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One of the earliest editions of the Cosmographia

Münster, Sebastian. Cosmographiae universalis lib. VI. Basel, Heinrich Petri, (March 1559). Basel, Heinrich Petri, (March 1559). Folio (220 x 328 mm). (24), 474, (4), 475-476 pp, 477-480 ff., 481-608 pp., 609-612 ff., 613-1162, (2) pp. (complete thus). With woodcut title border, Münster's portrait on the verso, printer’s device on the final page by Urs Graf, 14 maps (11 double-page and 3 triple-page) as well as 37 double-page views and approximately 970 woodcuts in the text (including repeats). Contemporary full calf on six raised double bands with gilt central oval ornaments and corner fleurons to both covers; spine sparsely gilt.

EUR 28,000.00

An early edition of Münster’s monumental work. The Cosmographia by Sebastian Münster (1488-1552), the German cartographer and cosmographer, was one of the most successful and popular books of the 16th century. The most highly valued of all cosmographies, it passed through 24 editions within 100 years and was of principal importance for reviving the interest in geography in 16th century Europe. In spite of its numerous maps, Münster's Cosmography is largely a work of historical geography and history, and it was thus that it soon became the most popular work of its kind throughout Europe - not only in Germany, but also in France (where it saw several editions), Italy, and Bohemia. "The Latin edition, more scientific in many respects, was intended for the scholars in all of Europe" (cf. Burmeister, p. 14). - In good condition, with some frequent but slight waterstaining. A few near-contemporary underlinings and annotations, some in red ink. Binding rubbed, chafed and bumped. Provenance: handwritten ownership of Carl Isaak Rothovius, dated 1649 (possibly related to Isaacus Rothovius [1572-1652], the bishop of Turku, who oversaw the first complete translation of the Bible into Finnish). Late 18th century engraved armorial bookplate of the naturalist and Swedish civil servant Mathias Benzelstierna (1713-91), who studied with Carl Linné and became a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1786. {BN#49041}
¶ VD 16, M 6718. Burmeister 90. Hantzsch 77.33. Adams M 1911. Sabin 51382. Graesse IV, 622. Cf. Borba de Moraes II, 90f. Not in BM-STC German.

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First dated edition, with ca. 800 hand-coloured woodcuts

[Lonicer, Adam (attrib.)]. Herbarum, arborum, fruticum, frumentorum ac leguminum, animalium praeterea... terrestrium, volatiliu[m] & aquatilium [...] imagines [...] depictae [...]. Kreutter, Bäume, Gesteude, unnd Frücht, deßgleichen Gethier, zam unnd wild, im Lufft, Wasser und Erdtrich lebende [...]. Frankfurt/Main, Christian Egenolph, (1546). Frankfurt/Main, Christian Egenolph, (1546). 4to. (16), 265, (1) pp. With a large woodcut on the title-page showing a gardener at work with his tools, and about 800 woodcut illustrations in the text. About 700 show trees, fruit, edible and medicinal plants, while the rest show insects, a tick, coral, shells, various sea and land animals and a view of a pond with plants and birds. It includes a two-headed snake, dragon, griffin, and a few other mythical creatures. With all woodcuts coloured by a contemporary hand. Contemporary pigskin over wooden boards, richly blind-tooled in a panel design with two rolls (one alternating heads and coats of arms, the other with standing figures), a large acorn and other stamps; brass clasps and catch-plates with engraved decoration.

EUR 28,000.00

Rare first dated edition of an extensively illustrated early herbal in contemporary hand-colour, with the title and most of the plant and animal names in Latin and German. The title-page is followed by a 13-page index of the Latin and German names. About 200 of the woodcuts are about half-page, while the last six pages show 16 small animal woodcuts per page. The Folger Library notes that F. W. E. Roth attributes this herbal to Adam Lonicer (1528-86) of Marburg and Frankfurt, who married Egenolph's daughter and became a partner in the firm after Egenolph died in 1555. The firm published herbals and related works under his name beginning in 1551. Egenolph published all three editions of the present herbal. VD 16 lists the undated one as ca. 1545 (citing only the Wellcome Library copy), which would make the present 1546 edition the second. Another appeared in 1552. Egenolph's successors were to become famous not only as printers but also as one of the largest and most important early typefoundries. The present book uses Roman and Italic for the Latin, but Fraktur and Schwabacher for the German, giving a good overview of the firm's stock of type at this early date. - This copy has early owner's inscriptions by the Nuremberg pharmacist Georg Volland (d. 1631) in Latin at the foot of the title-page and in Greek on the facing endleaf. - Binding worn; some browning and stains to interior, especially to the first and last leaves. {BN#27991}
¶ VD 16, H 2193 (4 copies). Adams H 294 (1 copy). Nissen, BBI 2345. Cf. Klebs, Early Herbals 71 (undated Egenolph ed.). Wellcome I, 1983 (same undated Egenolph ed.). Not in Stiftung Botanik.

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Five ancient pharmacological, medical and botanical texts, well produced

Marcellus Empiricus. De medicamentis Empiricis physicis ac rationalibus liber. Basel, Froben, 1536. Basel, Froben, 1536. 252, (12); 125, (1) ff. With a woodcut caduceus device on title-page and several woodcut initials. Set in roman types. With: (2) [Thorer, Alban]. [De re medica]. (Basel, Andreas Cratander, 1528). With the first leaf of the main text in a 4-piece woodcut border (3 initalled I.F.), Cratander's woodcut device on the last otherwise blank leaf, showing Occasio, the goddess of chance, and dozens of charming woodcut initials. Set in roman types. 2 works in 1 volume. Small folio (300 x 220 mm). 20th-century half parchment.

