RAWLEY, William (ed.)

Resuscitatio, or bringing into Publick Light severall Pieces of the Works hitherto Sleeping; of the Right Honourable Francis Bacon. (with) Several Letters written by this Honourable Author.

London, S.G. and B.G. for William Lee, 1671.


FIRST COMPLETE EDITION. Folio. Portrait of the author + pp. (xiv) 1-16, (+1 full page engraved portrait of the author) 17, 256 (ii), 100 (xviii), 8 (ii), 16 (ii), 1-19 (ii), 19-26 (ii), 27-62 (iv), 58 (viii), 92 (xiv), 26, lacking final blank H2. Roman and italic letter, head-and tail- pieces, woodcut initials, two portraits of the author by Wenceslas Hollar (unsigned Gibson listed l and m). C19 bookplate of John Gordon, Vescount Kenmure and Lord Lochinvar. Early manuscript monogram to verso of frontispiece engraving and title page “DPAH”(?). Frontispiece and title page slightly shaved at head with no loss, first and last gatherings a bit dusty and frayed at edges. Light age yellowing, well margined. In contemporary calf, covers ruled in blind, corners worn, small tears, joints cracked and frayed.

Gibson 229.


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RAWLEY, William (ed.)

Resuscitatio, or bringing into Publick Light severall Pieces of the Works hitherto Sleeping; of the Right Honourable Francis Bacon. (with) Several Letters written by this Honourable Author.

London, Sarah Griffin for William Lee, 1661.


Folio. Portrait of the author + (xxiv) 324, (ii) 122 (ii). Roman and italic letter, head- and tail-pieces, folio author portrait by Wenceslas Hollar (Gibson portrait l), frontispiece and title page ruled in red, lower margins repaired with no loss of text or image, first gathering with slight damp stains to margin, otherwise a good, well-margined copy with light age yellowing. C19 bookplate of James Francis Anderton to pastedown, bound in C18 half calf, paper boards, re-backed.

Gibson 227.


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RAWLEY, William (ed.)

Resuscitatio, or bringing into Publick Light severall Pieces of the Works hitherto Sleeping; of the Right Honourable Francis Bacon. (with) Several Letters written by this Honourable Author.

London, Sarah Griffin for William Lee, 1657.


FIRST EDITION Folio. Authorial engraved portrait + pp. (xxiv) 282 (ii), (ii) 122 (ii). Roman and italic letter, head- and tail-pieces, woodcut initials. Age yellowing, title page a bit dusty, a clean, well-margined copy in contemporary calf with blind-ruled panels, rebacked, lower cover edges worn. Heber stamp on fly.

Gibson 226.


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BACON, Francis

The Remaines of the Right Honorable Francis Lord Verulam.

London, B. Alsop for Lawrence Chapman, 1648.


FIRST EDITION. 4to. pp. (vi) 103. Roman and italic letter, head- and tail-pieces, woodcut initials. Title page and first few leaves a bit dusty, a clean copy in contemporary calf with gilt-ruled panels on covers, re-backed, all edges red.

Gibson 218.


[Pseudo] HYPPOCRATES, [Pseudo] DIOGENES of Synope and [Pseudo] BRUTUS, Marcus Junius



Florence, Piero Pacini, 1505.


4to., 40 leaves, A-B8, C6, D4, E8, F6, missing leaf Avi. Roman letter; title within wide ornamental border, a few decorated initials, three large printer’s devices on final verso; title border cut short, light foxing, mainly marginal. A good copy in modern crushed green morocco gilt by J. Haines of Liverpool, simple gilt panel, title gilt on spine and dentelles, eighteenth-century hand-coloured floral wrappers retained as fly; armorial bookplates dated 1912 on front pastedown and verso of front floral wrapper along with bookseller’s manuscript bibliographical description in Italian, tipped in before title.

