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        BIBLIA LATINA [With the tractate of Menardus Monachus]

      Nuremberg: Anton Koberger, 30 July, 1477. Very Early Printing of the Bible and only the second Latin Bible printed by Koberger, 51 lines and headline, double column, canon marginalia in the Gospels. With manuscript headlines in red, a beautiful opening initial of 10 lines with elaborate flourishes that flow from the very top to very bottom of the page in red, blue and green, numerous 6 line initials in red and blue, some with much longer extensions or flourishes, a profusion of 3 line initials in red or blue, red paragraph marks and additional rubricating throughout primarily in red. Royal folio (375 x 265mm approx), in contemporary German blind-stamped pigskin over thick wood boards, (probably a Nuremberg binding), the boards center-paneled and decorated in blind with a central tool within multiple borders, remnants of brass catches on the fore-edge. Manuscript lettering to the spine with wide tall bands. 468 leaves, complete. An unusually fine copy, especially well preserved and very handsome indeed. An important copy with full contemporary binding intact, and in great likelihood coming directly from Koberger’s workshop. A RARE AND EXTREMELY HANDSOME COPY, ESPECIALLY WELL PRESERVED. THIS BOOK REPRESENTS ONLY THE SECOND TIME THAT KOBERGER PRINTED THE LATIN BIBLE. This printing was issued in the second year after the first printing of 1475. Anton Koberger was for a number of years the leading publisher/printer of his time. The total list of his printings for the forty years from 1473 to 1513, when he died, comprises no less than two-hundred and thirty-six separate works, including fifteen impressions of the Biblia Latina, eight of which presented material differences of notes and commentaries which entitled them to be considered as distinct editions. "In the actual number of separate works issued, Koberger was possibly equaled by one or more of his contemporaries, but in respect to literary importance and costliness, and in the beauty and excellence of the typography, the Koberger publications were not equaled by any books of the time excepting the issues of Aldus in Venice" (Putnam II, p. 150). This printing of Koberger’s Latin Bible was printed again in1478 and is largely based on the Fust and Schoeffer edition of 1462. The tractate of Menardus is included which is a summary of the books of the Bible with a guide on how to best study them. It was first printed not after 1474. A beautiful example of the magnificent productions during the first generation of printed Bibles, the state of preservation and the impressive German binding making it all the more so.

      [Bookseller: Buddenbrooks, Inc.]
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        [APPIANI ALEXANDRINI ROMANARUM HISTORIARUM] [APPIAN OF ALEXANDRIA]. Historia romana. [And:] De bellis civilibus. [Translated from Greek into Latin by Petrus Candidas Decembrius]

      Venice: Bernard Maler (Pictor), Erhard Ratdolt and Peter Löslein, 1477. 2 volumes. First complete edition of the surviving portions of Appian’s History of Rome (As a matter of note, Part II only, De bellis civilibus, was printed by Vindelinus de Spira in 1472) Roman letter. Thirty-two lines, printed marginalia. Four-sided woodcut white vine border on the recto of a2 of Part I printed in red, three-sided woodcut white vine border on the recto of a2 of Part II printed in black, both possibly by Bernhard Maler. Nine- and five-line white-on-black woodcut initials. Headlines consisting of book numbers or titles supplied erratically. Large quarto volumes (10 15/16 x 8 inches; 278 x 204 mm.) , early twentieth-century English niger morocco. Covers paneled in gilt, gilt-lettered spines with raised bands, turn-ins ruled in gilt, all edges gilt. [132] and [212] leaves. Complete with both initial blanks. A superb copy of this typographical masterpiece. Volume I with two wormholes to lower blank margin of last few leaves and light dampstaining to last two leaves (o9-o10). Volume II with short repaired tear to lower corner of initial blank leaf and small stain to leaves h8-h10. Occasional minor dampstaining to extreme lower margins, scattered light marginal foxing, mainly in Volume II. Ink presentation inscription from Joachim Erckstede to Dr. Valentin de Teteleben (dated November 1522) on verso of final leaf in Volume I and on recto of initial blank leaf in Volume II. A few contemporary ink marginalia in Book II of De bellis civilibus. Bookplate of William Harrison Woodward. VERY RARE FIRST EDITION. SUPERB COPIES OF THESE TYPOGRAPHICAL MASTERPIECES. The third book from Ratdolt’s press at Venice. The translator’s division