EUR 25,000.00

(1): First edition of an ancient compendium of pharmacological preparations by the Gallo-Roman physician Marcellus Empiricus, originally composed ca. 410 AD. "An extraordinary mixture of traditional knowledge, popular (Celtic) medicine, and rank superstition. Interesting also for the historian of botany, because of the great number of plants mentioned" (Sarton). Marcellus was born in Bordeaux and magister officiorum under Theodosius I (379-395). - (2): First edition of a collection of four medical works, compiled by the Swiss physician Albanus Torinus (1489-1550). The main part of the work consists of "De re medica", also known as Medicina Pliniana, a very popular medical text during the Middle Ages. Compiled in the fourth century by an anonymous author, it is generally ascribed to Plinius Valerianus, also called pseudo-Plinius, since it mainly derived from Pliny the Elder's "Historia naturalis". Consisting of five books, it gives various medicines and treatments for different diseases, ailments, wounds, tumours etc. - The work also contains three other medical works from different authors. "The contents are all either spurious works or later compilations from genuine works of the authors to whom they are attributed" (Durling). It starts with an introduction to "the art of healing", ascribed to Soranus of Ephesus. The second text is by Oribasius, a Greek medical writer from the fourth century BC. According to Durling, the text is an extract from the first chapter of his Euporista ad Eunapium. The work closes with a botanical text, De virtutibus herbarum, ascribed to Lucius Apuleius Madaurensis, but written by an anonymous author from the fourth century, known as Pseudo-Apuleius. In one of the manuscripts Torinus used, the text was ascribed to the famous Italian physician Antonio Musa Brassavola (1500-55), an expert on the works of Galen and heavily influenced by his work. - The editor of the work, Torinus, was appointed professor of practical medicine at the University of Basel after receiving the degree of doctor in medicine in Montpellier. He translated many Greek texts into Latin, or Latin works into the vernacular, including Vesalius's De humani corporis fabrica. - With a bookseller's ticket on pastedown and many sentences marked in pencil in the fore-edge margins. The Marcellus Empiricus was originally published together with a work by Galen, here replaced by Thorer's De re medica, lacking the first 12 leaves (title-page and preliminaries). With a minor water stain at the head of the first 25 leaves and the title-page of (1) slightly browned. {BN#50191}
¶ (1): Durling 2951. USTC 604332. Wellcome I, 4043. Cf. Sarton, Introduction to the hist. of science I, p. 391. - (2): Durling 4351. Parkinson 2410. USTC 605590. Not in Wellcome.

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The first opera in the history of music

Rinuccini, Ottavio. La Dafne. Florence, Giorgio Marescotti, 1600. Florence, Giorgio Marescotti, 1600. 4to. (24) pp. With armorial woodcut to title page and printer's device to verso of final leaf. Modern half vellum with handwritten spine title and marbled covers using old material.

EUR 25,000.00

Exceptionally rare first publication of the libretto of the first opera in musical history, also the first opera libretto ever printed. The music by Jules Caccini and Jacopoto Peri, composed for the first performance on the occasion of a carnival soirée at the Palazzo Corsi in Florence in 1598, is lost. Ottavio Rinuccini (1562-1621), who also wrote the textbook for "Euridice", was not an occasional librettist, but a court poet among who also composed sonnets and verse drama (cf. Honolka, Geschichte des Librettos, p. 22). The present libretto was probably published for a later performance at the Corsis' in August 1600 (for the history of genesis and performance history cf. the extensive account in Sonneck I, p. 339-345). Rinuccini's "Dafne" was again performed, with new music by Marco da Gagliano (1582-1643), in 1608: this score is preserved to this day, and the opera has been performed repeatedly on European stages throughout the 20th century. - Marescotti's fine woodcut device on the final page shows a naval emblem with the motto "Et vult et potest". Very occasional slight browning. On leaf C2v the setting error "DEL" has been corrected by "AL" pasted over the erroneous word. A fine copy. {BN#46874}
¶ Edit 16, CNCE 29328. BM-STC Italian 556. Sartori 7015. Sonneck 339. Wotquenne 47. Wolffheim II, 1083. Fuld 61.

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One of the earliest accurately illustrated herbals, with about 320 beautiful woodcuts

Dorsten, Theodor. Botanicon, continens herbarum, aliorumque simplicium, quorum usus in... medicinis est, descriptiones, & iconas ad vivum effigiatas: ... Frankfurt am Main, Christian Egenolff, (March 1540). Frankfurt am Main, Christian Egenolff, (March 1540). Folio. [10], 306 ff. With about 320 mostly botanical woodcuts in the text (3 botanical illustrations repeated on the title-page and a few of the non-botanical illustrations including repeats in the text), about 70 woodcut decorated initials plus a few repeats (4 series, the largest pictorial and the others white on black, often with multiple blocks for the same letter), many cut by Sebald Beham. Set in roman types with Greek and Schwabacher for the Greek and German names. 16th-century sheepskin parchment (extensively reworked), sewn on 5 supports.

