BEROALDUS, Philippus.


Orationes et poemata.

Bologna, Franciscus dictus Plato de Benedictis for Benedictus Hectoris Faelli, 1491.


FIRST EDITION. Small 4to. 76 unnumbered ll., a-i⁸ k 4 . Roman letter. 4- to 7-line initials, capitals and paragraph headings heightened in red (occasional smudge). Recto of first and verso of last leaf a bit dust-soiled, the former restored at gutter, couple of ll. very slightly shaved at head, affecting couple of letters of a headline and one ms. note, light oil splash extending from lower gutter of g 7-8 , the odd marginal spot. A very good copy in early C19 polished calf, rebacked, spine remounted, eps renewed, double gilt ruled, bordered with small ropework in blind, spine gilt, gilt-lettered morocco label, corners a little worn, all edges blue, silk bookmark. Contemporary ms. marginalia in black and red.

A very good copy of the first edition of the orations and poems of Philippus Beroaldus—a leading humanist in Europe c.1500. Except for brief spells in Parma and Paris, Beroaldus (1453-1505) was a much esteemed professor of rhetoric at Bologna, his hometown, from 1472 to his death in 1505. Among his students were Jodocus Badius and Polydore Vergil. A skilled editor of the classics, he was also a prolific author and worked as editor for Benedetto Faelli, the publisher of the present work, known for his elegant imprints. Since 1487, Faelli had collaborated with Francesco ‘Platone’ Benedetti, ‘the prince of Bolognese typographers’, producing books with type ‘of superior elegance’ (Cioni, ‘Diz. Biog.’). Dedicated to Beroaldus’s student Martinus Boemus, ‘Orationes et poemata’ provides critical assessments of major authors including Virgil, Propertius, Livy, Cicero, Lucan, Juvenal, Sallust, Persius and Horace. It also portrays fascinating scenes from late C15 Bologna, scattered among topical orations on the appointment of the Briton Thomas Anglicus to rector of the Gymnasium Bononiense (with a celebration of Albion/England/Britannia based on Tacitus and Pliny), on the celebration of Ludovico Sforza and the weddings of the nobility. At the end are a few poems on sundry subjects including epitaphs, the Passion, love, slander, and the fable of Tancredi from Boccaccio.

This work was used by rhetoric students, doubtless including Beroaldus’s own, for examples of oratory, Neo-Latin poetry and classical commentaries. The contemporary ms. marginalia in this copy highlight the contrast between the Virgilian virtues of ‘rusticitas’ and the late C15 vices of ‘urbanitas’ (with merchants and usurers), Propertius’s views on love, ancient theories of poetry (with mentions of Homer), as well as Beroaldus’s scattered lamentation for lost ancient books (e.g., Livy and Sallust) or for the life of his times (e.g., ‘so strong in mortals is the innate greed for novelty’). The orations bear so many references to contemporary Bolognese city and university life that the work was probably a fascinating ‘guide’ for (especially foreign) students. For instance, the annotator highlighted Beroaldus’s description of the crowds gathering for the marriage of Annibale II Bentivoglio and Lucrezia d’Este in 1487. On the lower margin of the last leaf, he penned the appropriate motto ‘etate iuvenis maturitate senex’, from St Jerome’s commentary on Isaiah’s description of Daniel.

Hain 2949; BMC VI 825; ISTC ib00491000; GW 04144; Goff B-491. A. Cioni, ‘Faelli, B.’, in Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani, 44 (1994).


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[BEMBO, Pietro, NAVAGERO, Andrea, CASTIGLIONE, Baldassare, COTTA, Giovanni, FLAMINIO, Marco Antonio].


Carmina quinque illustrium poetarum.

Florence, apud Laurentium Torrentinum, 1552.