of the extant books into two parts differs slightly in its order from the Greek originals. He dedicated the first part to Pope Nicholas V and the second part to Alfonso, King of Aragon and the Two Sicilies. Book III (Parthicus) in Part I of this and the following editions is a Byzantine compilation. The lower part of c1 verso (eleven lines) and all of c2 recto in Part I were left blank by the printers to indicate a gap in Appian1s manuscript, with a printed marginal note to that effect. These volumes represent the earliest example of the use of a fully-developed woodcut border in a Venetian book. Ratdolt’s first border, a three-sided, simple black-on-white title designed for the Calendarium of 1476, is composed of fairly conventional plants growing out of vases. The borders for the Historia romana and De bellis civilibus, by contrast, are scrolling white vines and acanthus leaves, full and lush, black-on-white (in some copies, red-on-white), with a medallion for the owner1s arms in the lower edge. Ratdolt’s initial letters, which replaced the illuminated or rubricated initials, are also of the utmost importance in the history of book-decoration (see Hind, A History of Woodcut, II, pp. 459-462). THIS COPY IS ONE OF A FEW IN WHICH THE FIRST WOODCUT BORDER IS PRINTED IN RED. In most copies both borders were printed in black. The partnership of the printers Erhard Ratdolt and Bernhard Maler and the corrector and editor Peter Löslein lasted from 1476 to 1478. The exceptional beauty of the books printed at their press is characterized by the use of a series of very fine woodcut borders and initials along with a strikingly clear and pleasing roman type. Although traditionally credited to Ratdolt, the design of the woodblocks and possibly of the type is more likely to have been the work of Bernhard Maler, the painter, who was in charge of the press. When Ratdolt set up his own press in 1480, he apparently brought only one of the border blocks with him, the one that appears in Part II of the present work, which he used again for the 1482 Euclid. The border used in Part I appears in this edition only. "To my mind there are few printed books of any age which can be compared with the Appian of 1477, with its splendid black ink, its vellum-like paper, and the finished excellency of its typography" (Redgrave).

      [Bookseller: Buddenbrooks, Inc.]
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      Treviso: [Hermannus Liechtenstein] for Michael Manzolus, 2 April, 1477. Third Edition. Softcover. Excellent Period Copy of Secular Work on Orthography,Exploring Greek and Latin from "Abacus" to "Zodiacus". 311 x 210 mm (12 1/4 x 8 1/4"). 345 unnumbered leaves, including the final blank (A9 cancelled, as called for). Single column, 44 lines in a refined roman typeface. Edited by Hieronymus Bononius. Third Edition. Contemporary blindstamped (Flemish?) calf over thick wooden boards, both covers with a saltire design, the central panel made up of lozenges formed by five parallel rules, the lozenge compartments containing diamond and triangular stamps, the four corners each with a distinctive stamp of a frowning, chinless man (not located in Kyriss or Schunke), original brass catches, remains of clasps, later (19th century?) paper spine label, small portions of the joints once repaired, using tiny amount of glue. With very large and striking opening 15-line initial in blue and pink with much white modelling and tracery, capitals struck with yellow in part of the text, painted red initials throughout, the majority two-line, but several six and even eight-line capitals as well. Front free endpaper with three-line 15th century inscription of the monastery at Saint-Trond (or Sint-Truiden, a Belgian city about midway between Brussels and Liege), the same leaf with later monogram ("GV"?), and with faint (19th century?) ownership stamp of Georges E. A. Vanduzen(?), the last blurred by moisture as the result of the removal of a pasted-over bookplate. Goff T-396; BMC VI, 887 and 891. Leather slightly marked and crackled, tip of lower corner of front board broken off, joints cracked and with general wear, but the binding nevertheless quite sturdy and generally very appealing. Minor soiling here and there, isolated trivial stains, but AN ESPECIALLY ATTRACTIVE COPY INTERNALLY, extremely crisp, generally clean, and (except for a solitary tiny hole on the final two leaves), without any worming. This is a fresh contemporary copy of an elegantly printed and handsomely decorated secular work on orthography, issued in the 1470s as one of the earliest books from the press of an important Italian printer. First printed in Rome in 1471 and then in Venice the same year, the "Orthographia" addresses the