EUR 25,000.00

First edition of Theodor Dorsten's Latin adaptation of Eucharius Rösslin's extensive and beautifully illustrated German herbal, Kreutterbuch, first published (also by Egenolff) in 1535. It includes about 284 botanical illustrations originally cut for the Rösslin edition, many based on the pioneering naturalistic illustrations cut by Hans Weiditz for Otto Brunfels's Herbarium vivae eicones (1530-1536). Most show complete plants including roots, some show fruits or other parts of plants, and about 36 mostly smaller woodcuts (including a few repeats) show containers for the medicines or other relevant objects. Egenolff clearly saw the importance of the new and more accurate style of illustration, and engaged the best woodblock cutters to produce his blocks. While Brunfels's Herbarium had no text beyond the names of the plants, Egenolff saw the importance of combining the images with detailed botanical medical texts, first in German by Rösslin and here in Latin by Theodor Dorsten (1492-1552), a physician and professor in Marburg, Germany. The book therefore played a considerable role in bringing botanical medical knowledge to a wider public, both in Germany and abroad. Dorsten's adaptation was also further developed in German for Adam Lonitzer's Kreutterbuch in 1557. The present first edition of Dorsten is a nice piece of book production, the roman type (following the "Venetian" style of Nicolaus Jenson, but in the variant form prevalent north of the Alps) perfectly complements the woodcuts, and the presswork is excellent. The present edition appeared in two simultaneous issues, the present issue repeating three of the botanical illustrations on the title-page and the other instead showing Egenolff's woodcut burning heart device (USTC 616902 & VD16 D2443): most catalogues do not distinguish the two. - Signed above the colophon by "Remigius Ruffius" (Rémy Roussel), a French humanist active 1517-40. He is said to have come from Loudun and been active in Paris; we suppose he is the canon of that name recorded at Tours, near Loudun, in 1539. With the title-page somewhat worn and with a small hole restored, a few small worm holes in the first few leaves (1 in the head margin continuing through the first third of the book), but still in very good condition. The binding has been extensively restored but is now structurally sound. First edition of one of the earliest herbals to provide scientifically accurate botanical images. {BN#50193}
¶ VD 16, D 2442. Adams D 589. BM-STC German 253. Anderson, Herbals, p. 156. Durling 1203. Nissen, BBI 522. Pritzel 2378. Plesch, p. 206. USTC 616903. Wellcome I, 1861. Not in Hunt.

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Number theory

(Lefèvre d'Étaples, Jacques). In hoc libro contenta epitome compendiosaq[ue] introductio in... libris arithmeticos divi Severini Boetii [...]. (Paris, Henricus Stephanus, 15 March 1510). (Paris, Henricus Stephanus, 15 March 1510). Small folio (205 x 285 mm). XLVIII pp. With wide woodcut title border and full-page woodcut (scribe) on verso of final leaf. (Bound with) II: (The same). In hoc opere contenta arithmetica decem libris demonstrata. Musica libris demonstrata quatuor. Epitome in libros arithmeticos divi Severini Boetii. Rithmimachie ludus qui et pugna numerorum appellantur. Paris, Henricus Stephanus, (7 Sept. 1514). (72) ff. With wide woodcut title border. Contemporary blindstamped brown calf.

EUR 25,000.00

Fine sammelband of two works edited by the leading French humanist. Lefèvre (1455-1536), a native of Étaples near Amiens and also known as Faber Stapulensis, had studied in Italy before teaching philosophy and theology in Paris, also publishing on matematical subjects. - I: An early edition of this work, mainly concerned with arithmetic and based on Lefèvre's studies of the works of Boethius. Another edition, radically abridged and without the commentary, is included as the third part of the following collection. - II: Second edition of this combination of works. "The greater part of this volume is devoted to the ten books on arithmetic by Jordanus Nemorarius, [the greatest mathematician of his time save Leonardo Fibonacci of Pisa], with the commentary of Jacobus Faber Stapulensis. The work of Jordanus is similar to that of Boethius, and is concerned only with theory of numbers. In particular, the Greek theory of ratios, as elaborated in the Middle Ages, is extensively treated. The second part consists of the work of Jacobus Faber Stapulensis on music, in four books. The third part is the Epitome of the Arithmetic of Boethius [...] The fourth part, consisting of four and a half pages, is a description of the arithmetical game of Rithmimachia, possibly by Shirewode (John Sirwood, Bishop of Durham, who died in 1494), but usually ascribed to Faber Stapulensis" (Smith, 62f.). "Books of this character, evidently intended as the bases of lectures to university students, show in what a hopeless state the Boethian arithmetic found itself at the end of the Middle Ages" (ibid., 82). - Both works feature a very wide title woodcut. Binding rubbed; extremeties bumped. Slight staining throughout. Extremely rare: neither work is recorded in the trade or at auctions of the last decades. {BN#47552}
¶ I: Adams F 19. Cf. RISM B VI, 1, p. 492 (1511 ed.). - II: Adams J 324. BM-STC French 246. RISM B VI, 1, p. 492. Smith, Rara Arithmetica, 65. Cf. Smith, History of Mathematics I, p. 307.

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Gothic binding

Martinus Polonus. Sermones de tempore et de sanctis cum promptuario... exemplorum. Strasbourg, [Georg Husner], 1484. Strasbourg, [Georg Husner], 1484. Folio (224 x 318 mm). 255 unnumbered ff. (last blank). Gothic type, 2 cols., 46 lines. Rubricated throughout. With title border painted in red and orange, large initial "S" in several colours with pretty flower and tenril designs, red colophone border and numerous red and blue initials. Contemp. blindstamped pigskin over wooden boards with 2 metal clasps (wants fittings). Ms. spine label.

