Lectura super prima parte Infortiati cum apostilis.

[Venice, Arrivabene, 6 Mar. 1490; 3 Jan. 1492].

Two parts in one volume, folio, ff. [139 (without the initial blank)]; [20]; printed in Gothic types in two columns, spaces and guide-letters for initials, running titles; first and last leaves foxed, stained and with chips along the edges, a little light foxing in the second part, a few quires with pinholes in the inner margin, the initial quire with a small wormhole in the lower margin, all far from text, still a very good, mostly clean, wide-margined copy in modern quarter vellum, boards covered with marbled paper; stamps of the Royal Society acknowledging the book as a gift from Henry Howard, Duke of Norfolk (see below); sold to Quaritch in 1873, with stock number on the first leaf; afterwards owned by John T. Bancroft of Sandy Spring, Maryland, with a typed and signed note to him from Frederick Goff, dated 1958, asking for details of the imprints to be sent to him for the compilation of the Third Census of incunables in American libraries; the new endpapers are embossed with the exlibris of a successive owner who commissioned the re-binding, the German Dr Detlef Maus.


US $5350€4532

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One of the few extant copies of an incunable edition of Alexander de Tartagnis’ lectures on this section of the Corpus Iustiniani; it was the third appearance in print of this text, and the first full-length edition, following a first appearance in 1485 and a second in 1489-90. Part I and II, gathered in this volume, provide a commentary on the first part of the Infortiatum (a section of the Pandectae); they were supplemented by parts III and IV, published between 1491 and 1499.

Tartagnus was among the most illustrious jurists of his time. Editions of his law lectures held in Bologna, though wide-spread in the fifteenth century, have become rare: this incunable is only recorded, according to ISTC, in one UK institution (Lincold Cathedral), and 6 Continental libraries. Our copy is the only one formerly in the US, and censed by Goff.

Provenance. This book was part of the library of Henry Howard, Earl of Arundel, Duke of Norfolk. It is likely to have been one of the books which Henry’s predecessor, Thomas, acquired on purchasing the library of the German Renaissance lawyer and humanist Willibald Pirckheimer, a close friend of Albrecht Dürer and Erasmus. ‘After the fire of London, Howard granted the Royal Society the use of rooms at Arundel House in the Strand, and, on 2 Jan. 1667, at Evelyn’s suggestion presented it with the greater part of his splendid library, which he had much neglected’ (ODNB). In preparing for his census of incunables held in American libraries, F. Goff contacted the then owner of this book, John T. Bancroft of Sandy Spring, Maryland, to obtain informatin pertinent to its inclusion in the list. His note has been applied on the front paste-down.

BSB-Ink T-51; Goff T-28 (this copy); GW 45141; Hain-Copinger 15302; ISTC it00028000; Sajó-Soltész 3183.

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