16mo. 2 parts in 1, separate t-ps, pp. 346, 87 (ix), last two ll. blank in both. Italic letter, little Roman. Woodcut initials and ornaments. Occasional very light water stain to lower blank margin, a bit heavier to last gathering, slight yellowing, very rare, slight marginal foxing. A very good copy in contemporary probably Florentine goatskin, double blind ruled to a panel design, first border with roll of interlaced palmettes in blind, centre panel with blind-stamped rosettes to corners and centrepiece with Gothic IHS monogram (reversed) within interlacing ribbon, raised bands, spine double blind ruled into four compartments, some wear to usual places, small hole to foot of lower corner. Ms. ex-dono from Ercole Ciofano to Durante de Durantis Rome 1577 to fly (ink burn affecting one letter of date), contemporary inscription ‘Trinita di Sansro’ [San Severo?] inked to edges.

Pocket size edition, in a handsome, contemporary Florentine binding, reminiscent (especially the IHS monogram) of de Marinis I, 1132. This book was a gift from the renowned humanist Ercole Ciofano (d.1592?) to the young Durante de Durantis. Born in Sulmona, Ciofano was the author of a commentary on Ovid’s ‘Metamorphoses’ published in Venice by Aldus the Younger in 1575, and much praised by Marc-Antoine Muret and Paolo Manuzio. This was followed by another on Ovid’s ‘opera omnia’. Among his correspondents were Aldus the Younger, Pier Vettori and Vespasiano Gonzaga. In the early 1580s, Ciofano fell out with Aldus, vehemently accusing him of stealing his own marginalia in a copy of Cicero he lent Aldus. Ciofano’s vitriolic letters about the misdeeds of the ‘Aesopian Jackdaw’ (Aldus)  have survived, one of which, for instance, begins as follows: ‘That ass, and fellow more ignorant than ignorance itself, Aldus Manutius, to whom I have become most inimical, has robbed me of, and printed under his own name, many explanations and emendations upon the “Offices” of Cicero’ (quoted in Hartshorne, ‘Book Rarities’, 53-56, 63-67). Another letter claims that Aldus the Elder was a Jew.

In 1577, Ciofano was in Rome seeking work as tutor for the scions of the Farnese and Orsini families. This copy, with an ex-dono inscription from the same year, was presented by him to the Brescian Durante Duranti, probably during Duranti’s educational stay in Rome. This convenient and inexpensive edition was likely a reward for Durante’s scholarly commitment. It is a compendium of the best Neo-Latin poetry by Italian authors of the first half of the C16, mostly composed in a pseudo-Catullan vein. The authors include Pietro Bembo (1470-1547), Andrea Navagero (1483-1529, official historian of the Serenissima), Baldassarre Castiglione (1478-1529), Giovanni Cotta (1480-1510) and Marco Antonio Flaminio (1497/8-1550). Of the latter there also feature two further collections of verse (one dedicated to Alessandro Farnese, the other to the sister of the King of France, and a paraphrase of thirty psalms).

Brunet I, 1586; EDIT16 CNCE 9629. Not in Adams. C.H. Hartshorne, The Book Rarities in the University of Cambridge (London, 1829); ‘Ciofano, Ercole’, in Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani 25 (1981).


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Sergius vel capitis caput.

[Leipzig, in aedibus Valentin Schumann, 1520].


Small 4to. 12 unnumbered ll., A-B6. Roman letter, little Greek. Woodcut ornament with Leipzig arms to t-p. Slight age browning, minor tear to upper edge of t-p and small hole just touching two letters, light water stain and minor fraying to first outer blank margin, verso of couple of ll. dust-soiled, outer blank margin of last seven ll. trimmed. Disbound with traces of sewing, first five ll. with extensive contemporary annotations.

