GOTHIC CHRONICLES AND MIRROR FOR PRINCES

Le rozier historial de France contenant deux roziers. Le p[re]mier rozier contient plusieurs belles rozes e boutons de instructions … pour roys, princes … et gens de guerre … Le seco[n]d rozier autreme[n]t croniques abregees contient plusieurs belles rozes … extraits … de la maison de Fra[n]ce et de Angleterre.

Paris, [Gilles Couteau for François Regnault], 26 February 1522 [i.e. 1523].

Folio, ff. 216; printed in bâtarde type in two columns, title in red and black with large woodcut, the scrolls printed in red, signed with the Lorraine cross, in all 293 text woodcuts from 92 blocks, some larger cuts with woodcut borders on one side, medallion heads of kings and popes, half-length figures, woodcut capitals of varying design, white on black; outer and lower margin of c1 cut shorter, two closed tears in the upper margin of the same leaf, some scattered pinholes, one small wormtrack in the text developing horizontally to a maximum of 20 mm length and 2 mm width then receding, over four quires, occasional very light staining, slight soiling on margins of title, but a very appealing copy in clear dark impression; mid nineteenth-century red morocco, 3 fleurs-de-lys tooled in gilt on boards, fleur-de-lys tooled in three compartments of spine, the fourth and uppermost lettered in gilt; minor wear, two corners slightly bumped; a few early annotations.

£25000

Approximately:
US $31192€29532

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Le rozier historial de France contenant deux roziers. Le p[re]mier rozier contient plusieurs belles rozes e boutons de instructions … pour roys, princes … et gens de guerre … Le seco[n]d rozier autreme[n]t croniques abregees contient plusieurs belles rozes … extraits … de la maison de Fra[n]ce et de Angleterre.

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First edition, the very handsome Fairfax-Murray copy, of the Rozier historial de France. The first part, the Rozier des guerres, is a speculum principis for rulers in peace and war, and was originally published on its own in Lyons circa 1489 (only two copies known). The second part is a chronicle of the histories of France, England, Germany, Spain, Scotland, Sicily, Flanders, and so on. The large four-part woodcut on the title, repeated on mm1 and signed with a Lorraine cross, was long attributed to Geoffroy Tory but is now believed to be by Jacquemin Woeiriot. The other woodcuts come from several sources: the large presentation vignette on a2 is from the Triomphe des neuf Preux (1487), the scribe vignette on II2 comes from Petrus de Crescentiis livre des ruraux prouffitz (1486), the Rout of the Venetians on ll1 is repeated from Claude de Seyssel la victoire du roy contre les Veniciens (1510). While the twenty-four portraits are most likely taken from the Chroniques de France (1493), the woodcuts depicting the funeral of Louis XI on mm4 and of Joan of Arc on t6 appear here for the first time.

‘According to Brunet (Manuel IV, 1440) there are three copies on vellum and two on paper which are without the imprint on title and have the date in colophon as 1522 (. . . xxii), the day of the month and the other details being apparently the same as in the present edition, which has the imprint on title as given above and one more “I” added to the date at the end, “xxiii”, these being virtually the only differences’ (Fairfax Murray).

Provenance: ‘Maillard’ (early ownership inscription at foot of final leaf); Charles Fairfax Murray (1849–1919), with paper label ‘488’ on front pastedown; Silvain S. Brunschwig, with book label (his sale, Rauch, 1955); C.N. Radoulesco, with book label.

Fairfax Murray, Early French Books I 488 (this copy); Renouard-Moreau III 452.

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