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EMBLEMATA, CUM ALIQUOT NUMMIS ANTIQUI OPERIS. Bound with: EMBLEMATUS BY ALCIATI.
Antwerp: Christopher Plantin, 1564.. A VERY EARLY PICTURE OF A TENNIS MATCH, FIRST EDITION 1564. Small 8vo, approximately 175 x 115 mm, 7 x 4½ inches, 240 pages, LACKS 4 LEAVES, H6 I7 K4 N8, there are 157 woodcut emblems, should be 166, portrait of Sambucus on page 8, last 4 leaves show medals, PAGE 133 SHOWS THE EARLY ILLUSTRATION OF A TENNIS MATCH WITH THE DECORATED BORDER AND SLIGHTLY BETTER IMPRESSION THAN SOME LATER EDITIONS, bound in later vellum, marbled endpapers, edges stained blue. Binding slightly bowed, crude hand colouring to the title page, portrait and 1 emblem, 4 other emblems have slight pale colouring, pale age-browning throughout, some pale stains to last 60 pages, not offensive, the 4 last leaves showing the medals have pale soiling and spotting, a few tips of corners missing, a few pages at beginning have occasional old ink neat underlining and words translated from Greek to Latin, otherwise a good copy. "The tennis emblem had appeared in Guillaume de la Perrières's Le theatre des bons engins of 1539, and then in the Picta Poesis of Barthélémy Aneau (first edition 1552). Here the emblem is more refined, there is greater form to the rackets and dress of the players, and the tennis balls on the court floor are an important addition. While the net still appears to be a simple rope, two lines of the accompanying poem, 'Temporis iactura' ('A Waste of Time'), draw a comparison between the allure of tennis nets and the more useful nets used in hunting birds. Addressed 'Ad pilulam' ('To the tennis ball'), the poem treats the ball as the deceiver of the young men who waste their time chasing after it". See Christies, London, Sale 3013, lot 155, 28 November 2011; Adams, Volume 2, S-218; Brunet V, 104-05. BOUND WITH, Andrea Alciati, EMBLEMATUS, (Lugduni, apud Gulielmum Rouill, 1564) lacking title page and following page, and pages 13/14, 125/26, 133/34, 147/8, 207/8 and 211/12, pages: 5-226 plus [6] index, collation: A-08, P4. The last 14 illustrations are of trees, illustrations are within diverse borders, 1 illustrations is a map showing central Italy, Florence to Rome. Some pale age-browning, some imagesa little weak, a few tips of corners missing, a few tiny closed tears to edges, otherwise a good copy. See: H. M. Adams, Catalogue of Books Printed on the Continent of Europe,1501-1600 in Cambridge Libraries, Volume 1, page 20, 605. TENNIS ORIGINS and MYSTERIES by Malcolm D. Whitman uses the early tennis picture as a frontispiece, stating that it is "Earliest Book Illustration of Tennis Play". MORE IMAGES ATTACHED TO THIS LISTING, ALL ZOOMABLE. FURTHER IMAGES ON REQUEST. POSTAGE AT COST.
      [Bookseller: Roger Middleton]
Last Found On: 2017-06-22           Check availability:      IOBABooks    

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