Interesting annotated copy of this famous anti-Catholic satirical play. Johannes Reuchlin (1455-1522) was a German humanist, and one of the earliest scholars of Greek in Germany, trained at Paris and Basel; he was known for his theories of Greek pronunciation. Having fled to Heidelberg after the death of his patron, Count Eberhard of Württenberg, he gained the position of tutor to the children of Philip, Count Palatine of the Rhine. His sister’s grandson was the Protestant Philip Melanchthon, with whom he fell out after the Reformation. Despite his Catholicism, Reuchlin was critical of aspects of the Roman Church like the frequently debatable behaviour of monks and the commerce of false relics—the subject of this play. First published in 1504 and much reprinted, ‘Sergius’ marked ‘the beginning of Neo-Latin comedy in Germany’ (Dall’Asta, ‘Lateinische Drama’, 14). Its title refers to Sergius/Bahira, a Nestorian monk of the 6th century—and the narrative persona of Reuchlin’s adversary, the Augustinian Conrad Holzinger—who prophesized to Muhammad his glorious future. Considered a heretical monk and the inspiration to the Christian content of the Qur’an, he was a frequent presence in Renaissance anti-Islamic writings. In the play, Sergius stands as the heretical monk par excellence—’the chief of the chiefs’ of ‘all lechery […], the head without soul or reason’. The other characters take on the role of social critics following the ancient Roman comic tradition. The contemporary annotator was especially interested in Act I. He studiously noted information on Reuchlin on the t-p, and appears to have been studying the text as a fine example of Neo-Latin prose. He glossed it with interlinear and marginal notes on metrics (linked to debates on Neo-Latin poetry), figures of speech, synonyms and references to Quintilian and the work of contemporary scholars like Jacob Spiegel, close to Protestant humanist circles.

No copies recorded in the US.

USTC 669227; BM STC Ger., p. 733 (not this edition). Not in Graesse. M. Dall’Asta, ‘“Histrionum exercitus et scommata”’, in Das lateinische Drama der Frühen Neuzeit, ed. R.F. Glei and R. Seidel (Tubingen, 2008), 13-30.


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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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TASSO, Torquato

Godfrey of Bulloigne, or The recouerie of Ierusalem. Done into English heroicall verse, by Edward Fairefax Gent.

London, by Ar. Hatfield, for I. Iaggard and M. Lownes, 1600


FIRST EDITION, first issue. Folio. [viii], 392. A⁴, B-2K⁶, 2L⁴. Roman letter, some Italic. Title within wide typographical border, woodcut head and tail-pieces, typographical ornaments, modern bookplates on pastedown and f.ep. Title a little dusty with small stain in outer blank margin, shelf mark P-38 in early hand, a little dust soiling and minor ink stains in margins of first few leaves, verso of last dusty, the occasional thumb mark or minor stain. A fine, crisp, large paper copy, in handsome C19th dark blue calf by Zaehnsdorf, covers bordered with a triple blind rule, stopped at corners with gilt sun tool, spine with gilt ruled raised bands, richly gilt in compartments with scrolled and pointillé tools, red and tan morocco labels gilt, edges and inner dentelles richly gilt, marbled endpapers, a.e.g.

A remarkable copy, on large paper, of the first edition, first issue, of the hugely popular and influential translation into English by the English poet Fairfax of Tasso’s Jerusalem Delivered. Fairfax’s was the first complete translation, though Richard Carew had produced a translation of the first five books “Torquato Tasso’s Jerusalem Delivered is one of the great Italian epics, an influential and immensely popular piece. .. There have been many translations of Tasso’s work, new ones continuing to appear at a steady rate…, but to speak of Tasso in English has, for four hundred years, been to speak of Edward Fairfax’s translation. .. The Elizabethan poet Fairfax did not make a great mark with his own verse (little of which survives), but his translation is an acknowledged masterpiece — of sorts. Fairfax’s “translation” is a fairly free one, taking more liberties than most translators care or dare to. There is considerable embellishment of the text, specifically with the addition of nouns and adjectives as Fairfax uses two — or three — words to repeat what Tasso expressed in one. Fairfax remains true to the story, but his language is much more sprightly (and the effect more dramatic — or at least melodramatic) than in Tasso’s original. Usually such translatorial interference does little to enhance a text, but Fairfax was a real poet and his English version, though a stretch as a translation, is an impressive English epic. Fairfax’s imprint was a strong and enduring one, and the reception of Tasso in the English-speaking world has been almost entirely through this rose-coloured version. There are few instances in English in which a single translation has taken so many liberties and yet been so influential. Fairfax follows Tasso’s ottava rima, faithfully preserving the rhyme scheme of the original .. for each stanza. Occasionally it is forced, with some creative word-twisting and occasional coining, but Fairfax proceeds vigorously and often lyrically. He has a poet’s ear for language, and even when he can not comfortably twist the Italian into English the verses are often powerful.” Literary Saloon. 

