborough a year later.

STC 13569. Lowndes III 1086. Gibson 358. 1st edn. (ditto Grolier & Pforzheimer). Kingsford, English historical literature, p.271 et seq.


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BG. [Mazzella Scipione.] [with] DE BRY, Theodor.



BG. [Mazzella Scipione.] Regum Neapolitanorum vitae et effigies. 

Augsburg, sumpt. Dominici Custodis. Coelo Raphael Custodis, 1605


DE BRY, Theodor. Indiae orientalis pars vndecima,

Frankfurt, typis Hieronymi Galleri, 1619


Folio. Two works in one. 1) C-T² lacking first two quires [4 leaves, A-B2 title and prefatory material]. Roman letter. 31 full page engraved genealogical tables and portraits with typeset explanations on verso, one tear with marginal loss, one affecting plate. 2) pp. 62 (ii); (ii) X engraved plates. [A-H⁴; a-c⁴] without last blank. Roman and Italic letter, first title with engraved portrait of Olivier van Noort with two natives at sides and with two map hemispheres, large grotesque head and tail pieces and initials, second part with separate t-p with grotesque woodcut ornaments, and 10 half page engraved plated with printed explanations, tiny single worm trail in lower blank margin of last four ff. Light age yellowing. A fine copy in stunning contemporary English olive morocco, covers double gilt ruled to a panel design, outer panel with a dentelle border made of small gilt tools, and a second border two blind rules and gilt laurel scrolls, inner panel with corner pieces of gilt laurel branch fleurons, filled with semée of gilt stars, large arms of James I within grotesque border, crown at head, gilt stamped at centres, spine double gilt ruled in compartments, gilt fleurons at centres with gilt star tools, edges gilt ruled, all edges gilt, upper joint repaired at foot, remains of blue silk ties, a.e.g.

The beautifully illustrated, rare and important eleventh vol of Theodor De Bry’s Small voyages containing three important travel accounts including the relation of Vespucci’s third and fourth voyage to America, in a stunning, finely preserved, contemporary morocco binding from the library of James I, very much in the style of Bateman. The first part contains all the plates from Mazella’s history of the kings of Naples.

The Small Voyages were printed in a total of 13 parts and an Appendix, at Frankfurt from 1597 to 1633; this is the sole Latin edition of part eleven of the Small voyages.“This eleventh part contains three narratives: 1) [p. 5-10] The relations of the third and fourth voyages of Vespuccius to America, in 1501 and 1503; it is a reprint of selections of the author’s: Mundus novus, first printed under title: Albericus Vespuccius Laurentio Petri Francisci de Medicis salutem plurimam dicit Amerigo Vespucci, Paris, 1503 but generally known as: Mundus novus. 2) [p. 11-46] An account of Robert Coverte’s travels by land through Persia and Mongolia [here, Church is incorrect. Instead of Mongolia, it is the Mogul Empire], after his shipwreck off Surat. This relation was first printed in English, at London in 1612; it is a translation of ‘A true and almost incredible report of an Englishman, that (being cast away in the good ship called the Assention in Cambaya the farthest part of the East Indies) trauelled by land through many vnknowne kingdomes, and great cities, by Robert Coverte, first printed London, 1612’ 3) [p. 47-62] A geographical description of Spitzbergen and a refutation of the claims of the English to the northern whale fisheries, with the journal of the voyage of Willem Barentsz and Jan Corneliszoon Rijp, in 1596, Cf. Church. It is a translation of: Histoire du Pays nommé Spisberghe collected and edited by Hessel Gerritsz, printed in Amsterdam, 1613, which is, in turn, a translation of selections of his: Descriptio ac delineatio geographica detectonis freti; sive Transitus ad occasum, supra terras Americanas, in Chinam atque Japonem ducturi, recens investigati ab M. Henrico Hudsono Anglo, first printed in Amsterdam, 1612. There are two states of the title page: in the first one, the vignette has two natives and a centre engraved portrait of Olivier van Noort, with two map hemispheres; the other has a native woman on the left with her child and a native man on the right with two ships in the centre. This copy contains the rare Plate VII, of a woman being carried in state to be burned with the body of her husband. This is often replaced by the plate, in which a woman is represented as throwing herself into the funeral pyre of her husband, used as plate IX.” JCB. 

“The language of Vespucci’s first public letter is compatible with the idea of a “new world” under and subordinate to the known configuration of lands. But in his second published letter Vespucci treats the southern and northern parts of the area he and Columbus explored as a single continent that is not Asia. This was a stunning breakthrough in the state of knowledge, one Columbus never achieved” Wills, Letters from a New World. 

