Month: November 2015

November 22, 2009




The Book:

BRUNUS ARETINUS, Leonardus (1369-1444). Historiae florentini populi, in Italian. Translated from the Latin by Donatus Acciaiuolus. Venice: Jacobus Rubeus, 12 February 1476. FIRST EDITION. Folio. (320 x 230 mm). Collation: a-k10 kk6 l-p10 q12 r-x10 (a1 blank, a2r translator’s prologue, a2v author’s prologue, a3v text, x10r colophon, x10v blank). 218 leaves (inc. first blank). 41 lines. Type 1:110R; Colophon: FINE Delduodecimo & ultimo libro della historia del Popolo Fiorentino composta da Messer Lionardo aretino in latino:Et tradocta īlingua tosca da Donato Acciaioli a di.xxvii.dagosto:Mcccclxxiii. Impresso a Vinegia perlo diligente huomo Maestro Iacomo de Rossi di natione Gallo:Nellanno del Mcccclxxvi.a di xii.di Febraio:Regnante lo inclyto Principe Messer Piero Mozenico. Opening initial M finely illuminated by a contemporary Florentine artist in gold leaf on blue, pink and green ground with white penwork infill, extensive white-vine decoration on blue, pink and green ground flanking a central painted armorial shield (rubbed). 19th century vellum over boards, gilt turn-ins, front board detached, spine detached. COMPLETE, WIDE-MARGINED AND TALL COPY; dampstaining throughout and stains, two pages with old repairs, colophon leaf mounted. HC1562; BMC V, Proctor 4242; Goff B-1247. PROVENANCE: Lucien Bonaparte, Prince Français, 1st Prince of Canino and Musignano (21 May 1775 – 29 June 1840), born Luciano Buonaparte, the third surviving son of Carlo Buonaparte and his wife Letizia Ramolino. and the younger brother of Joseph and Napoleon Bonaparte; Evidently presented by Guilliame Libri, the notorious 19th century book thief who removed items from many Continental libraries; French, Asa Palmer (1860-1935) U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts, 1906-14.; Maggs Bros Cat. #330; 1914. [$28,000]

“Leonardo Bruni’s most notable work is History of the Florentine People, which has been called the first modern history book. Bruni was the first historian to write about the three period view of history: Antiquity, Middle Age, and Modern, a concept from which the term Middle Age was coined by a contemporary Flavio Biondo. The dates Bruni used to define the periods are not exactly what modern historians use today, but he laid the conceptual groundwork for a tripartite division of history. While it probably was not Bruni’s intention to secularize history, the three period view of history is unquestionably secular and for that Bruni has been called the first modern historian.[1] The foundation of Bruni’s conception can be found with Petrarch who had first written, a generation earlier, about a “Dark Age” covering the period from the time of the fall of Rome extending to the time of Petrarch. Bruni and his fellow humanists believed they had reached the end of the Dark Age and were entering a modern period and thus logically called the intervening period a Middle Age.” [Ref: Wikipedia] Included in the chronicle is the earliest printed account of the life of Dante. The printer, Jacobus Rubeus, was a friend of Nicolas Jenson, the famed typographer, and the type employed here model Jensonian typefaces.

posted in: Rare Books

November 5, 2009



121 woodcut scenes of tournaments, including two double-page (repeat)

The Book:

Rüxner, Georg. Thurnier Buch; von Anfang, Vrsachen, Vrsprung vnd Herkommen der Thurnier im Heyligen Römischen Reich Teutscher Nation, wie viel offentlicher Landthurnier von Keyser Heinrich dem Ersten dieses Namens an biss auff den jetztregierenden Keyser Maximilian den Andern … vnd in welchen Stetten die alle gehalten … Alles jetzunder von neuwem zusammen getragen, mit schönen neuwen Figuren, sonderlich auch der adelischen Wappen, auffs schönest zugericht … Published: Franckfurt am Mayn, Getruckt [bey G. Raben in Verlegung S. Feyrabends vnd S. Hüters] 1566. Description: FOLIO. 311 x 200 mm, 3 parts in one volume, [6], ccxliii, [3], [4], lxxxi ℓ. : illus., coats of arms ; A number of the woodcuts are attributed to Jost Amman and signed “I.A.”; other woodcuts signed “H.B.” have been assigned to Hans Bocksperger, but this is doubrful/Contemporary pigskin over wooden boards, roll-tooled in blind, 2 brass fore-edge catches without clasps, remnants of gilt to blindstamped title, slight wear to head of spine and corners, some light browning, a few minor red highlights, some occasional staining and browning. Overall, a very fine COMPLETE copy. Brunet IV:1471; Adams R-877. Provenance: Henning von Bulow Goldenbow von Rodenwalde: bookplate dated 1916  [$12,000]