Very rare and little-known edition collecting numerous spurious letters of Hippocrates, Diogenes and Brutus in an influential Latin translation first published in Florence in 1487 – the Greek princeps being published by Aldus in his collection of Greek Epistolographers in 1499. The missives were written between the first centuries BC and AD as scholarly exercises and moral examples, with quite a high degree of verisimilitude which had tricked learned men until the last century. The portion concerning Hippocrates’ supposed correspondence closes the volume and includes, most notably, letters to and from the Persian King Artaxerxes begging for a remedy for plague and the philosopher Democritus persuading Hippocrates to live more decently; one epistle is also addressed to the Greek historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus.

The letters to Crates of Thebes, Aristippus Cyrenaic, Plato, Zeno of Citium attributed to the controversial philosopher Diogenes (fourth century BC) – founder of Cynic movement and mocker of Plato and Alexander the Great – convey all his strict precepts and cutting remarks on, among others, Socrates and Alexander. The pseudo-epistles of Marcus Junius Brutus (85-42 BC), leader of Caesar’s murders, were originally written in Greek, concerning the campaign undertaken by him, Cassius and Dolabella in Asia Minor in the spring of 42 BC. This collection was put together by King Mithridates conjecturally drafting the answers, as he informs us in the opening letter.

Francesco Griffolini from Arezzo (1420-1490/1) translated this corpus for Popes Nicholas V and Pius II, receiving the praise of Antonio Beccadelli (Panormita) and Leon Battista Alberti. A talented pupil of Guarinus, Theodorus Gaza and Lorenzo Valla, he worked extensively for Nicholas V, providing ground-breaking Latin versions of the Greek epistles of the Pseudo-Phalaris as well as of Chrysostom’s Homilies, the last eight books of the Iliad and the whole Odyssey. This edition is unknown to standard bibliographies on sixteenth-century books and scientific literature.

Extremely rare. Only two recorded copies, of which one in the US (New York Academy of Medicine).
Not in BM STC It., Brunet, Graesse, Adams, Durling, Bibliotheca Osleriana, Wellcome. EDIT16, 37281.


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CICERO, Marcus Tullius


Epistolae familiares

Paris, ex officina Simonis Colinaei, 1545.


16mo. ff. 327, (ix). A-2T8, last two leaves blank. Italic letter, titles in Roman, some Greek. Title page with Colines’ “Tempus IV” woodcut device, capital spaces with guide letters autograph ‘Meyromet’ in C17th hand at head of title page. Light age yellowing, light mostly marginal waterstaining in places, the odd marginal spot. A very good, crisp copy, in contemporary French calf, covers bordered with a double gilt rule filled in black, scrolled gilt blocked corner-pieces, blockstamped central gilt oval with a strap-work design, semé of small gilt flowers, spine finely gilt tooled in two large compartments of repeated scrolled tools, joints and corners restored, old spine laid down, all edges gilt.

A very rare and most attractive copy of Cicero’s letters, beautifully printed in an elegant minuscule Italic by Simon de Colines, in a fine contemporary Parisian gilt tooled binding. “First Colines pocket edition of Cicero’s ‘Epistolae familiares’, a rare book of which we were unable to locate another copy. (Schreiber’s copy is also very incomplete, ending with book VIII) Renouard, whose note for this edition is particularly garbled and incomplete, states that this was the only Colines imprint to bear Henri (sic) Estienne’s device. The text was overseen by Claude Chaudière, Regnault’s son. In the preface Claude emphasises his position as Colines’ grandson on his mothers side, and the care he has taken in establishing the text. After Colines’ death, in 1546, Regnault and Claude were to take over the printing house.” Schreiber. Renouard had probably never seen a copy as there is no sign of Estienne’s device.

Surprisingly, the work is particularly rare. We have located four copies on Worldcat only, in Illinois, North Carolina, Glasgow and the Danish National Library; the BNF does not have it and none are recorded in Italian libraries. The binding is quite sumptuous for a pocket edition, almost certainly from Paris, and is similar in style, though on a miniature scale, to bindings of the same period by Claude De Piques, see British library Catalogue of Bindings shelfmark c20c15 and c48c2.s.