This marvellous copy, with two works of particular interest to the English, comes from the library of James I (1566-1625), the first and probably the most learned ‘King of Great Britain’ as ruler of both Scotland and England. ‘He studied Greek, French, and Latin and made good use of a library of classical and religious writings that his tutors, George Buchanan and Peter Young, assembled for him. James’s education aroused in him literary ambitions rarely found in princes but which also tended to make him a pedant.’ EBO. His numerous books were often customised with his arms by the royal binder, John Bateman, who employed various style, material and techniques (M. Foot, The Henry Davids Gift, I, pp. 38-49, 52). This copy is of exceptional quality even within Bateman’s refined and wide-ranging output.

Church II 223. “Sole edition” t-p reproduced. JCB I 383. Brunet I 1341. Graesse VII 129. 


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Ta tōn Mousōn eisodia: The Muses vvelcome to the high and mighty prince Iames … At His Majesties happie returne to his olde and natiue kingdome of Scotland, after 14 yeeres absence in anno 1617

Edinburgh, [s.n.], 1618


Ta tōn Mousōn exodia. Planctus, & vota Musarum in augustissimi monarchæ Iacobi Magnæ Britanniæ, Franciæ, et Hiberniæ Regis, &c. recessu è Scotia in Angliam, Augusti 4 anno 1617.

Edinburgh, Excudebat Andreas Hart, anno 1618.


FIRST EDITION, second issue. Folio. 1) [x], 44 -[138], 137-289, [i]. 2). pp. 18, [2].  A-B C². [Leaf of Latin verses normally between pp. 44-5 placed as prelim, outer margin restored] Italic letter with some Roman and Greek, text within box rule. Woodcut portrait of James I with his arms below as frontispiece, (backed with tear to lower outer corner, touching box rule, replaced in ms.) large historiated initial on first leaf, with large grotesque headpiece with James I arms above, woodcut floriated initials many grotesque and floriated woodcut head and tail-pieces, typographical ornaments, “A reissue of STC 140 (Edinburgh: Thomas Finlason, 1618) with cancel title page and dedication printed by A. Hart; three preliminary leaves cancelled and replaced by two. In this reissue line 3 of title reads “to the high and mighty prince”. Page 109-12 are a cancel bifolium printed in London by the Eliot’s Court Press. … Quire M also a different setting to STC 140. In this setting signature “M2” is below the “frugi” of “frugibus”.” ESTC. Very light age yellowing, very rare marginal mark or spot, t-p and portrait a little dusty, outer margin of third leaf torn, just touching box rule, completed in ms. A very good, clean copy, in excellent early C19th calf, covers gilt ruled to a panel design, fleurons to outer corners, central panel of original binding, probably Irish, inlaid, large gilt stamped hatched cornerpieces, arms of James I at centres, spine with gilt ruled raised bands, large harps gilt at centres, green morocco label gilt, edges and inner dentelles gilt, a.e.g. joints restored.

First edition, second issue, with the portrait of James I, of this important collection of neo-latin poems, epigrams, and panegyrics, all dedicated to James I on his return to Scotland in 1617. On the 15th of May, 1617, King James VI & I landed at Port “Seatown” (now Seton) to begin what would be his only homecoming tour of Scotland. since leaving Scotland 14 years earlier. James stayed in Scotland until the beginning of August of that year and, although primarily resident in Edinburgh, he spent much of his time touring his northern kingdom. James visited Scotland under the pretence of celebrating his fiftieth year as King of Scotland; however, the political motives of James’s trip to his homeland are now clear in hindsight: his main objective was to try to align the Church of Scotland more to the Anglican Church, evident in his passing of the Five Articles of Perth in the year following this tour. During James’s visits to the cities, towns, villages and boroughs of Scotland many formal presentations of verse and addresses were given to the King. In 1618 a collection of these poems, addresses and a record of where the King and his entourage visited was printed in Edinburgh. The first work is a collection of poems, speeches and philosophical discussions, mostly in Latin. It is found in various states and is frequently accompanied by the second work, a further collection of Latin poems written by Scottish authors including David Hume of Godscroft and David Wedderburn on the occasion of James’s return to England. It was edited by John Adamson who refers to the work in the dedication to the first work.