important question of how to write Greek words in Latin. It begins with a discussion of how the various letters in the Roman alphabet should be used to represent both the spelling and the pronunciation of Greek words. A short discussion of diphthongs follows, and then the subsequent bulk of the volume is devoted to an alphabetical listing of the proper latinized spelling of Greek words from "Abacus" to "Zodiacus." This was a popular book, going through several incunabular printings (Goff lists eight), as it became an accepted reference guide for use during the editing of Greek classics for printing in Latin. A native of Arezzo, the humanist Johannes Tortellius (Giovanni Tortelli, 1400-66) studied Greek for many years before coming to Rome at age 47 to serve as librarian to Pope Nicholas V, to whom "Orthographia" is dedicated. He must have been a man of considerable means, because he provided patronage to scholars who had fled from the Byzantine Empire, and he spent lavishly on classical works (books from his personal collection ended up comprising a substantial portion of the early Vatican Library). Although he obviously admired the ancients, Tortelli was also interested in the modern innovations and discoveries of his day: in the discussion of Greek derivation of Latin words, he manages to refer to such new things as the compass, the mechanical clock, and sugar. Born in Cologne, Hermann Liechtenstein (d. 1494) printed in Vicenza between 1475 and 1480 and then in Venice from 1482 until his death. Apparently while still at Vicenza, he is known to have printed four books in Treviso between April and September of 1477, the Tortellius being the first of these. It is suggested that he came to Treviso expressly to print the present book for Michael Manzolus, who was both a publisher (as here) and a printer himself. In his 20 years of printing, Liechtenstein produced a substantial quantity of books, employing both roman and gothic typefaces, depending upon how appropriate they were for the content of the text he was printing. Our stately book is scarce. The British Library Incunabula STC locates four copies in American libraries, and ABPC records just three copies at auction since 1975: a very defective copy in 1979, a copy in 19th century half calf in 2004, and a copy in contemporary pigskin, which sold at the Sexton sale in 1981 for a hammer price of $6,000.

      [Bookseller: Phillip J. Pirages Fine Books and Mediev]
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        De Civitate Dei.

      Naples: Mathias Moravus, 1477.. Folio (266 x 209 mm), a8 b10; a-z10 aa-dd10, 298 leaves, a1, b10, dd10 blank, (this copy wanting the three blank leaves), 43 lines to the page, spaces for initials with printed guide-letters, a wide-margin copy, a few wormholes at beginning and end, 4 leaves repaired in margins just reaching text, nineteenth century blue polished calf, embossed in blind within gilt roll-tooled border, spine elaborately gilt in six compartments, a nice copy.Floral border on the inner margin on (2)a1 recto at the beginning of the text of Book I, with flowers in blue and dark pink, green leaves, extended with gold balls. Eight-line Initial I in gold on a squared background of pink and blue with small white penwork decoration. The beginning of each of the 21 following books is marked with a 6-line initial in gold with infills in pink, blue or green, all with white penwork decoration. The gold initial marking the beginning of Book XXI (aa 5 verso) is not filled in with colour. The painted initials are protected with tissue paper, probably inserted at the time of the present binding. Within the books each chapter is marked with a 3-line plain initial, alternating in red and blue. Comparison with other work by Mathias Moravus yields strong arguments for assuming that the illumination and decoration were carried out in his printing house. (see below). Some early notes, partly erased or washed. There are no marks of early ownership. After the colophon the figures '7,1 - 6 -' are written in a hand of the nineteenth, possibly late eighteenth century. This is probably the notation of a price in pounds, shillings and pence, indicating the presence of this volume in the British Isles at this time. The elegant binding does not contradict this. On the verso of the first fly-leaf the bookplate of Charles and Mary Lacaita and their children, Selham, Sussex. Charles Carmichael Lacaita, Liberal MP for Dundee and botanist (1853-1933) was the only son of Sir James Philip Lacaita (1813-95), a Neapolitan lawyer and statesman, for a long time living in exile in England (ODNB). The elder Lacaita was a scholar and had a reputation as an excellent bibliographer. Presumably he was the