A MAGNIFICENT AND VERY TALL copy of one of the most important tournament books and certainly the most widely read. This is the third edition, but more importantly, the FIRST ILLUSTRATED BY JOST AMMAN. The new woodcuts are added along with much additional material contained in two further parts, each with its own title page. “The second part describes tournaments and games held at Vienna from 2 May to 24 June in an unspecified year in the 1560s, and part three describes the ceremonial entrance into Binche of Charles V and his sons on 22 August 1549.” (Ref: Christie’s). This edition contains a roster of all the competitors at that very famous Renaissance Tournament.

posted in: Rare Books

November 5, 2009




[Illuminated Manuscript in Latin on Vellum] [Ludovico Attilo Incontri] PATENTI NOBILIARI E LAUREE; Diploma di Laurea. Pisa, 1626. 225 x 165 mm. 6 ff., i.e. 10 pages. Illuminated opening coat of arms, illuminated throughout in pure gold lettering, wax seal. Very fine 17th century Italian goatskin binding with elaborate gold tooling. Complete.

This manuscript is a highly important diploma of Ludovico Attilo Incontri. The Incontri Family had its origins in Volterra. Ludovico Attilio Incontri, who eventually settled in Florence after his education in Pisa, held many important roles in 17th century Italian political life. The Palazzo Incontri, which was acquired by the Incontri family in 1676, still stands next to the Duomo in Florence. Ludovico Attilo Incontri was also connected with Galileo’s circle and likely knew him from the rich intellectual milieu of Pisa. Surviving letters between the two show Lodovico Incontri sent Galileo “two flasks of sour cherry wine from La Pietraia”, inviting him to inform His Highness should he desire others. On May 9, 1638, Galileo declared he was willing to visit the Grand Duke who was staying at the villa. [See: Galileo Galilei, Eugenio Albèri, Celestino Bianchi, Vincenzio Viviani., Le opere di Galileo Galilei, Vol. X. Florence, 1853]

Partial Transcript:

“IN DEI NOMINE AMEN: IULIANUS MEDICES, Dei et Apostolicae sedis gratia Archiepiscopus Pisanus, Insularum Sardiniae et Corsicae Primas, et dicte sedis Apostolicae in eis Legatus natus, nec non Pisani Almi Gymnasii Apostolica Cesareaque authoritate Cancellarius; eoque in infrascripto actu absente, NOS BENEDICTUS Leolus Pisanus, I. U. D., Archidiaconus Primatialis Ecclesiae Pisarum Prothonotarius Apostolicus, Vicarius ac Locumtenens generalis ab eo ad infrascripta omnia et singula specialiter constitutus et deputatus; universis et singulis presentes nostras inspecturis salutem in Domino sempiternam. Cum, inter ceteras in toto orbe terrarum venerandas et famosas Academias et clarissimorum Doctorum Universitates, Pisana multis ornamentis et privilegiis honestata maxime fulgeat, in qua etiam ad Doctoratus et Magisterii publicam et eminentem dignitatem, Pontificia et Caesarea authoritate, sublimantur et extolluntur illi quos, longo exercitio, labore, studio, disciplina et ingenio, summis vigiliis, omni denique conatu et nixu, spretis et relictis voluptatum illecebris, se se doctrinae penitus dantes, sacras et pene divinas Canonicam Civilemque scientias adeptos, maximis laudibus ac verissimis testimoniis accurate reperit probatissimos, et quos certamen generalis et rigorosi examinis, coram Nobis et Venerando Iurisconsultorum Collegio, per concurrentem virtutum copiam meritorumque excellentiam ita promovet ut doctoreis infulis, privilegiis, prerogativis, honoribus et dignitatibus veniant decorandi; Cum itaque egregius ac eruditus Vir, moribus modestus, ingenio acatissimus, doctrina preditus et scientiarum cognitione praeclarus, Adm: RDominus Ludovicus Incontrius Patritius Volaterranus Fil per Illustrius Dominus Attilii, Equitis D. Stephanus, ac Prioris Austrie qui, sua florente etate, in caeleberrimo PISANO Gymnasio per quinquennium, assiduis exercitatus vigiliis, in Pontificio et Caesareo sollicitam et curiosam operam iugiter impendit et navavit, scholasticosque actus arguendo, conferendo, disputando et exercendo, de hinc fuerit legittime coram Nobis Vicario et Vicecancellario prefato presentatus per Mag.cos et Eximios Viros, in Utraque Censura Doctores, Excell.mos Dominum … ”

Auction Records for comparison:

1. PATENTI NOBILIARI E LAUREE – Laurea in Diritto Canonico e Civile a Sebastiano Cuzardo. MANOSCRITTO MINIATO SU PERGAMENA, Messina, 1627. 8°. 200 x 145 mm. 4 carte. ($9,395) Sale 2490 libri autografi e stampe 15 June 2006. See:

2. PATENTI NOBILIARI E LAUREE – Officium et Dignitatem Doctoratus et magisterij in Lib. Art. et Sac.Medicina licentia… D.Ioannes Franciscus Polentzi Silesius Cilcensis. Bologna, 1683. ($16,372) Sale 2475 libri e autografi 15 December 2005 Rome. See:

posted in: Rare Books