Capitoli, & nova riforma delli Banchieri Hebrei di Roma.

[Rome, Antonio Blado, 1563.]


FIRST EDITION. Folio. 2 unnumbered, unsigned leaves. Elegant Italic letter. Woodcut arms of Rome, Pope Pius IV and Cardinal Guido Ascanio Sforza to upper margin of first, decorated initials. Minimal mainly marginal spotting. A fine copy in modern wrappers.

A fine copy of this very scarce edict by Pope Pius IV (1559-65)—a remarkable ephemeral survival—regulating Jewish bankers in Rome. Copies of this document were distributed to be attached to the ‘banchi’ or inside the bankers’ stores, so that all Christians could read them carefully. On the one hand, Pius IV relaxed regulations in Rome, revoking some of the harsher provisions and imposing controls on rents charged to the Jews in the ghetto; on the other hand, unlike his predecessor, he enforced tougher financial regulations for the Jewish ‘banchi’ (Poliakov, ‘Jewish Bankers’, 181, 190). This edict forbad money-lending at an interest greater than 24 per cent instead of the customary 30, demanding interest on interest, reckoning as one month any shorter span than 30 days or selling what was pawned by Christians before the passing of 18 months. Jewish bankers should also ensure that any Christian borrowing money or pawning belongings signed a paper written ‘in the Italian vernacular’—as required of all documents in bankers’ books—specifying his name, address, the amount borrowed or pawned, and the time span for restitution, according to the practice of the Monte di Pietà. First established in Italian cities in the 1460s, the Monti di Pietà were the result of Franciscan preaching against Jewish money-lending and were meant to ‘put an end to the “iniquitous usury” of the Jews by replacing them in the small loans sector’, without interest, in order to assist the poorer population (Toaff, ‘Jews’, 239). The Monti notwithstanding, Jewish bankers continued to operate their business unofficially or through new agreements with the authorities, as well as thanks to the support of wealthier borrowers. This edict also provided regulations on ‘house-keeping’ including the regular cleaning of clothes, to avoid the presence of moth, and the compulsory keeping of cats to chase away mice, so as to prevent pest damage to pawned objects. A very fine copy of this very scarce document for Jewish and economic history in Italy.

No copies recorded in the US.

Fumagalli 305; USTC 852964; EDIT16 25104. Not in Kress or Goldsmith. L. Poliakov, Jewish Bankers and the Holy See (London, 1965); A. Toaff, ‘Jews, Franciscans, and the First Monti di Pietà in Italy (1462-1500), in The Friars and Jews in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, ed. S.E. Myers et al. (Leiden, 2004), 239-54.


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MAGGI, Giovanni, ROSSI, Bartolomeo. [with] CAVALIERI, Giovanni Battista


Ornamenti di fabriche antichi et moderni dell’alma citta di Roma.

[Roma], Andrea Della Vaccheria, [1600]. [with]

Antiquarum statuarum urbis Romae…icones.

Roma, Lorenzo Della Vaccheria, 1584.


4to. 2 works in 1, ff. 96 unnumbered and unsigned ll., I) FIRST EDITION, 24; II) 72, separate t-p to each. Little Italic letter, with Roman. Engraved architectural t-ps with allegorical figures, putti and grotesques; 94 engraved plates (some hand-coloured) of Roman monuments and buildings within urban views, and statues of ancient heroes, deities and historical figures. Faint waterstaining to upper margins of first few ll., a little thumbing, minor spotting usually to blank verso of plates, early repair to verso of one plate touching image with no loss, first gathering a bit loose and lightly browned, minor loss to lower outer blank corner of one fol. Very good copies, on thick high-quality paper, in contemporary limp vellum, covers soiled, minor tears to edges, traces of label, spine repaired with carta rustica at head, printed red and black lining and beneath pastedown. C19 library stamp and early numeral inked to fep, modern printed portrait of Clement XI pasted to verso of fly, also early overwritten Italian purchase note. In folding box.