“Fairfax’s relationship with Tasso’s Liberata is dynamic from the very beginning. Far from trying to mirror Tasso’s words and rhythm, Fairfax simplifies not only syntax and prosody, but also the whole rhetorical texture of Tasso’s epic. David Hume wrote of Fairfax’s achievement that it possessed ‘an elegance and ease, and at the same time [..] an exactness, which for that age are surprising. Each line in the original is faithfully rendered by a correspondent line in the translation.’ – but this judgment does not pass the test of a careful critical examination.” Massimiliano Morini ‘Tudor Translation in Theory and Practice.’

Torquato Tasso (1544–1595) was one of the greatest Italian poets of the late Renaissance, the son of Bernardo Tasso, a poet and courtier. In 1560 he read law in Padua where he met the humanist Sperone Speroni, under whose guidance he studied Aristotle’s “Poetics”. In 1565 Tasso entered the service of the House of Este. While revising his poem “Gerusalemme Liberata”, he developed a persecution mania which caused his incarceration in the hospital of Santa Anna (1579–86).

ESTC S117565. STC 23698. Pforzheimer, 1001. Lowndes. “We do not know a translation in any language that is to be preferred to this, in all the essentials of poetry” Grolier ‘Langland to Wither’ 96. 


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[BROWNE, William]

Britannia’s pastorals. The first booke. 

London, by Iohn Hauiland, 1625


FIRST EDITON thus. Two vols. in one. 8vo. pp. [xvi], 140 [i.e. 142], [xiv], 179, [i]. A-Y⁸. “Variant 1: (second) title page is a cancel, with ‘Haviland’ in the imprint.” ESTC. Roman letter, some Italic and Greek. Woodcut printer’s device on first title, two woodcuts in text of first vol., ‘arguments’ within typographical borders, woodcut initials, grotesque woodcut head-piece, typographical ornaments, bookplate of the Fox Pointe collection on pastedown, bibliographical note in C19th hand on fly. Light age yellowing, the odd marginal spot, fore-edge margins cut a little close just shaving sidenote in a few places, very expert repair to blank margins of L7+8. A very good, clean copy in fine late C19th dark blue crushed morocco by Stikeman, covers bordered with a triple gilt rule, small fleurons gilt at corners, spine with gilt ruled raised bands richly gilt in compartments with small scrolled and pointillé tools, edges gilt ruled, inner dentelles richly gilt, a.e.g. corners a little worn, extremities fractionally rubbed. 

A very good copy, finely bound by Stikeman of New York, of the first complete edition of Browne’s best-known pastoral poem. Britannia’s Pastorals is a pastoral romance in which William Browne presents the adventures of Marina, Fida, and Aletheia in five “songs” with an interpolated elegy for Prince Henry. Walter Greg describes Browne’s major works as “the longest and most ambitious poem ever composed on a pastoral theme” ‘Pastoral Poetry and Pastoral Drama.’ The commendatory verses by John Selden, Michael Drayton, Edward Heyward, Christopher Brook, Fr. Dynne, Thomas Gardiner, W. Ferrar, and Fr. Oulde acknowledge Browne of Tavistock as a second Colin Clout. 