Written over the course of many years from 65 B.C. onwards and compiled by Cicero’s personal secretary Tiro, the letters are often written in a subtle code to disguise particular political contents. The work is made up of Cicero’s letters to his friends, acquaintances and also their replies, there is one to a conspirator in Caesar’s murder, “I congratulate you. I rejoice for myself. I love you. I watch your interests; I wish for your love and to be informed of what you are doing and what is being done” (Fam. vi. 15). We know from others that Cicero thought about publishing some of his letters during his lifetime, but it is generally agreed that the Ad Familiares were published by Cicero’s friend Tiro, who suppressed his own letters and included those written to him at the end. Cicero’s letters are among the most valuable sources of information on the period. We learn from him a great deal about daily life in Rome and the provinces, especially the province of Cilicia of which Cicero was sometime governor. There is no other period of antiquity for which we still possess such an immediate and intimate record and in such domestic detail.

Not in BM STC Fr. C16th or Adams. Schreiber 218 (t-p reproduced). Renouard 404-405.


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In Epistolas Ciceronis ad Atticum.


Venice, Paulus Manutius, 1553.

8vo. ff. (iv) 414. Italic letter. Anchor and dolphin device to title; very faint damp stain to outer margin a few quires, a particularly good, clean, wide-margined copy in contemporary limp polished vellum, lacking ties, yapp edges, ’65’ in contemporary hand to upper outer corner of upper cover.

Expanded edition, revised and corrected, of Manutius’ celebrated commentary on the 16 books of Cicero’s letters to his closest friend, T. Pomponius Atticus, and the starting point of all modern editions of the text. Written over the course of many years from 65 BC onwards and compiled by Cicero’s personal secretary, Marcus Tullius Tiro, the letters are frequently written in a subtle code to mask their political content. In his impressively detailed commentary, Manutius is clearly aware of this, discussing the implications of certain names and places thoroughly, explaining their relationships to each other, and their historical and social significance as appropriate. A valuable edition in a fine copy.

“Perhaps the most valuable of Cicero’s surviving works are the letters, such a vivid commentary on the last years of the Roman Republic as we have of no other period of ancient times. Here alone, devoid of formality, the character of Cicero…can be seen.”

PMM 64, Opera 1534-7. BM STC It. P. 177. Ren 157:11. Adams M 459. Graesse IV 375. Brunet III 1383.


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Epistolae diversorum philosophorum. Επιστολαὶ διαφόϱων φιλοσόφων. 

Venice, Aldus Manutius, March 1499.


EDITIO PRINCEPS. 4to. Two volumes in one, part two bound before part one. 1) 138 unnumbered leaves. α-ε8, ζ-η6, θ–ϱ8, σ6. lacking blank σ6 2) 266 unnumbered leaves. ✽6, α–ς12, ζ-η8, θ10, ι–τ8, ττ6, υ–ω, Α–Γ8, Δ4. lacking blank ζ8. Greek letter, some Roman. Capital spaces with guide-letters, bookplate of the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica, on front pastedown. Title of volume II fractionally dusty, very occasional very minor thumb mark. Fine copies of both volumes, crisp and clean, on thick high quality paper with good clean margins, in sumptuous early C19 ‘Romantic’ straight grained purple morocco by Brooks (his label on fly), bound for George Granville Leveson-Gower, First Duke of Sutherland, covers blind and gilt ruled to a panel design, outer panel with blind dentelle border, middle panel with blind fleurons to corners and sides, large blind-tooled finely worked lozenge at center, the arms of the First Duke of Sutherland gilt on upper cover, spine with blind and gilt ruled double raised bands, blind tooled in compartments, gilt tooled at head and tail, inner dentelles and turn ins gilt, brown paper fly and pastedown with gilt borders, all edges gilt and richly gauffered.