Very good copies of these superb illustrated works, in fine impression on high-quality paper, celebrating the antiquities of Rome. Commissioned by the printer Andrea della Vaccaria, this first edition of ‘Ornamenti di fabriche’ is a collection of 24 plates—some hand-coloured in this copy—engraved by the artist Giovanni Maggi (1566-1618), with narrative captions composed by the scholar Bartolomeo Rossi. The illustrations guide the readers through the meanders of Rome towards the discovery of ancient and modern monuments including obelisks with hieroglyphs, the sculpted horses on the Quirinal, Trajan’s column, and the more recent catafalques for the funerals of Sixtus V and Alessandro Farnese. Each monument provides the occasion for a snapshot of brief and juicy antiquarian narratives, basking in epigraphic material, ‘vedute’, classicism and the charm of ruins. Despite its title, ‘Antiquarum statuarum urbis Romae’ is not strictly a third edition of its namesake original, but a collection of plates from the previous ones (1561, 1562) commissioned by the publisher Lorenzo della Vaccheria, Andrea’s father. Produced by Cherubino Alberti and Orazio Santis under the supervision of the engraver Giovanni Battista Cavalieri (c.1525-1601), it provides a magnificent gallery of the most renowned Roman statues such as the Laocoon and Marcus Aurelius on horseback as well as more general sculptures like satyrs, deities, river gods, shepherds, emperors and heroes. Both works are outstanding examples of the genre of Roman print collections so dear to Renaissance humanists and artists. They epitomize the art of ‘vedutismo’ and perspective, the new science of epigraphy (including hieroglyphs), the achievements of Renaissance classicism, historiography and antiquarianism, and the seed of the ‘picturesque’ movement of the C18. Whilst they gave the opportunity for ‘arm-chair travelling’ to learned readers who did not wish to leave their homes, these collections also inspired the sketches and works of painters, engravers and architects and the study of humanists, who had visited seen them in Rome and purchased a memento for reference. A couple of copies are recorded in which I and II are bound together; they may have been sold in that fashion by Andrea della Vaccheria who probably had plates from Cavalieri’s work left over from his father’s time—hence the inconsistent composition of recorded copies.

I) Huntington, UPenn, Columbia and Illinois copies recorded in the US.

BM STC It., p. 588. Not in Brunet, Mortimer Harvard C16 or Fowler.

II) Huntington, Yale and UPenn copies recorded in the US.

Not in BM STC It., Brunet or Mortimer Harvard C16.


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Statuta Patavina.

Venice, per Guglielmo da Fontaneto sumptibus Girolamo Giberti, 1528.


Folio. ff. 6 inserted blanks, (xxiv) 142, 20 inserted blanks. Roman letter, t-p in red and black within woodcut cartouche surrounded by foliage, attractive printer’s device to centre; another within woodcut border with putti, grotesques, urns and foliage; decorated initials. T-p slightly browned with early repair to lower margin, first gathering a bit thumbed, ink burn to fol. xvi touching a few letters, occasional small marginal water stains, two tiny wormholes to first few gatherings, slight browning to a few ll. A very good, clean, well-margined copy in contemporary Italian (probably Veneto) goatskin, three of four clasps, fine brass bosses, corner and centre pieces. Blind-tooled to a triple-ruled panel design, outer border with floral branches, second with vine leaves and rosettes, third with cross-hatched central panel with stamped title and vine leaf to each corner. Spine in six compartments, triple-ruled cross- hatched decoration, raised bands, joints a bit cracked, ms binding material just visible within. Occasional early marginalia in red crayon and black ink.

The remarkable binding, with very fine brass bosses, clasps, corner and centre pieces, resembles bindings produced in the Veneto in the late C15 influenced by the contemporary Venetian style (de Marinis II, 1556, 1592).