“Edmund Spenser was Browne’s poetic model throughout his career, most obviously in Britania’s pastorals, although he was influenced by Italian pastoral drama (specifically by Torquato Tasso’s Aminta). In Britannia’s pastorals, Browne mixes the pastoral and romantic genres, as Spenser did in the Faerie Queene, and, like Spenser, Browne attempts to write an epic that will be thoroughly English. …His greatest quality was probably his talent for natural description . The passages in which he describes what is recognizably his native Devonshire are especially fine. …In his own lifetime Browne was considered an important English poet, but his fame did not last. Still, it has often been argued that not only Milton but also such later poets as Keats, Tennyson, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning were influenced by his work, and in particular his treatment of nature.” The Encyclopedia of English Renaissance Literature. “Britannia’s pastorals may be the most elaborate attempt ever made to imitate ‘The Faerie Queene’ with respect to atmosphere of romance, general structure, and interlacing of many subplots. .. ‘Britannia’s Pastorals’ embodies a genuinely Spenserian tradition: intricate romance narrative in an idealised setting, passing at times into open allegory, reaching out towards moral concerns on the one hand and politics, society, literature and culture on the other.” Albert Charles Hamilton. ‘The Spenser Encyclopedia.’

A rare copy, finely bound, of the first complete edition of this important work of English pastoral poetry.

STC 3916. ESTC S105932. Lowndes I 292. Not in Pforzheimer. 


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ΣΥΝΩΔΙΑ, sive Musarum Cantabrigiensium concentus et congratulatio.

[Cambridge],  Ex Academiæ Cantabrigiensis typographeo, Anno Dom. 1637


FIRST EDITION. 4to. pp. [112];  4. A-L ²L-N. The first three leaves of ²L are signed L4, L5, L6. [Issue with the additional quire between L and M.] Roman letter, some Italic and Greek. Title within double ruled typographical border, floriated initials typographical ornaments, Robert Pirie’s bookplate on fly. Light age yellowing, endleaves a little dusty. A fine copy, crisp and clean in contemporary vellum, covers bordered with a single gilt rule, ‘sun’ fleuron gilt at centres (a little rubbed on upper cover).

Rare, first and only edition of this collection of verses to celebrate the birth of Anne of England, King Charles I’s daughter; a fine copy in a contemporary vellum binding

“The practise at English universities of printing collections of verses in the learned languages to celebrate public events seems to have started in 1587 with the death of Sir Philip Sidney. But whereas the exequies of the Oxford muses on that occasion were printed at Oxford itself by the university printer Joseph Barnes, the tears of Cambridge were published in London and it was not till 1603 that the first Cambridge-printed volume appeared.  ..But with the reign of King Charles Cambridge began to compete seriously with its rival in the frequency of its official offerings, celebrating the King’s accession, marriage, health, journeys and a rapid succession of royal babies in ten volumes between 1625 and 1641. “ Harold Forster. ‘The rise and fall of the Cambridge Muses (1603-1763).

This collection contains the first two poems published by the great metaphysical poet Andrew Marvell, one in Greek the other in Latin. “Marvell’s first published poem was an Horatian ode on the birth of Princess Anne in Cambridge on that occasion, ‘ΣΥΝΩΔΙΑ, sive Musarum Cantabrigiensium concentus et congratulatio (1637), written when Marvell was fifteen. Marvell entitles his poem a parody, that is a formal imitation, in this case of an ode by Horace which describes the horrors of civil war and begs Caesar to save the state. The poem offers critical difficulties. … The horror that Marvell’s poem summons (on what would seem to be a happy occasion) is present to varying degrees in all four university volumes on the princesses, and is even more strongly marked in the two volumes commemorating the birth of Henry, Duke of Gloucester in 1640.”

A fine copy of this very rare work in its original limp vellum binding.

ESTC 6179052. “Oates, J.C.T. Cambridge books of congratulatory verses 1603-1640 and their binders. Transact. Camb. Bib. Soc. I (1953) p.395-421, no.12” STC 4492.