A lovely copy of this rare Aldine incunable, the editio princeps of the majority of the letters it contains, including the editio princeps of the letters of Plato and the first printing of any of his writings in the original Greek, editied by Marcus Musursus, perhaps the most influential figure in the progress of the Aldine Greek Press, and beautifully printed by the incomparable Aldus Manutius. Musurus brought together 35 authors in his extensive collection, ranging from Plato, Isocrates and Aeschines from antiquity to 4th-century authors such as Gregory of Nazianzus and later to Procopius of Gaza. Also included are Synesius, Aristotle, Alexander the Great, St. Basil, Phalaridis Tyranni, Bruti Romani, Apollonius of Tyana, and Julian Apostate (Emperor Flavius Claudius Julianus); other letters are spurious or of doubtful authorship, such as those by Hippocrates and Euripides.

The book is printed in Aldus’s second and better Greek type (2:114), designed by Francesco Griffo da Bologna. In his dedication to Antonio Urceo Codro (1446-1500), professor of Greek and Latin at Bologna, Aldus states that he has set up in type whatever letters he could procure of some thirty-five Greek writers. A total of twenty-six authors were published in these volumes. Those that do not appear in this edition he reserved for a later publication, which was never realised. Letter-writing was an art and study allied to rhetoric, which formed part of a humanistic education, and compendia of letters circulated as model precedents. The letters published in this volume however are of interest far beyond mere examples of letter-writing.

An example is Plato’s seventh letter, the longest and most important. It is addressed to the associates and companions of Dion, most likely after his assassination in 353 BCE, in the form of an open letter, and contains a defense of Plato’s political activities in Syracuse as well as a long digression concerning the nature of philosophy, the theory of the forms, and the problems inherent to teaching. Toward the end of the letter he gives an explanation of the perfect circle as an existing, unchanging, and eternal form, and explains how any reproduction of a circle is impossible. He suggests that the form of a perfect circle cannot even be discussed, because language and definition are inadequate.

This collection was of great influence. Copernicus taught himself Greek using this work with the help of a Greek-Latin dictionary; the manuscript of his De Revolutionibus contains a suppressed passage from Lysis’s letter to Hipparchus found in this collection. Introducing the text of the letter Copernicus mentions “Philolaus believed in the earth’s motion (and) Aristarchus of Samos too held the same view”. From 1493, Musurus was associated with Aldus Manutius and belonged to the Neacademia (Aldine Academy of Hellenists), a society founded by Manutius and other learned men for the promotion of Greek studies. Many of the Aldine classics were published under Musurus’ supervision, and he is credited with the first editions of the scholia of Aristophanes (1498), Athenaeus (1514), Hesychius of Alexandria (1514) and Pausanias (1516). Musuros’ handwriting reportedly formed the model of Aldus’ Greek type.

Works printed by Aldus Manutius have become synonymous with all that is best with late fifteenth century and early sixteenth-century book production, particularly with typographical elegance and editorial quality and this rare and beautifully produced incunable is no exception. The Aldine Epistolae Graecae ‘was not replaced by an equally useful collection until 1873, the date of R. Hercher’s Epistolographi graeci’ (Wilson, Byzantium to Italy, p.150). A fine copy with tremendous provenance, bound for the First Duke of Sutherland (1758-1833), described by Charles Greville as a “leviathan of wealth” and “the richest individual who ever died”. Then in the collection of the great bibliophile Martin Bodmer.

BMC V-560. ISTC No. ie00064000. GKW 9367. Goff E-64. Brunet 2, 1021. Renouard 18:1. “Cette édition est rare”. Hain-Copinger, 6659.


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Nova relatio historica de statu rei Christianae In Iaponia, et de Qvabacvndoni, hoc est, monarchae Iaponici trucidatione binis epistolis.

Mainz, Ioannis Albini, 1598.


FIRST EDITION. 8vo. pp. 93 (i.e. 95) (i). Roman letter. Small woodcut printer’s device on title, woodcut initials, head and tail-pieces, light general browning (poor quality paper). A good copy in modern calf antique.

Rare first edition of these two important and detailed letters by Frois, the first concerning the state of the Christian leaders and Jesuit missions in Japan in 1595 and the second dealing with the death of Hidetsugu the nephew and retainer of Hideyoshi (referred to in this letter by his common name Taicosama). The Portuguese Jesuit Frois was one of the leading members of the Jesuit mission in Japan and his reports are highly esteemed for their attention to detail and concrete data. By the 1590s the predominately Jesuit Christian mission in Japan had made considerable progress, with nearly three hundred thousand converts.

