De civitate Dei.
Germany, ?Westphalia, c. 1300.
A handsome bifolium from a large folio copy of St. Augustine’s greatest work, a vindication of Christianity against pagan critics.
Iraq or Iran, c. 1350–1420 A.D.
The manuscript from which this leaf originates, a prayer-book made up of the five Qur’an surahs that begin with the phrase Al-hamdu li’llah (surahs I, VI, XVIII, XXXIV and XXXV), has been desribed as ‘one of the finest of its type to have been produced in the late 14th century or the early 15th...
Cosmographia, sive De situ orbis.
[Venice, printer of Pomponius Mela, 1477].
Second edition, very rare. This is the variant issue without date or place of printing, and is one of only five books known to have produced by the anonymous printer who has been named after the present edition. Mela’s description of the world, also known under the title Chorographia, was written...
GART DER GESUNDHEIT.
Mainz, Peter Schoeffer, 28 March 1485.
First edition. The Mainz Gart der Gesundheit marks the beginning of scientific naturalism in botanical book illustration, representing a conspicuous departure from the iconographic conventions of earlier incunable herbals. It is the first book published by Schoeffer in a vernacular language, and for...
CASSIAN, John, monk.
De institutis coenobiorum [together with:] Collationes Patrum.
Basel, [Johann Amerbach], after 24 September 1485.
HUGO DE SANCTO VICTORE. De sacramentis Christianae fidei. Strasbourg, [Printer of the 1483 Jordanus de Quedlinburg (Georg Husner)], 30 July 1485.
ODO, Bishop of Cambrai.
Expositio canonis misse a dnomino [sic] odone cameracensi episcopo edita.
(Colophon:) Paris, Guy Marchant, 16 August 1490.
Very rare first edition of Odo’s twelfth-century treatise on the canon of the Mass, printed ‘in domo regalis collegii nauarre in campo gaillardi’ by Guy Marchant. Seven further editions appeared before 1500, including four more by Marchant. This copy has the misprint ‘dnomino’ in the title,...
ALBERTANUS CAUSIDICUS BRIXIENSIS.
De arte loquendi et tacendi.
Ingolstadt, [Printer of Celtis ‘Epitoma’ (?Johann Kachelofen), c. 1492.]
Very rare Ingolstadt edition of this treatise on the art of speech, the most influential work of the thirteenth-century Brescian causidicus, Albertano.
ABSTEMIUS, Laurentius (i.e. Lorenzo ASTEMIO, or sometimes BEVILACQUA).
De quibusdam locis obscuris. [Colophon:] Venice, Bernardino...
[but c. 1494.]
Editio princeps, indeed the only attested edition, of this rare incunable dealing with topics of classical philology and orthography.
[MANTUANUS, Baptista]. De patientia aurei libri tres. [bound with:]
CAPREOLUS, Helias. De confirmatione...
Brescia, Bernardinus de Misintis, 30 May 1497.
First edition of Mantuanus’s work containing -on recto of m3- a lengthy reference to America, one of the very few 15th century instances: a ‘mention of discoveries of islands in the Atlantic, noting their size and the fact that they are inhabited. Because none of the ancient geographers knew of them,...
GREGORY I, Pope (c. 540-604), (Gregory the Great).
Liber cure pastoralis divi Gregorii pape: in sole aureo vici Sorbonici Parrhisiis...
Paris, Ulrich Gering and Berthold Rembolt, 18 July 1498.
The Regula Pastoralis is Gregory’s set of instructions on the office and duties of the bishop, whom he regarded as a shepherd of souls. It is the key to Gregory’s life as pope, for what he preached he also practised. ‘In all likelihood he intended his Regula to be for the secular...
[INDULGENCE]. MILÁ, Luis de, Cardinal.
Letter of Indulgence (in Catalan), beginning ‘A Honor …’ granted by Luis de Mila,...
Lérida, Heinrich Botel, c. 1498.
Printed at Lérida, the second city of Catalonia, about 100 miles inland from Barcelona: an indulgence granted by Luis de Mila, Bishop of Lérida, in favour of the living (as opposed to the dead; see below) to gather funds for the repair of the old Cathedral of Lérida.
INTITIAL from a manuscript Gradual or Antiphonal; initial 'U' painted in rose red with elaborate white tracery, the...
The stylized decoration and use of bright colours, including the deep blue grape motif, recalls the art of Ferrara at the end of the third quarter of the 15th century. Compare, for example, an initial in a Bible painted for the Este family by Taddeo Crivelli (active from 1451, died 1479) which is now...
COMMENTARY, in Latin; a complete paper leaf, double columns of 61 lines, the words commented on written in a large...
Much of the commentary is concerned with legal transactions and gives instructions about how to produce a valid legal document, such as putting the name of the reigning emperor at the start of the text. The commentary also discusses the different professions and occupations such as head of state, judge,...
Caii Julii Caesaris invictissimi i[m]peratoris co[m]mentaria seculor[um] iniuria antea difficilia et valde mendosa. Nunc...
(Colophon) Venice, Agostino Zani, 17 August 1511.
A handsome copy of the first illustrated edition of Caesar’s Commentaries published in Italy, adorned with charming half-page woodcuts at the opening of the De bello Gallico and De bello civili and with smaller vignette cuts at the beginning of each book. Describing Caesar’s campaigns in Gaul from...
LUCIAN, of Samosata.
Deorum dialogi... una cum interpretatione e regione latina nusquam antea impressi...
Strassbourg, Johannes Schott, 1515.
First edition edited and translated by the German humanist (and musician) Ottmar Nachtgall.
DINKELSBÜHL, Nicolaus de.
Tractatus hoc volumine contenti: I. De dilectione dei et proximi. II. De preceptis decalogi. III. De...
Strassburg, J. Schott, 1516.
First edition of the Tractatus octo, comprising Dinkelsbühl’s famous De preceptis decalogi, an influential tract against superstition and diabolic magic; this is one of two variant titles, that in which the word ‘mortalibus’ is not abbreviated.
Richardi Sbrulii equitis Foroiuliani Cesareiq[ue] poete ad magnificu[m] atq[ue] illustrem Maximilianu[m] Seuenbergensem:...
[Colophon:] Augsburg, Hans von Erfurt, 1519.
First, very rare, edition, of Sbruglio’s Latin poems addressed to Maximilianus Transylvanus, published in the year that Charles V became Holy Roman Emperor. A native of Cividale in northern Italy, Sbruglio (c. 1480 – after 1525) studied and taught at Wittenberg (where the rector compared him to Ovid),...
ALBERTI, Leon Battista.
Momus [or De principe].
Rome, Jacopo Mazochi, 1520.
First edition of this political and social satire by the great Renaissance architect, theorist, scholar and man of letters, Leon Battista Alberti. There were two editions published in Rome in 1520, one (the present) by Jacopo Mazochi, the other by Étienne Guillery. Both carry papal privileges,...
(a). GOULET, Robert.
Compendium recenter editum de multiplici Parisiensis Universitatis magnificentia, dignitate, et excellentia,...
Paris, Toussaint Denis, 1517.
First edition of the first account of the University of Paris, ‘probably the earliest monograph on any university’ – E. P. Goldschmidt.