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Academiae Oxoniensis pietas erga serenissimum et potentissimum Iacobum Angliæ Scotiæ Franciæ & Hiberniæ Regem.

Oxford. Excudebat Iosephus Barnesius, almæ Academiæ typographus, 1603.


FIRST EDITION. 8vo. pp. [iv], 207, [i]. *² A-N. Issue with the poem “Votum Typographi ad… Regem” on the last page. Roman letter, some Italic, Hebrew, and Greek. Woodcut printer’s device on title, floriated woodcut initial and headpiece, typographical ornaments on last leaf, note in modern hand concerning the provenance on fly, armorial bookplate of Rev. Richard Grosvenor Bartelot on pastedown, early autograph on vellum turn in, bookplate of Robert S. Pirie on rear pastedown. A fine copy, absolutely crisp and clean on thick paper with large margins, in excellent contemporary vellum over thin boards, yapp edges, covers gilt ruled to a panel design, small acorn fleuron gilt to outer corners, gilt fleuron at centres, spine gilt ruled in bands, remains of pink silk ties, small hole to vellum in spine, a little soiled.

Rare first and only edition of this collection of poetry comprising more than 470 Latin poems, with a few in Greek, Italian and French, from members of Oxford colleges on the death of Elizabeth I and the accession of James I. On page 17, there is a complaint about the lack of Hebrew type. The King’s pedigree from Edward the Third, is prefixed to the volume with some verses by the Vice Chancellor Dr. Howson. This work was preceded by another from the same press ‘Oxoniensis Academiae Funebre Officium in Memoriam Elizabethae,” of collected poems on the funeral of Queen Elizabeth. Almost all such university poems are considered as academic exercises, however they offer great insight into the politics and culture of the Elizabethan period, and at a particularly crucial time in the History of the Monarchy. Many of the poets in this volume rarely published their work, which often circulated in manuscript, so such miscellanies offer tremendous insight into contemporary poetry. Hazlitt states that Sir Walter Raleigh contributed to the collection however the poem he is referring to is signed ‘Guil. Raleghe’ and seems unlikely to be by Sir Walter who was imprisoned that year by James.

“The practise at English universities of printing collections of verses in the learned languages to celebrate public events seems to have started in 1587 with the death of Sir Philip Sidney. But whereas the exequies of the Oxford muses on that occasion were printed at Oxford itself by the university printer Joseph Barnes, the tears of Cambridge were published in London and it was not till 1603 that the first Cambridge-printed volume appeared.  ..Oxford meanwhile poured out no less than eleven volumes of verses adding the marriage of Princess Elizabeth to the Elector Platine in 1613 and the Kings safe return from Scotland in 1617 as well as domestic tributes to the memory of the Universities benefactors, Sir Thomas Bodley (1613), Sir Henry Savile (1622) and Willaim Camden (1624). And individual Oxford colleges also produced their own memorial collections for distinguished alumni or special benefactors.” Harold Forster. ‘The rise and fall of the Cambridge Muses (1603-1763).

There is a lengthy note on the fly stating that the work belonged to Sir Philip Oldfeld commoner of the Brasenose College, who wrote the verses on page 178/179. The quality of the copy, in s very high quality contemporary binding certainly suggest that it was bound, either for presentation or for a contributor.

STC 19019. Case, 25. The Early Oxford Press, p. 56. Madan, 229.


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Carminum poetarum novem, lyricae poeseos principum, fragmenta. [with]

Olympia, Pythia, Nemea, Isthmia. Caeterorum octo lyricorum carmina, Alcaei, Sapphus, Stesichori, Ibyci, Anacreontis, Bacchylidis, Simonidis, Alcmanis, nonnulla etiam aliorum. Omnia Graece et Latine

Antwerpen, ex officina Christophe Plantin, 1567.