A very good, crisp copy of this uncommon second edition of the ‘Statuta Patavina’, the legislative corpus of the city of Padua, based on the Roman ‘ius commune’. First published in Vicenza in 1482, the ‘Statuta’ was reprinted in 1528 with revisions by Bartolomeo Abborario, jurist and professor of law, and dedicated to Leonardo Aymo, the ‘potestas’ of Padua appointed by the Republic of Venice. Like all other medieval and Renaissance civic statutes in Italy, it encompassed decrees on criminal, civil, tax, estate, agricultural and commercial law first codified in the early thirteenth century, when Padua gained a solid political and civic status, and later revised or integrated during the rule of the Ezzelini, the Carraresi and, after 1405, the Serenissima. The extensive table of contents is divided into broad sections—e.g., types of cases and procedures in civil courts, obligations for debt and usury, or the purchase of goods and estates in the district of Padua. Following the structure of juridical manuals, each section details regulations concerning specific circumstances within its area of interest: e.g., the non-validity in civil courts of legal documents styled on ‘charta bombicina’ (cotton or silk paper), situations in which contracts are considered fraudulent or novices entering monasteries may or may not purchase goods. As customary in civic statutes, criminal law and punishment seeking to control the social order played a crucial part, with long sections devoted to prisons, fugitives, the office of the ‘iudex maleficiorum’ and criminal procedures for offences like murder, manslaughter, verbal abuse of the wounded and religious, blasphemy, adultery, vagrancy, prostitution, incest, rape, theft, arson and false testimony.

Only Harvard and Wisconsin at Madison copies recorded in the US.
BM STC It., p. 483; USTC 846009.


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Statuta magnificae communitatis Bergomi…

Brescia, per Angelum & Iacobum fratres de britannicis, 18 December, 1491


FIRST EDITION. Folio. 227 leaves (of 228, without a1 blank). a-c8, d-z6, &6, [cum]6, [rum]6, aa-ff6, gg8, hh6, (1-6)12, [hh6 blank], errata and table of contents at end. 44 lines plus headline. Roman letter, some Gothic, capital spaces with guide-letters; faded manuscript annotations. A good, crisp, clean copy with excellent margins. Small marginal worm holes (2e3-2h6) and occasional splash or spot. In C18th Italian sheep, slightly rubbed, raised bands, gilt spine with green morocco label. Joints slightly cracked, some worm holes on spine.

First and only incunable edition of the first printed statutes of Bergamo. Located in the north of Italy on the top of a foothill which stands out against a picturesque Alpine background, the oldest part of Bergamo is today known as Cit Alta (High City). This magnificent fortified city is crowded with elegant palaces and imposing churches. For many centuries, Bergamo was a stronghold of great strategic importance for the domination of the Po valley. The city overlooks the border between Lombardy and the Veneto, once the rich Duchy of Milan and the Republic of Venice. Formerly a Milanese dominion, in 1428 Bergamo decided to accept the rule of Venice provided special autonomies and liberties were granted to its citizens, and it definitively passed under the protection of La Serenissima.

This collection of rules and municipal laws evidences Bergamo’s privileged position, compared to other important cities of the Venetian terra firma. Indeed, Bergamo had its own laws. Drafted by a group of experts appointed by the people of Bergamo, the statutes’ aim is pointed out at the beginning of the text: to ensure the comfort and tranquilly of the entire city and its districts for the sake of ‘benevivere’, that is, quiet and peaceful everyday life. This work includes regulations and principles concerning all aspects of life in Bergamo and its countryside, starting from the election of the ruling bodies, such as the council of the elders, to administration, taxation, sanctions, salaries, relationships between citizens, litigation, crime and so on. The preservation of clean and safe water available at the city’s fountains for public use seems to have been a very relevant issue.