EUR 24,000.00

Probably the editio princeps of this collection of homiletic samples by Martin von Troppau (d. after 22 June 1278), rubricated and with pretty initials throughout. The alleged earlier edition cited by Hain, supposedly printed in Strasbourg in 1480 (H 10853), appears to be a ghost. - Martinus Polonus (also known as Martin von Troppau or Martinus Oppaviensis) is regarded as one of the most respected chroniclers of the Middle Ages. - Some 6 ff. remargined at bottom, 2 more leaves show loss to corners. Somewhat browned and brownstained; several contemporary marginalia. Worming to beginning and end (touching text in final third). Binding rubbed and bumped; defect to back cover and numerous wormholes. The pretty Gothic blindstamping shows hunting scenes, floral designs, and the Agnus Dei (not recorded in Schunke, Schwenke collection). Splendid hand-painted armorial bookplate of Wolfgang Crener von Sulzbach (fl. c. 1510), a scholar of canon law; several later ownership entries, stamps, bookplate. {BN#27972}
¶ Hain 10854. Goff M-329. GW M 21433. ISTC im00329000. Pellechet 7628. IGI 6245. Proctor 591. BMC I, 132. Walsh 221. CIBN M-184. BSB M-238. Wierzbowski III, 2013. Estreicher XXII, 201.

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A lost Arabic text on the use of drugs

Serapion, Johannes, the younger. Liber Serapionis aggregatus in medicinis simplicibus. [Add. Galenus]:... De virtute centaureae. Venice, Reynaldus de Novimagio (Rainald of Nimeguen), 8 June 1479. Venice, Reynaldus de Novimagio (Rainald of Nimeguen), 8 June 1479. Folio. 136 leaves. 17th calf (rebacked).

EUR 22,000.00

Latin translation of an Arabic treatise on simple drugs, traditionally attributed to "Pseudo-Serapion" (or Serapion the Younger), but recently identified as the "Kitab al-adwiya almufrada" (Book on Simple Drugs) by Ibn Wafid (d. 1067), a pharmacologist and physician from Toledo. Ibn Al-Wafid was a man of immense knowledge in all medical matters and therapeutics, with the skills to treat grave and insidious diseases and affliction. He preferred dietetic measures; if drugs were needed, he gave precedence to the simplest ones over compound drugs, and among these, he recommended the least complex, to be used only sparingly and in the lowest dosage possible. While the original Arabic version of the book is considered lost, a manuscript written in Hebrew-Arabic as well as partial translations in Latin and Catalan are preserved. This translation was prepared around 1290 by Simon Januensis (Simon of Genoa) and Abraham ben Shem-Tob of Tortosa. Very rare: a single copy in postwar auction records (Sotheby's, 1977: £1500). {BN#46767}
¶ HC 14692*. Goff S468. GW M41691. Proctor 4433. BMC V 255. BSB-Ink S-300. GAL S I, 887. P. Dilg, "The Liber aggregatus in medicinis simplicibus of Pseudo Serapion: An Influential Work of Medical Arabism", in: Islam and the Italian Renaissance, ed. by C. Burnett and A. Contadini, Warburg Institute Colloquia 5 (London, 1999), pp. 221-231. P. E. Pormann, "Yuhanna ibn Sarabiyun: Further Studies into the Transmission of his Works", in: Arabic Sciences and Philosophy 14 (2004), 233-262.

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Utopia: against the new statesmanship of all-powerful autocracy

More, Sir Thomas. De optimo reip. statu deque nova insula Utopia... libelluns vere aureus [...]. Basel, (Johann Froben, 1518). Basel, (Johann Froben, 1518). 4to. 162 pp., fol. 163-164, (2) pp. (a-s4 t6 u6, without the 'Epigrammata' announced on the title). With woodcut title border and a border in the text by Hans Holbein the younger, 2 woodcuts in the text (1 full-page) by Ambrosius Holbein, and 6 woodcut initials; printer's device on final page. Modern giltstamped full calf.

EUR 20,000.00

Rare third, revised edition (the first one printed in Basel) of the famous "ideal state" novel that gave its name to a whole literary genre. Edited by Erasmus of Rotterdam, whom More had sent the manuscript in 1516. The second part, about the ideal constitution for a state, was written first, while More was an envoy in Flanders in 1515, while part one was written only in 1516, after his return to England. The two woodcuts by Ambrosius Holbein, Hans's elder brother, include the famous bird's-eye view of the island of Utopia (a full-page illustration) and the charming scene showing the story's fictional traveller, Raphael Hythlodaeus, in discussion with More himself and his Antwerpian friend Peter Gilles (Aegidius), with More's young assistant John Clement (later to become a Royal Physician and More's son-in-law) approaching them. Like 'Gulliver's Travels', Utopia was written "as a tract for the times, to rub in the lesson of Erasmus; it inveighs against the new statesmanship of all-powerful autocracy and the new economics [...], just as it pleads for religious tolerance and universal education [...] More had all Swift's gift for utterly convincing romance: the beginning, when Rafael Hythlodaye recounts his voyages, has a vividness which draws the reader on into the political theory. [More] is a saint to the Catholic, and a predecessor of Marx to the Communist. His manifesto is and will be required reading for both, and for all shades of opinion between" (PMM). - Insignificant browning; endpapers somewhat fingerstained, but a beautiful, clean copy. Handwritten ownership of Gerard van Assendelft, dated 1603, at the top edge of the title-page. {BN#46924}
¶ VD 16, M 6299. Adams M 1756. Panzer VI, 205, 222. Isaac 14177. Heckethorn 100, 90. Bezzel (Erasmusdrucke) 912. Hieronymus 260. Kat. Basel 1960, 343, 341, 120f. Gibson 3. Van der Haeghen III, 41. Cf. PMM 47.

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Avicenna on fevers

[Avicenna (Ibn Sina)]. Arcolani, Giovanni. De febribus [...] in Avic[ennae] quarti canonis fen... primam. Dilucida atque optima expositio [...]. Venice, heirs of Lucantonio Giunta, 1560. Venice, heirs of Lucantonio Giunta, 1560. Folio (240 x 354 mm). (18), 191 ff. (without final blank). Printer's device on title page and, in a different version, on the last page. Contemporary cardboard binding with marbled spine and ms. label. Stored in custom-made cloth-and-paper slipcase.