buyer of this book associated with his home-town, and it was later owned by his son and his family.On several points the present book, its printer, its type, as well as its illumination are remarkable witnesses to the movement of craftsmen, their materials, and their stylistic traditions over Europe in the first decades after the invention of printing. Such movement existed already in the world of scribal traditions, but was exponentially accelerated once books were multiplied in print. Book production became a veritable melting pot of influences: printers and artists adapted to new environments while at the same time maintaining skills and styles brought from elsewhere. This can well be shown in the present volume.The text, St Augustine's De Civitate Dei, was, and still is, one of the most widely read patristic texts; the plain text was ten years earlier printed at the Benedictine abbey of Subiaco among the first books printed in Italy, and this version was steadily reprinted in Rome and Venice. The present edition is the eighth in this sequence, and both the Gesamtkatalog der Wiegendrucke and BMC note that it is a page-for page reprint of the edition printed in Venice in 1475 by Gabriele di Pietro. Meanwhile a version with the commentary of Thomas Waleys was printed from 1468 in Strasbourg, Mainz and Basel. The Naples edition does not follow the layout of its exemplar, which was printed over two columns, but by printing it with long lines the book was given a more humanistic character. The type, however, resembled that used for its model, and also a type Mathias Moravus had used himself for the two books he printed in 1474 in Genoa before moving to Naples. It is a 'fere-humanistica' appropriate for this kind of texts and for classics, and economical in use. After Moravus used it in Naples in 1476 and 1477, the fount passed on to Rome where, with slight adaptations, we see it in 1478 and 1479 in the hands of the printer there named 'Johannes Bulle de Bremen'. His identity is problematic, for when we see the same fount again, in 1480 and 1481, it is in the first books printed in London, also printed by a printer named Johannes but this time with the surname 'Lettou', which may indicate his origin from Latvia. He is recorded as Theutonicus' in the London registers of aliens. Whatever the identity of the printer, we find the first books printed in London printed in types first selected a few years earlier by Mathias Moravus in Naples.Naples is not the birthplace of Mathias Moravus. He was a friar, born in the village of Cetechowitz near Olomouc in Moravia, in the east of the modern Czech Republic. Before settling as a printer he left a (sporadic) trail as a scribe and probably illuminator. The main source is a two-volume manuscript of the letters of St Jerome, written in 1468, probably in Vicenza, for Moses Buffarello, bishop of Belluno and temporarily of Vicenza. It is now in the Musée Condé in Chantilly. It is written in a fine rotunda hand, and we shall return to its outstanding illumination. Another manuscript, probably written in Verona and containing miscellaneous Latin texts (including one by Cicero), was sold in 1927 in Milan at an auction by Hoepli; from an illustration we can see that its script is rather similar to the style of the type of the St Augustine. Apparently it was not decorated, but we can learn from it at least that as a scribe Mathias Moravus was able to vary his styles as the occasion demanded, in the same way as printers could vary their founts (provided they possessed them).Thus we can follow what must be the final part of Mathias's itinerary from Moravia to the Veneto in the late 1460s, hence to Genoa, where he printed two very substantial books in 1474 (one in association with a Michael de Monacho), to settle for good in Naples, where he produced between 1475 and 1492 more than 60 titles.Printing in Naples had a character unique among the Italian centres of printing due to its royal court, a court that showed an active interest in book production and protected printers. Mathias Moravus was the second major printer to settle there, preceded in 1471 by Sixtus Riessinger, who worked in partnership with an Italian, Francesco del Tuppo, who later took over the business supported by his three 'fidelissimi Germani' who stayed after Riessinger had left. Naples had in common with all printing in Italy that in the early decades it was overwhelmingly carried out by Germans and others from north of the Alps, and del Tuppo's 'fidelissimi' may remind us that not only the named printers moved to Italy, but that they took with them craftsmen to work in their printers shops, contributing their skills and their own traditions. In Naples alone there were in