Frois worked for some years under the Provincial of India in charge of reporting on East Asia to the church in Europe, and in 1563, at the age 31, he arrived in Japan, at Nagasaki. In 1565 he journeyed to Kyoto, but with the downfall of his protector, Ashikaga Yoshiteru, he was forced to take refuge in Sakai. In 1569 he met Nobunaga, (the first of the great Japanese Generals who nearly unified Japan under his leadership) and received permission to proselytize. He spent the ensuing years in missionary work while writing The History of Portuguese Territories in East India. In his capacity as interpreter he travelled widely in Japan, was party to much inside information on affairs of State and witnessed many of the events that shaped Japan for some 250 years.

The first letter is a general review of the year recounting events of especial importance with respect to the Society, dealing with particular places and Jesuit residences, providing detailed accounts of their political, social and religious circumstances. The second work is an extraordinary account of the death of Hidetsugu who was nominally the regent of Japan or Kanpaku, though all power effectively resided with his uncle Hideyoshi. Hideyoshi had made Hidetsugu, his only relative, his heir, though with the birth of Hideyoshi’s son in 1593 to his mistress, this situation became untenable. Finally, in 1595, Hidetsugu was accused of plotting a coup and ordered to commit suicide, his allies were banished and his children and mistresses executed, with the exception of his one month old daughter.

Frois’ account is particularly detailed and knowledgeable giving much detail on the complex political background to the events and paints a picture of Hideyoshi as a cruel and vindictive leader. A good copy of these important letters from a most important period in Japanese history.

BM STC C16th Ger. p.324. Streit, IV, p. 498. Not in Cordier, Japonica.


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ADORNO, Agostino

Manuscript Letter.

Genoa, 1496.


One sheet, 20.5 x 29.5cm, paper, autograph letter signed 30 March 1496, 16 lines (plus signature), Latin in a very neat, humanistic italic, brown ink, paper wafer seal and docket to verso, some spotting and light browning from seal, watermark of a bird encircled from Ferrera, probably early C15 (Briquet 12.118).

The letter is addressed by Adorno to the ‘Brothers and Friends of the Antiani of Genoa’. The Antiani had been instituted in Italian cities since the 13th century as representatives of the plebian class, an updated version of Roman tribunes. Adorno asks that the Antiani grant pardon to Thomas Beti, whose ‘excellence’ Adorno hopes to ‘make well known to strangers’ as well as ‘brothers and friends’; Beti is described as a ‘ready speaker, eloquent in persuading’ and powerful in negotiation.

Agostino Adorno was appointed governor of Genoa in 1488 by Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan, who gained control of the city that year. Although the Adorni were one of the most powerful merchant families, Agostino’s appointment began a period of crisis for the former republic. Sforza used Genoa to bolster his own forces in the first of the Italian Wars (1494-98) against Venice, and by encouraging Charles VIII of France to invade Italy set the groundwork for an alliance that would result in the invasion of Milan.

The year this letter was written, Sforza’s overthrow was already well under way, and with it the Adorni’s exile. Since the 14th century, there had been a struggle for power between Genoese aristocrats and the rising mercantile class, which Adorno obliquely refers to in this letter when he speaks of a ‘stirred up republic’ (republica versatus) that has distracted attention from Thomas Beti’s cause. Gian Luigi Fiesco, a prominant Genoese aristocrat, encouraged French invasion. In 1498, Louis XII invaded and captured Milan, and when his forces entered Genoa no resistance could be mounted because Adorno had diverted his forces to Milan at Sforza’s command. When Adorno withdrew from Genoa, Fiesco took over and for the first time since 1339 the aristocracy was back in charge.

Malleson, Studies from Genoese History. Coles, “The Crisis of Renaissance Society Genoa 1488-1507, 17-47.


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