EUR 18,000.00

First issue under this title, previously released as "Expositio in primam fen quarti canonis Avicennae" (1506). A commentary (with the text, in the version of Gerardus Cremonensis) of book four, part (fen) one of Avicenna's systematic "Canon of Medicine", written in Arabic but widely translated throughout the Middle Ages and the basis of medical training in the West as late as the mid-17th century. It continues in use to this day in parts of the Arab world. Through this encyclopedic work, the author exerted "perhaps a wider influence in the eastern and western hemispheres than any other Islamic thinker" (PMM). "The 'Qanun' [...] contains some of the most illuminating thoughts pertaining to distinction of mediastinitis from pleurisy; contagious nature of phthisis; distribution of diseases by water and soil; careful description of skin troubles; of sexual diseases and perversions; of nervous ailments" (Sarton, Introduction to the History of Science). The present part is dedicated to a discussion of feverish illnesses. - 18th century ownership "Manhem" on title page. Some brownstaining throughout, as common; some waterstains near end; occasional inkstains and marginal annotations. An untrimmed, comparatively wide-margined copy. {BN#46144}
¶ Edit 16, CNCE 2345. Adams A 1541. Durling 245. Cf. Wellcome I, 387 (only the Venice reprint). PMM 11.

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Arcussia, Charles d'. La fauconnerie. Paris, Jean Houzé, 1599. Paris, Jean Houzé, 1599. Small 8vo (100 x 169 mm). 272, (8) pp. With 11 engravings in the text. Red morocco.

EUR 18,000.00

Second edition of this classic work on hawking. - Leaf F8 in facsimile. Some staining; otherwise in good condition. {BN#51162}
¶ Thiébaud 28. Harting, 153. Schwerdt I, 41. Souhart 16.

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A military manual, published within two decades of the invention of letterpress printing

Vegetius, Flavius Renatus. Epithomia rei militaris, libri numero quatuor. [Cologne], N[ikolaus] G[ötz], [ca. 1475]. [Cologne], N[ikolaus] G[ötz], [ca. 1475]. Folio (217 x 297 mm). 36 (instead of 40) ff. [a-d10], wanting the first and final blanks (as common) and leaves [a]5-6, missing text supplied in near-contemporary manuscript (but omitting initials). 38 lines, 2 columns, 3- and 4-line Lombardic initials supplied in red, red initial strokes and paraphs. 19th century unsophisticated boards.

EUR 18,000.00

One of the earliest editions of Vegetius's famous military manual. The book gives an account of the Roman military institutions, organization and science, and includes a discussion of naval warfare. Writing under Emperor Theodosius the Great around 400 AD, Vegetius aimed to counter what he perceived as a progressive decay of the Roman military strength. "The printing of this edition is not clean and somewhat rough in general. Exceedingly rare" (cf. Schweiger). Ebert and Schweiger both date this to "between 1474 and 1478". - Annotated throughout in a contemporary hand. The two missing leaves of text have been supplied in different handwriting, no later than the early sixteenth century (watermark of inserted leaves: couronne à diadème, 138 mm high, not identified but similar to Briquet 4900ff., 4950ff., Piccard I.VI, 27-29: various locations, but mainly 1490s to 1520s). Blanks lacking (as from the Bodleian copy); the BSB copy wants the final two leaves (including [d]9, the last leaf of text). Only 19 copies listed in public collections; no sale records for this edition. Provenance: 1) William O'Brien (1832-99), Irish bibliophile and judge who presided over the 1882 "Phoenix Park Murders" (his handwritten pencil acquisition date "6 March 1868" on pastedown); 2) bequeathed as part of his enormous collection, which included 100 incunabula, to Milltown Park Jesuit Library (Dublin) in 1899 (their bookplates, with bequest plate). {BN#48463}
¶ Hain 15911. Goff V-106. GW M49487. Proctor 1126. BSB-Ink V-61. Bod-inc V-050. Grosjean & O'Connell 117. Schweiger II.2, 1121. Ebert 23435.

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A famous tract against Islam

[Alphonsus de Spina. Fortalicium fidei contra iudeos saracenos aliosque christiane fidei... inimicos]. [Lyon], Guillaume Balsarin, 22. V. 1487. [Lyon], Guillaume Balsarin, 22. V. 1487. Small folio (209 x 291 mm). 248 unnumbered leaves (without the first and last blank, as usual). Gothic type, 2 cols., 51 lines. With a woodcut in the text on fol. a2r and printer's device at the end. A single ink initial on p. a2 supplied by the owner. 18th century full calf with panelled boards and giltstamped spine label. Marbled endpapers. All edges red.