the fifteenth century about twenty named printers from north of the Alps, many of them staying for only a short time. How many workmen they brought remains a matter for speculation.Mathias Moravus was a very competent printer, with perhaps a slight penchant for technical bravura: his formats range from very large (royal) folio to a miniature book of hours in 320 - highly exceptional at that date. One of the special skills he brought to book production may have been refined illumination. When we compare a sample of illuminated copies of his books (to date admittedly a small sample, based on those available in the British Library), and also compare them with the manuscript of 1468 (of which the two opening leaves of the two volumes are available in reproductions), we find characteristic elements common to them all.Perhaps the most striking characteristic is the mixture of Italian and North-European, or rather German stylistic elements. The other not less striking element is the high quality of the miniature painting and drawings incorporated in the designs.All the relevant items in the British Library including the BL copy of the St Augustine (IB. 29405) have painted initials to mark textual divisions, the initial a plain form in gold with infills of contrasting dark blue, pink or green with small decorations in criblé-style penwork. The same kind of initials are found throughout the present copy of the St Augustine, apparently following the same instruction; the only difference is that here (with the exception of the opening initial at the beginning of the text) there are no square backgrounds as found elsewhere. Such initials are of a style that is familiar in countless examples in German illumination of the period, rather than Italian. Purely Italian, however, are the borders in the Chantilly manuscript, of white vine-stems in a complicated geometric pattern. It is a very common Italian style, and here they are not only embellished by roundels with tiny miniatures of birds and animals (also seen in Italy in fine illumination), but very small putti are darting though the stems. A similar vine-stem border and initial are present on the opening page of the very fine vellum copy of Caracciolus, Sermones (G. 11747), dedicated to Beatrice of Aragon, queen of the Hungarian bibliophile king Mathias Corvinus, and sister of the king of Naples. The opening page may look Italian, but the fine initials in the rest of the book are painted in the same Germanic style as those in the St Augustine and elsewhere. Smaller initials, however, are executed in an Italian style with vertical lines in red penwork. Throughout the decoration of the book is a hybrid, or possibly intended as a specimen of all the styles of which the workshop was capable, but not less elegant for that. The decoration of the opening pages of the Chantilly manuscript includes miniatures of St Jerome of a very high level of execution, 'plutôt des peintures à petite échelle' wrote Jacques Meurgey who described the manuscript in 1930. A miniature representing St Sebastian, smaller but of the same hand, is found in the Missale Ordinis Praedicatorum in the British Library (IB. 29423). Here it is incorporated in a beautiful border of flowers and leaves in purple, blue and green, with gold leaves. The border includes a finely painted vase and a cameo-style grisaille of the profile of a young man. Painted initials throughout the work are as in the St Augustine and Caracciolus. The border of flowers and leaves in the BL copy of the St Augustine is similar to that in the Missale; here a delightful grisaille drawing of a young child is half-hidden among the flowers. The slightly scrolled shapes of leaves and flowers in these borders belong more to traditions seen in German illumination than the styles of floral borders we can recognize as belonging to, for example, Florence, Ferrara or the Emilia Romagna.The common features in this admittedly small sample of books printed by de Moravia, combined with what we can learn from the illumination of the Chantilly manuscript, lead to the conclusion that it is very likely that Mathias Moravus himself was responsible for the illumination of part of the books that left his presses. The present copy of St Augustine fits in very well with the general aspect of these books. Small differences in execution in this general pattern suggest that some of this work was carried out in the workshop rather than by the master, probably by a 'fidelissimus Germanus' who belonged to his outfit. With thanks to Lotte Hellinga for providing the above observations. HC 2053; MBC VI p. 862-3; IGI 973; GW 2881; Goff A1237.

      [Bookseller: Forest Books]
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