One of the previous owners of the book, the great collector Michael Wodhull (1740-1816; his acquisition note on fly. Pinelli Auction 2s 6d April 13 1789), was particularly struck by the cruelty of some of the punishments reserved to those who broke the law. His manuscript annotation on the recto of the rear endpaper (dated Dec. 22nd 1805) tells us: ‘…repeated mention of Torture, cutting out of Tongues & amputation of hands & Feet give a disgustful appearance to these Laws which too much resemble those of Draco…’. The work provides an extremely detailed account of general procedure in matter of criminal accusations, trials, imprisonment, and punishment, with a special attention to cases involving Jews. The list of crimes starts off with ‘minor’ offences: the offence against the authority (the city magistrates), the corruption of public officers, physical assault, street fights (with or without weapons) and riots, shoving or biting someone, throwing stones at people, singing out loud at night within the city walls, walking without carrying a light at night, and riding horses fast through the city. Punishment for these felonies consists either of a jail sentence or the payment of a fine, depending on their gravity. Anybody who swears to God and the Holy Virgin risks the loss of his tongue, while seditious citizens who plot against Bergamo or the state of Venice can face torture. However, nobody who has not yet reached the age of fourteen can be tortured. Incestuous intercourse will be punished with castration, or death. According to this compendium of inflexible laws, in which the echo of the Middle Ages still resounds, not only can sodomites incur the death penalty, but their bodies have to be burnt publicly. Thieves can meet death on the gallows, or suffer flagellation, branding, and the amputation of limbs.

Goff S706; HC 14996; Pell Ms 10694; CIBN S-391; IGI 1490; Günt(L) 531; Voull(Bonn) 1084; Voull(B) 2825; Walsh 3413, 3414; Bod-inc S-301; Sheppard 5785; Pr 6987; BMC VII 976; GW M43668.


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FLORUS, Lucius Annaeus


Rervm Romanarvm, ex Tito Liuio, Epitoma, in quatuor libros distincta.

Lyon, apud Ioannem Pillehotte, 1597.


16mo. pp. (xl) 182, (ii). *8, **8, ***4, A-L8, M4. (last leaf blank.) Italic letter, tables in Roman. Woodcut printer’s device on title, floriated woodcut initial and headpiece, small early armorial stamp on lower margin of the title-page, ms. shelf mark on fly. A very good copy in beautiful contemporary French tan morocco, covers bordered with a double gilt rule, central panel worked to an all over gilt scroll work design, fine scrolled corner-pieces, Later finely gilt worked red morocco inlays at centres, spine with two gilt and blind ruled raised bands, title gilt above, a.e.r. A few small wormholes in spine, slight damage to lower joint at head.

A very beautifully bound copy of this exceptionally rare edition, finely bound in a style that is very close to or imitates bindings made for the Cardinal de Granvelle or Mahieu by the Fugger or Apple binder, though French. The binding, apparently made at the very end of the C16th, seems closer to those of the mid century, though freer in style. The scrolled corner pieces with a distinctive leaf in the outer corner look like a conscious imitation of the Fugger binders distinctive tool. It is exceptionally finely worked for such a small binding, totally unsophisticated, and very well preserved. An inlay has been added to the centre of the binding in red morocco probably to cover a monogram or cypher that the new owner wished to cover. Many armorial bindings had their arms removed during the revolution so as to disguise their noble or ecclesiastic provenance which could have been dangerous or embarrassing to the owner. Unfortunately we have not been able to identify the small princely armorial stamp on the title-page.

This edition of Florus is exceptionally rare; we have located only one copy in libraries, at San Diego State University. There is apparently no copy held in French or any other European library. Neither is it recorded in either of the Lyon bibliographies, Baudrier or Gultlingen.

Lucius Annaeus Florus (74 AD – 130 AD) was a Roman historian who lived in the time of Trajan and Hadrian. He compiled, chiefly from Livy, a brief sketch of the history of Rome from the foundation of the city to the closing of the temple of Janus by Augustus (25 BC). The work, is a panegyric of the greatness of Rome, the life of which is divided into the periods of infancy, youth and manhood. It is often wrong in geographical and chronological details. In spite of its faults, the book was much used as a handy epitome of Roman history in the Middle Ages, and survived as a textbook into the nineteenth century. In the manuscripts, the writer is variously named as Julius Florus, Lucius Anneus Florus, or simply Annaeus Florus. From certain similarities of style, he has been identified as Publius Annius Florus, poet, rhetorician and friend of Hadrian, author of a dialogue on the question of whether Virgil was an orator or poet, of which the introduction has been preserved. The Epitome of Livy is Florus’ most famous work, offering a unique insight into the lost books of the famous History, only around a quarter of which survives.

A very beautiful and most intriguing binding.

Not in Baudrier, Gultlingen or BM STC fr. C16th.


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