16mo. Two works in one. 1) pp. [iii] 4 196 [iv]. A-M8, N4. 2) pp. 270 [ii]. a-r8 (r8 blank). Greek and Latin Letter in double column. Both titles with Plantin’s small woodcut compass device, book-label “Bibl. Lamoniana” on pastedown, those of Henri Bonnasse and G. de Miribel below, R. Zierer’s on fly, C18th library stamp a crowned “L” in blank margin of A2. Light age yeallowing, trimmed a little close at head, just touching the odd headline, occasional mark or stain. Very good copies in stunning contemporary French tan morocco richly tooled in gilt to an early fanfare design, covers bordered with a triple gilt rule, finely worked to a fanfare design with double and single gilt rules, scrolls, and leafy branches around a central oval with olive wreath, winged cherubs above and below, monogram gilt at centre, spine double gilt ruled in a single panel, finely worked to a similar fanfare design in long, with winged cherub tool in small compartments, edges, head and tail bands gilt ruled and hatched, a.e.g. upper joint restored, in cloth folding box.

Beautifully printed and rare edition of this collection of Greek poetry including the works of Pindar, edited by Henri Estienne, in a stunning contemporary French fanfare binding, very much in the style of those executed for Jaques August de Thou at the same period. They contain selected works by the Greek poets Alcaeus, Sappho, Stesichorus, Ibycus, Anacreon, Bacchylides, Simonides and Alcman and includes also many other short poems concerning these poets by contemporary and later authors, both Greek and Latin.“Edition in two volumes, but each presented as a separate publication, of some Greek poets, in Greek with Latin translation. Edited and translated by Henricus Stephanus.” Voet.

The binding is very similar a fanfare binding made for Jaques August de Thou in the British library, shelf-mark c19b12, using the same, or a near identical, winged cherub tool, and is very similar in overall design. This binding is in De Thous arms as a bachelor so cannot have been made before 1587. See also two other bindings in the BL, both for De Thou, shelf-marks c19b11, c19b16 also with very similar bindings. The fanfare style had its beginnings in around 1560, gradually becoming more complex and intricate, covering the entire binding with small compartments with torsades, spirals of leafy stems, and branches, the whole worked with a multitude of small tools. The style reached its peak towards the end of the C16th. Needham points out “It was much more common for fanfare bindings to be found on special presentation copies and gifts” as they were so time consuming and expensive to make “A finite library of good books could be bound luxuriously as a cabinet of treasures” We have been unable to identify the first owner whose monogram is stamped at the centres.

The work has prestigious later provenance belonging to Chrétien-François de Lamoignon (Paris, 1735 – 1789) a French statesman and magistrate. Lamoignon was the Keeper of the Seals of France from 8 April 1787 to 14 September 1788. In this position, he was responsible for issuing the Edict of Versailles in 1787, which granted civil status and freedom of worship to France’s Protestants, and for the abolition of judicial torture. On his death his magnificent library was bought in its entirety by Jean Gabriel Mérigot who made a catalogue for its sale in 1791.

Voet IV 2056. Adams P1229. USTC 401318 and 411361


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CATS, Jacob

Proteus, ofte, Minne-beelden: verandert in sinne-beelden.

Rotterdam, P. van Waesberge, 1627.


FIRST EDITION thus. 4to. pp. (viii), 35, (i), 315, [i]; 28; 91 (iii); 46, (ii blank); 48 [iii unnumbered ll.] 49-55, [i]. Roman and Italic letter. Fine engraved allegorical title by J. Matham after van de Venne, Sinne- et minne-beelden with 52 engraved emblems by J. Swelinck after A. van de Venne, each accompanied by 5 pages of text in Dutch, Latin and French (partly in verse), with partial English translation in following section, ‘Emblemata moralia’ with 43 engraved emblems, verses in Latin and Dutch, quotations from various sources at foot of each emblem in both works. Galathee with four engravings in text, full page portraits of Galathee and Phyllis in roundels with allegorical borders by Swelinck after van de Venne. Portions of text set in double columns. Woodcut head- and tail-pieces, woodcut initials, engraved armorial bookplate of Allan Heywood Bright, signed ‘Alf Downey’, on pastedown. Light age yellowing, faint waterstain on a few leaves, occasional mostly marginal mark, spot, or thumb mark, very minor dust soiling in places. A very good copy, with excellent dark impressions of the engravings, in handsome modern tan calf, covers bordered with single blind rule, spine with gilt ruled double raised bands, richly gilt in compartments, green morocco title and date labels, gilt lettered, edges gilt ruled, inner dentelles gilt, a.e.g.