EUR 18,000.00

Rare edition; a single copy in Great Britain. The "Fortalitatium fidei", the principal work (written c. 1458) of the baptized Spanish Jew de Spina, is considered the "methodical and ideological foundation of the Inquisition. The book, divided into five chapters, targets chiefly Jews and Muslims" (cf. LMA I, 408f.). Of the five books, "the first [is] directed against those who deny the Divinity of Christ, the second against heretics, the third against the Jews, and the fourth against Islam and the Muslims, while the fifth book treats of the battle to be waged against the Gates of Hell. In this last book the author dwells at length upon the demons and their hatred of men; the powers they have over men and the diminution of these powers, owing to the victory of Christ on the Cross, the final condition of the demons, etc." (Catholic Encyclopaedia). "Ouvrage fort curieux de ce théologien espagnol [...] il était dit-on d'origine juive, c'est pour cela que son 'Fortalicium' pèut ètre classé dans une bibliothèque kabbalistique" (Caillet). Part 3, on the iniquities of the Jews, is a veritable encyclopaedia of mediaeval antisemitic libel, containing numbered lists of Jewish "cruelties" and refutations of the Jews' supposed anti-Christian arguments. The section on Islam lists the numerous Saracen wars, while the fifth book is devoted to the battle to be waged against the Gates of Hell and its resident demons, whose population the author calculates at over 133 million; this is one of the earliest printed discussions of witchcraft and a precursor to the "Malleus maleficarum", the first edition of which appeared in the same year as this present edition. - Occasional contemporary ink marginalia (some touched by the binder's knife); some slight worming, confined to blank margins. Some even browning and a weak waterstain, but a very good, wide-margined copy with an 18th century noble collection stamp (crowned Gothic letter G; not in Lugt) on the first leaf. {BN#46737}
¶ HC 874*. Goff A-542. GW 1577. Proctor 8575. BMC VIII, 277. Polain 159. Pellechet 564. Coumont (Witchcraft) S84.4. Caillet 10305.

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First edition of Ruel's translation of a foundational work on pharmacology

Dioscorides, Pedanius. De medicinali materia libri quinque. De virulentis animalibus,... et venenis canerabioso, et eorum noti, ac remedijs libri quattuor. (Paris, Henri Estienne, 1516). (Paris, Henri Estienne, 1516). Folio. (12), 157, (2), (1 blank) ff. With the title within a decorative metal-cut (?) panel. Set in roman types. Contemporary limp sheepskin parchment; rebacked in calf, with new endpapers, but preserving the original paste-downs.

EUR 18,000.00

First edition of Jean Ruel's translation into Latin of Dioscorides's standard work on pharmacology, "De materia medica" (books 1-5), the most important botanical book up on to the 16th century, followed by four books on poison "De venenis" and "De venenatis animalibus" (books 6-9). - Dioscorides (ca. 40-90 AD), a Greek in the service of the Roman Empire, assembled all that was then known concerning the medicinal uses of plants, animals and minerals, adding information from his own experience accompanying the Roman army to Spain, the Middle East, North Africa and elsewhere, where he came to know many Persian, Indian and other exotic medicines. Though his work appeared in Latin from 1478 and in the original Greek from 1499, the present translation by Jean Ruel was first published here. "Often considered a herbal, [it] deals with all three natural kingdoms: plant, mineral and animal. It describes all the substances known to Dioscorides that were used as primary ingredients for medicines, and constitutes an encyclopedia on the topic. ... [It] contains just over one thousand chapters [each dealing with another medicine] and features 794 plants, 104 animals and 105 minerals. Most of the chapters contain the following information: the most common name of the drug and its possible synonyms; a description of the natural element producing the drug (for a vegetal drug, the whole plant); the part used as a drug, possibly with its preparation; the therapeutic properties of the drug; the diseases for which the drug was used, including the preparation and administration of the medicine; when appropriate, the falsifications and methods of authentication of the drug; and other uses of the drug, such as in cosmetics, veterinary medicine, of handicraft" (Glick). - "While Hippocratic and Galenic medical theory and practice were readily adopted by the physicians of the Islamic era-a system that has persisted down to our time in traditional and folk medicine throughout the Near and Middle East, it was the Ketâb al-haoaes (Book of the herbs), a translation of Dioscorides' famed treatise on materia medica by Estefan b. Basîl and his master the celebrated physician-translator Honayn b. Eshaq (b. 192/808 at Hira), that constituted the original source of knowledge and inspiration for medical and pharmacological writers … in the lands of Islam in the Middle Ages and afterwards. Dioscorides described approximately 600 plants, mainly of the Mediterranean area, providing for every item equivalent names in some other languages, its provenience, a short morphological description, and then a statement of its medicinal properties and uses. Dioscorides was held in great esteem by all the physicians and scholars in the Islamic period" (Encyclopaedia Iranica). - With embossed initials on leaf d5. Title-page slightly thumbed, a waterstain at the foot of the last few leaves, but otherwise internally in very good condition. Binding soiled. {BN#50188}
¶ Durling 1139. USTC 144550. Wellcome I, 1782. Cf. T. Glick, Medieval science, technology and medicine: an encyclopedia, p. 152.

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Incunabular Ship of Fools

[Brant, Sebastian. Stultifera navis. Tr: Jacobus Locher Philomusus. Add: Thomas... Beccadelli; Jacobus Locher Philomosus: Carmina varia]. Basel, Johann Bergmann, de Olpe, 1. III. 1498. Basel, Johann Bergmann, de Olpe, 1. III. 1498. 4to. 146 (instead of 164) ff., wanting fols. 1, 9, 15, 51, 56-58, 81-82, 96-97, the four unnumbered leaves after 144, 157-159, and the final blank. With 108 (instead of 117) woodcuts in the text and printer's device at the end. Early 19th century half calf over papered boards with giltstamped spine label. Edges sprinkled.

