March 24, 2010
Lauro, Giacomo. Antiquae urbis splendor, hoc est praecipua ejusdem templa, amphitheatra, theatra, circi … aliaque sumptuosiora aedificia … opera et industria Jacobi Lauri, … in aes incisa atque in lucem edita. Addita est brevis Pusedam … imaginum explicatio, in que regnum, consulum, imperatorumque res gestae et rei romanae origo, … ostenditur. Romae, 1612-1615. 3 Parts in 1 Vol. (A fourth part, devoted to modern Rome, was issued in 1628 with a reprint of the other parts). Oblong Folio, 30 x 23 cm., Contemporary gilt-ruled vellum, front board stiff with slight warping, partial separation of inner textblock form binding, 19th century spine label. 115 plates, not including title, dedications of the 3 parts, Portraits of Sigismund, King of Poland; Emmanuel, Duke of Savoy; and Ranuzio Farnese, Duke of Parma and Piacenza; [1 blank], ,   ff. Interleaved copy with 17th century French manuscript descriptive and explanatory notes, carefully hinged to page preceding each plate. Condition: Some slight browning and spotting, but overall a Very Good copy of the First Edition with the beautiful plates, still unnumbered (first state), in fine impressions.
One of the most influential and beautiful works on the monuments and antiquities of Ancient Rome, the ‘Antiquae urbis splendor’ (‘The splendour of the ancient city’) served as an important reference book and source of inspiration for many writers and artists, both Italian as well as those on the early Grand Tour. The interesting mid-17th century French interleaved notes present in the copy, could have been recorded ( for example only), by an resident Classicist artist in the circle of Nicolas Poussin for later use as a reference. Further research could make a more definitive attribution.
posted in: Rare Books
March 24, 2010
PRINTED 1489: ONE OF THE EARLIEST ENCYCLOPEDIC TEXTS
Alexander, of Hales; Giovanni Antonio Beretta; Francesco Girardenghi . Prima pars Alex. de ales. [Summa universae theologiae.] Papie. : Per Joa[n]nemantonium de birretis ac Fra[n]ciscum gyrardenghum., M.cccc.lxxxix. Die. xi. Iulij. Colophon, pt. 1: Per Joa[n]nemantonium de birretis ac Fra[n]ciscum gyrardenghum. Papie. M.cccc.lxxxix.Die. xi. Iulij , 1489),. 22 x 16 cm., small 4to., 223 lvs.,; mimor worming affecting last few leaves., COMPLETE PART I of the SUMMA. Islamic Vegetal tools and Medieval Zoomorphic tooled Blindstamped German Pigskin binding, with Italian-Islamic influence. Light bumping to top of spine, slight peeling to lower right hinge of spine, but overall a VERY GOOD UNRESTORED AND RARE CONTEMPORARY BINDING. Provenance: Private collection for over 50 years (not offered at auction); Price 950 DM c. mid 1950s.
This collected work by Alexander Hales (d. 1245), represents one of the first encyclopedic texts, in part concerned with divine and natural law. The work follows in the tradition of the famous Etymologies of Isidore of Seville (seventh century), and was not doubt written in response the rise of Universities which ignited the passion for such encyclopedic works. Examples of other such encylopedic ‘Summae,’ include various Commentaries of Peter Lombard, the Master of Sentences, as well as works by Ricardus Rufus, St. Thomas, Albertus, Pliny etc.
The Pigskin binding is a Very Rare and Important Example of Islamic-style vegetal patterns on a blind-tooled binding, which drew motifs from “existing traditions of Byzantine culture in the eastern Mediterranean and Sasanian Iran.” Such Islamic style blindstamping preceded the importation of other Gold-tooling techniques from the Islamic world.
One can see parallel stylistic examples in wood of the “beveled style—a symmetrical abstract floral motif” at this link
posted in: Rare Books