First collected edition of these beautifully illustrated emblem books by Jacob Cats, one of the most important author’s of emblem books “whose volumes still form one of the adornments of Dutch houses. Cats took inspiration from proverbs and everyday life, his realistic emblems form a counterpart to genre painting and supply interesting evidence for the history of costume” (Praz p. 86). The work contains, each with separate pagination: Sinne ende Minnebeelden, (an expanded version of “Silenus Alcibiadis”); Emblemata Di Iacobi Catsii, in linguam Anglicam transfusa, (an English verse translation of the foregoing sometimes attributed to Josuah Sylvester); Emblemata moralia et aeconomica, (with illustrations copied from Maechden plicht); the Latin text, with French translation, of the dialogue between Anna and Phyllis from Maechden plicht; Galathee ofte Harder Minne-klachte. Laudatory poems by D. Heinsius, A. Hofferus, J. Arcerius, I. Lyraeus, A. Roemers, I. Luyt, S. de Swaef, L. Peutemans, I. Hobius.

Jacob Cats (1577-1660), seventeenth-century poet, moralist, and statesman, was one of the leading poets in the golden age of Dutch literature. His emblem books, which reflected a stolid Calvinist philosophy, exhorted readers to virtuous and industrial lives. Enormously popular, the books became the source of many well-known maxims and proverbs, giving him the title of “Father Cats,” a fond soubriquet still used by modern Dutch to describe him. He is best known as a poet and author of emblem books—illustrated collections of didactic and moralistic (although clever and often humorous) poetry. They are valued as treasure troves of sociological and historical detail, illustrating not only many facets of daily life in the seventeenth century, but the moral and philosophical ideals of the era as well. Cats’s first book Sinne-en minnebeelden (Portraits of morality and love) was published in 1618, when he was forty years old. The book, divided into three sections, contains prose, poetry, Bible verses, quotations from the classics, and common proverbs in Dutch, French, and Latin. Each illustration was accompanied by three different texts, each of which was designed to give three different—but always instructive—interpretations: the first romantic, the second social, and last religious. This combination of texts, styles, and languages in various degrees of complexity made the book accessible to a broad public. The images for many of Cats’s books were supplied by Adriaan van de Venne. He drew literally hundreds of illustrations for the books, and they were, in turn, reproduced by master engravers.

“Cats is one of the major fingers in emblem literature, exerting a wide influence on later exponents of the genre. He is responsible for two regular emblem books, whose bibliography is complicated for a number of reasons. Firstly they appear under various different names: his first emblem book, Silenus Alcibiadis is also known in Latin as Proteus and in Dutch as Minnelikje, zedelijke en stichtelijke sinne-beelden en gedichten, or  sinne- en minne bilden. Often associated with Silenus Alcibiadis is another work which is broadly emblematic, although the text is in dialogue form, Maschden-plicht or Monita amoris virginei. In 1627, the engraving designs for this work were reused in a new emblem book, Emblemata moralia et oeconomica. For all three works, Adriaen van de Venne supplied the designs for the engravings, which were executed by different engravers for different printers, according to the required size and shape, sometimes in mirror image” Alison Adams, Stephen Rawles. ‘A Bibliography of French Emblem Books.’

De Vries 89. Landwehr, Low Countries 118. Praz, p. 300. Adams, Alison. ‘A bibliography of French emblem books of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Nr. F.154.


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