EUR 18,000.00

Early, if incomplete Latin edition of the famous "Narrenschiff", originally published in German verse in 1494 - also by Bergmann - and translated by the author's student Jacob Locher. One of literature's most famous satires and a milestone in the history of book illustration: many of the woodcuts depicting human foibles (here printed from the original blocks) are now attributed to the young Albrecht Dürer. Before Goethe's "Werther" arrived on the scene, this work was the most successful book ever published in Germany, immensely popular and read until it fell to pieces, and complete copies of the incunabular Basel editions are nearly unobtainable. - In his "Ship of Fools", Brant describes the voyage of a ship bearing one hundred fools, to the fools' paradise of Narragonia, thereby satirizing the follies of his time including representatives of every human and social type. "[T]he first original work by a German which passed into world literature [... it] helped to blaze the trail that leads from medieval allegory to modern satire, drama and novel of character" (PMM). Erwin Panofsky called the book "a remarkably complete mirror of human life", based upon the "universality of Brant's self-righteous surliness [...] and the picturesqueness of his metaphors" (Panofsky, p. 30). Incidentally, the book also contains the earliest literary reference to the discovery of America: "Hesperie occidue rex Ferdinandus: in alto Aequore nunc gentes repperit innumeras" ("Ferdinand, King of the West, recently discovered innumerable peoples across the high seas", fol. 76v). Tellingly, the humanist-printer Bergmann had published the famous "Columbus letter" in 1493. - Some browning and brownstaining; occasional underlinings by a near-contemporary hand (more frequent in the beginning and within the chapter on women). Folio b2 is loosened. Rebound in the 18th century (edges trimmed fairly closely). Small hole in the spine, otherwise well-preserved copy from the collection of the Swedish statesman and diplomat Lars von Engeström (1751-1826) with his engraved armorial bookplate (motto "speravit infestis", "hopeful in adversity") to pastedown. {BN#49042}
¶ Hain 3751*. Goff B-1091; GW 5062. Bod-inc B-513. Sheppard 2560. Proctor 7778. BSB-Ink B-821. Hieronymus, Buchillus. 195. Cf. PMM 37. Harrise, BAV, Additions, no. 21.

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The whole Luther in contemporary pigskin

Luther, Martin. Der erste (-achte) Theil aller Bücher und Schrifften.... Zum andern mal gedruckt. Jena, Donat Richtzenhayn, Thomas Rebart, Rebarts Erben, Christian Rödingers Erben, 1557-1580. Jena, Donat Richtzenhayn, Thomas Rebart, Rebarts Erben, Christian Rödingers Erben, 1557-1580. Folio. 8 vols. With 8 woodcut title vignettes and 8 woodcuts in the text. Contemp. blindstamped pigskin bindings over wooden boards, some monogrammed and dated, some with preserved clasps.

EUR 15,000.00

Second Jena edition of the collected works (in various impressions for various publishers), edited by Amsdorf, Aurifaber, Rörer, Soltz and others. Each volume begins with a brief introduction and an index (a complete index was separately published by Timotheus Kirchner in 1564). Includes: vol. 1 (Richtzenhayn/Rebart 1564), vol. 2 (ibid. 1563); vol. 3 (Richtzenhayn 1573), vol. 4 (ibid. 1560), vol. 5 (Rödinger's heirs 1557), vol. 6 (Richtzenhayn/Rebart 1568), vol. 7 (Rödinger's heirs 1558), vol. 8 (Rebart's heirs 1580). For the woodcuts monogrammed "PG" in vols. I-VII cf. Nagler (Monogrammisten) IV, 2967, 14. Vol. VIII shows the three Saxon Princes with their coats of arms and a 12-line verse encomium, "Des Luthers Bücher gros und klein". The pretty blindstamped bindings show roll-tools and platestamps, various dates and monogrammes. This set was assembled by the Saxon theologian Dr. Carl Friedrich Bonitz (1775-1835), preacher of the afternoon mass at the Leipzig University Church in 1800, then active in Langensalza from 1802 onwards (and superintendent in 1809). His autograph ownership is on the flyleaf of each volume (dated 1807 in the first). Among Bonitz's works are studies in the Pauline epistles and a "Geschichte der Lutherischen Religions- und Kirchenverbesserung" (1805). - Some browning throughout; occasional slight waterstaining; bindings rubbed. Altogether a well-preserved made-up set from the library of a Saxon protestant theologian of the early 19th century. {BN#30561}
¶ VD 16, ZV 24 1682, L 3355, L 3381, L 3349, L 3330, L 3367 or ZV 21399, L 3336 and L 3389. Aland 572ff. Goedeke II, 151. Cf. BM-STC German 534 (another made-up set).

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Polemical treatise against the Ottomans, printed in 1481

[Turci]. Tractatus quidam de Turcis. Nuremberg, Conrad Zeninger, [after 3 May] 1481. Nuremberg, Conrad Zeninger, [after 3 May] 1481. 4to. 22 ff. (a7, b8, c7: wants first and last blanks). 32 lines, Gothic type. Rubricated throughout, 3 four-line lombardic initials, red penwork decoration at beginning of text. Later cream-coloured calf in contemporary style, with blind rules and stamped cover title "Tractatus De Turcis".

EUR 15,000.00

Third edition of this polemical treatise against the Ottomans. Mainly contains prophecies referring to the Turks (by Merlin, Cyrillus, Joachim of Fiore, St. Hildegarde, Catherine of Siena, Methodius, etc.). Also one of the earliest texts to mention Hungary, and one of the very few works printed by Zeninger: "Conrad Zeninger (from Mainz) produced a mere 10-odd books between 1480 and 1482" (cf. Halle 70). The prophecy referring to the King of Hungary (fol. a[5]r) is reprinted by Fraknói Vilmos, "Schlauch Lörincz szatmári püspöknek Török János által gyüjtött könyvtára", in: Magyar Könyvszemle 2 (1877), p. 77-90, at: 77f. (cf. Apponyi). The date is based on the mention of the death of Mehmet II on fol. A[4]v. - Some browning, with slight waterstain throughout in lower margin; first and final leaf washed. Slight paper flaw in fol. 1 (not touching text); final leaf restored. Faint traces of a later ms. page count are visible near the lower edge. Occasional 16th-century marginalia. A fine copy of this rare work, rubricated throughout. {BN#30245}
¶ HC 15681. Goff T-503. GW M48133. BMC II, 460. BSB-Ink T-437. Oates 1077. Proctor 2229. Walsh I, 794. Pellechet 11154. Halle 70 (Newe Zeitungen), 11. Apponyi 10. Hohenemser 2169. Geldner I, 173.