“With over sixty individual contributors, it includes many more Latin poets that the Delitae Poetarum Scotorum, and all of them write at the same point in time and in the same context, namely the return of King James VI and I to Scotland, after fourteen years, in 1617. Its acclamations are delivered with considerable ingenuity and skill in more than 130 poems, which range in length from short epigrams to much longer hexameter panegyrics. Such an assembly of verso to celebrate an itinerant sovereign has few if any parallels in any neo-Lain context. Moreover the Muses Welcome is presented as a travelogue: a record, with precise dates, of the king’s journey or ‘progress’ through some fifteen towns and other places in his northern realm, from Dundee to Drumlanrig (two visits are noted for Stirling and at least two for Edinburgh). .. The Muses Welcome is a snapshot of Scotland in a particular summer, or rather a group photograph (one of the livelier kind). A real work of cerebration as well as celebration by Scottish towns and cities The Muses Welcome is testimony to Scotland’s cultural and educational achievements, at a moment which coincides with the zenith of Scottish Latin verse. Finally … The Muses Welcome is a delight to handle and peruse, because of its generous dimensions its use throughout of a large Italic font, its ample spacing…This fine appearance is hardly surprising, for it was commissioned by the King himself .. and entrusted by him to Edinburgh’s leading printers. He also made careful provision for the distribution of eighty copies, which may or may not comprise the whole print run.” Roger P.H. Green. The King Returns: The Muses’ Welcome (1618).

This copy, bound with the arms of James I shares identical gilt stamped corner-pieces with a copy in the Royal Collection at Windsor (RCIN 1081383) also with James I arms, and is almost certainly one of the copies made for distribution by the king. The Muses Welcome is truly a treasure trove of early seventeenth-century poetry and includes unattributed dedications by Sir Francis Bacon, identified by his family’s motto “Mediocra Firma” found at the foot of his dedications (3rd leaf recto, pp. 115, 153, 168). A very good copy of this most important work, most probably a presentation from James I.

1) ESTC S126015.  STC 141. 2) ESTC S106780 STC 142.


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Edicts et ordonnances des roys de France… 

Paris, Jacques du Puys, 1580. 


FIRST EDITION. Folio, vol. one of four. pp. [cii] 827 [xlvii]; ã4, *6 , +-4+4, 5+6, a-d6, a-z6, A-Z6, AA-ZZ6, (ZZ6 blank), &&6, ãã-ee6, ii4 (last blank). Roman letter, some Italic. Du Puy’s beautiful large fountain device on title, fine grotesque woodcut initials, head and tail-pieces, autograph “Abraham Girard, 1620” Bookplate of Maurice Burrus on pastedown, his mms. purchase label on rear fly. Light age yellowing, rare marginal minor stain. A fine copy, crisp and clean with good margins in contemporary calf, covers with large central, gilt stamped scrolled and hatched arabesque, spine with raised bands, large fleuron gilt at centres, title gilt lettered in compartments, covers probably C19th overworked in gilt with a border of painted scroll work in yellow red and black, spine compartments in a similar style, small loss from head and foot of spine.

A beautifully bound copy of Fontanon’s major work, one of the first works to attempt a compilation of the Royal edicts in France. The already very handsome contemporary binding was probably over worked in the C19th with a sumptuous, beautifully worked, painted scroll-work decoration in a contemporary style. This overworking was not necessarily done to deceive but to supply the taste for such rich bindings both in England and France.

The Estates General under Henry III, particularly the Ordinances of Blois, called for the codification of French Royal Law. “More specifically, code 207 of Blois responded to the unanimous petitions from the estates with the promise to produce a one-volume compilation of French royal law. Before the King had time to carry out his promise, a private initiative saw the light of day which attempted just that. Antoine Fontanon, ‘avocat’ at the Parelment of Paris, published the first edition of his compilation in 1580. The preface explained that the mammoth task had been a collaborative enterprise, based on earlier attempts, especially that of Pierre Rebuffy. He was assisted by Adrien DuBrac, Pierre Pithou, and others. Fontanon’s compilation was impressive in its scale and accuracy. It was organised primarily not by date, but by subject matter, following the categorisation (though not the order) of the Ordinances of Blois. Fontanon made careful ‘abstracts’ of many edicts, noting alterations during their registration by the Parlement. Explicit in the work was therefore a defence of the authority of the Parlement and a vision of the French Monarchy as, since its institution ‘sous le nom du peuple Francois’, always moderated by the ‘loix tres-sainctes & coustumes louables’. That was not at all what Henry III had in mind. So, three years later, to coincide with the Assembly of Notables at Saint-Germain-en-laye, he asked the premier président of the Parlement of Paris, Barnabé Brisson .. to coordinate a new ‘official’ compilation.” Mark Greengrass ‘Governing Passions: Peace and Reform in the French Kingdom, 1576-1585

A fine copy in a beautiful binding.