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An instrument invented by Peurbach

Peurbach, Georg. Quadratum geometricum praeclarissimi mathematici. Nuremberg, Johann Stuchs, 1516. Nuremberg, Johann Stuchs, 1516. Folio. 10 unnumbered ff. Title printed in red and black with full-page woodcut of the instrument in question (repeated on f. 2v) and numerous woodcut diagrams. Modern half morocco over red boards.

EUR 15,000.00

First edition of one of the rarest works by the Austrian astronomer and instrument maker. The "Quadratum geometricum", a new geodetic measuring instrument, was invented by Peurbach himself, and its use is here described for the first time. - From the library of Werner Habel, with his ownership stamp, signature and acquisition date (1977) to front pastedown. Previously in the collections of Count Wladyslaw Hrabia Bielinski and Zygmunt Czarnecki, with their stamps to title. Rare, only a single copy recorded at auction within the last 60 years. {BN#48834}
¶ VD 16, P 2054. Adams P 2270. BNHCat P 943.

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The first important translation (DSB)

[Euclid]. - Proclus Diadochus. In primum Euclidis elementorum librum commentariorum ad universam... mathematicam disciplinam principium eruditionis tradentium libri IV. Padua, Grazioso Percacino, 1560. Padua, Grazioso Percacino, 1560. Folio (215 x 300 mm). (16), 272, (24) pp. With woodcut device on t. p. (Minerva and Mercury holding the wing tips of a rising phoenix), woodcut portrait on reverse, and printer's device on final leaf, as well as numerous mathematical diagrams in the text. Contemp. Italian limp vellum with ms. spine title.

EUR 15,000.00

First Latin edition of one of the major works by Proclus Lycaeus (412-485), founder and head of the neo-Platonic school of Athens: a commentary on the first book of Euclid's "Elements of Geometry", the "oldest mathematical textbook in the world still in common use today" (PMM). Includes the text of the theorems, set within ornamental woodcut framings, and the geometrical diagrams. The editor and translator Francesco Barozzi (1537-1604) taught at the University of Padua. He was later charged with sorcery (in particular, he was said to have caused a torrential rainstorm over his native Crete) and condemned by the Inquisition in 1587. "Barocius' edition of Proclus' commentary on the first book of Euclid's 'Elements' was the first important translation of this work, for it was based on better manuscripts than previous efforts had been. The translation, published in 1560, was completed by Barocius at the age of twenty-two" (DSB). His portrait on the reverse of the title page is cut within a magnificent border. - Old ms. ownership on flyleaf obliterated (probably in the early 19th century); old ownership stamp over title woodcut erased, replaced by a different coat of arms in ink, very likely that of the Italian comital family Antico (insignificant bleeding to reverse). Occasional slight waterstaining, still an exceptionally appealing, clean copy. {BN#34116}
¶ Edit 16, CNCE 33726. Adams P 2138. BM-STC Italian 540. Mortimer 403. Honeyman 2543. DSB I, 468. Brunet IV, 895. Riccardi I/1, 82, 1 ("Bella e rara edizione"). Cf. PMM 25.

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An exhortation to fight the Turks, published in 1497

Locher, Johann Georg. Libro philomusi, Panegyrici ad Rege[m] Tragedia[m] de Thurcis... et Suldano Dyalog[us] de heresiarchis. Strasbourg, Johann (Reinhard) Grüninger, [not before 15 May] 1497. Strasbourg, Johann (Reinhard) Grüninger, [not before 15 May] 1497. 4to. 62 ff. 30-33 lines and heading line (Roman type 17:145G, 22:89G); several woodcut Greek interspersions (K6v & I3r). With full-page woodcut on reverse of title page, additional full-page woodcut on f. Jiv, and 17 half-page woodcuts in the text (with some repeats). Mid-18th-century boards using an 18th-century antiphonary.

EUR 15,000.00

First edition of the author's first important work, an exhortation to fight the Turks, couched as a Latin tragedy. Jakob Locher (1471-1528) had been created poet laureate but months before. The volume is concluded by a "Dyalogus" against all forms of heresy (and including encomia and dedicatory addresses to the Emperor and the nobles of court and clergy). - Contains fine woodcuts, some of which were used previously in the Strasbourg editions of Terence and the Ship of Fools; at least six blocks were cut originally for this book. "The opening woodcut depicts the author and newly crowned poet laureate" (cf. von Arnim). This is the earlier impression without the armorial woodcut on fol. B6r (as in Schramm); the final line of fol. J3r still reads "tekos" (for "telos"). Typographical errors "Jacboi" on fol. L2r; "Daum" (for "Datum") in final line of fol. L3r; colophone reads "anno christo". A pinhead-sized wormhole throughout the blank margin (not touching text). Top edge trimmed rather closely in places; a few underlinings by a contemporary hand. Altogether a fine, very clean copy. Extremely rare; last seen in the trade more than a decade ago (Shipperdson-Field-Nakles copy, Christie's New York, 17 April 2000, lot 22: $15,275). {BN#30236}
¶ HC 10153*. Goff L-264. GW M18631. BMC I, 112. BSB-Ink L-206. Schreiber 4513. Grüninger 32. Schramm XX, 23. Slg. Schäfer 212. Goedeke I, 427, 9.

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