USTC 45413. Saffroy 8703. ‘Ouvrage important sur les institutions, la noblesse et les matières féodales’. Andrew Pettegree. French Vernacular Books, 40681.


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MEXIA, Pedro


The Imperiall historie, or the lives of the Emperours, from Iulius Caesar… 

London, Mathew Lownes, 1623


FIRST EDITION thus. Folio. [xii], 867, [i]. A-4C⁶, 4D⁸. Roman letter, some Italic. Engraved title with figure of ‘Germanie’ above, Roman Emperor to left and German Emperor to right (Jonson, Anon 27), large historiated and smaller floriated initials, woodcut head and tail-pieces, typographical ornaments, ‘1713’ ms. with shelf mark and price at head of pastedown, engraved bookplate of Maurice Burrus at side, his purchase label “Maggs 1936’ on rear fly. Light age yellowing, some minor mostly marginal spotting, closed tear expertly restored on title. A very good copy in stunning contemporary olive morocco for Charles I, covers gilt ruled to a panel design, outer dentelle border of repeated small gilt tools, large fleurons to corners, central panel with an all over semée of alternate rose and lozenge tools, arms of Charles I gilt stamped at centres, spine with gilt tooled raised bands, gilt ruled in compartments with gilt ruled and gilt scrolled ‘false bands’ at centre of each compartment, richly gilt with small tools in each half compartment, edges gilt ruled, remains of blue silk ties, bound upside-down. 

A stunning copy of this work, the second edition of the English translation by Traheron of Mexia’s ‘Historia imperial y cesárea’, enlarged by the historian Edward Grimstone, in a  remarkable Royal binding for Charles I. This work was printed the same year as Charles’ trip to Spain for the ‘Spanish match’. “The other English-Spanish translation published in this annus mirabilis was an edition of Pedro de Mexia’s The Imperiall Historie, first published in 1604, with additional material written by the Sergeant at arms Edward Grimestone and dedicated to Lionel Cranfield the Lord High Treasurer.” Alexander Samson ‘The Spanish Match: Prince Charles’s Journey to Madrid, 1623’. The superb binding is similar in style and structure to one in the BL shelfmark c18c4, also with a dentelle border with an all over semi of small tools around the arms of Charles I. It is the work of the highest quality using the finest materials. It was most probably made for Charles’ library, and not just for one of the Royal chapels. It is hardly a coincidence that this work was published the year of Charles I’s trip to Spain for the ‘Spanish Match’, and the combination of this work in this binding would suggest a presentation copy to Charles, probably from Grimestone. 

“One of the later royal historians appointed in the age of Charles V, Mexia shared with his predecessor the distinction of writing a text that was popular both in Spain and abroad. Eight Castilian editions of his Historia Imperial y Cesarea were printed between 1545 and 1665 in Seville, Madrid, Basel and Antwerp. The Italian translation by Ludovico Dolce was even more successful. Between 1558 and 1688 at least seventeen Italian editions were printed in Venice, some of which included the lives of Charles V, Maximilian II, and Ferdinand. A German translation was printed in Basel in 1564, and two English translations by William Traheron and Edward Grimestone were published in London in 1604 and 1623, respectively. In total, at least twenty-eight editions were printed in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, making it the most successful of the Spanish Imperial histories after that of Guevara. It surpassed Guevara, however, in the influence and reputation that it enjoyed in Spain, where it was considered a fundamental work by the educated class in the later half of the sixteenth century. Viewed as free of lies and exagerations of chivalric literature, the Historia Imperial was considered by some contemporaries to be the first general work of humanist history written in Castilian.” Thomas James Dandelet. ‘The Renaissance of Empire in Early Modern Europe.’

“Grimeston wrote a number of ‘continuations’ to large scholarly works including two editions of the Historie of France .. and his translation of Pedro Mexia’s The Imperiall Historie (1623) whose continuation had some topical overlap with Grimeston’s continuation for the third edition of the History (1621)”. Anders Ingram. ‘English Literature on the Ottoman Turks in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries’.

A stunning Royal binding. 

ESTC S114709. STC 17852. Lowndes 1541. Alden 623/82


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