Nuremberg, Printer for the Sodalitas Celtica, 1502 (5 April)
First printing of the Amores, four books of vivid erotic poems, the major work of the imperial poet laureate Conrad Celtis. The title woodcut, depicting the author in his study, and four topographical woodcuts are believed to have been devised by Celtis himself, and executed by a single cutter, variously identified as Peter Visscher the elder, Peter Visscher the younger, Jacopo de’ Barbari, or Hans Süss von Kulmbach. Two other woodcuts, the “Allegory of Philosophy” and the dedication woodcut, are universally acknowledged as Dürer’s work.
First edition of the first printed treatise on artists’ perspective, a practical book of instruction with a text in Latin and French illustrated by an astonishing series of full-page woodcuts demonstrating the perspectival representation of landscapes and of architectural exteriors and interiors, both with and without human figures, in a way which seems to belong to two centuries later, if not to our own time. It is the first book printed at Toul (Meurthe-et-Moselle), one of twenty-two known copies, the first copy to be publicly offered for sale since 1935, and apparently one of only two copies remaining in private hands.
Bound with Vitruvius Pollio, Marcus. [De architectura libri decem] M. Vitruvius per Iocundum solito castigatior factus cum figuris et tabula ut iam legi et intelligi possit. Venice, Joannes Tacuinus, 22 May 1511 Bound with Dürer, Albrecht. Underweysung der messung, mit dem zirckel und richtscheyt, in Linien ebnen unnd gantzen corporen, durch Albrecht Dürer zu samen getzogen, und zu nutz allen kunstlieb habenden mit zu gehörigen figuren, in truck gebracht, im jar. M.D.XXV. Nuremberg, [Hieronymus Andreae, called Hieronymus Formschneider?], 1525
The didactic treatise On Architecture is the only text on architectural theory and practice to have survived from classical antiquity and the single most important work of architectural history in the Western world, having shaped humanist architecture and the image of the architect from the Renaissance to the present. The present, fourth edition, represents a turning point in Vitruvian studies. It delivers an ingeniously reconstructed and emended text integrated with diagrams and illustrations and complemented by a lexicon of Vitruvius’ technical terminology and by a table of the mathematical symbols that he used. Nearly all the Greek words are reinstated and the Greek text of the epigrams is published for the first time. The title proudly announces the editor’s achievement: “An exceptionally good text of M. Vitruvius prepared by Giocondo with figures and index so that it can now be read and understood”. Indeed, for the first time, the work was presented in a form which enabled Renaissance architects and engineers and their patrons to comprehend what Vitruvius really wrote.
Bound with Pélerin, Jean, called Viator. De artificiali p[er]spectiva. Toul, Pierre Jacobi, 9 July (i.e. 23 June) 1505 Bound with Dürer, Albrecht. Underweysung der messung, mit dem zirckel und richtscheyt, in Linien ebnen unnd gantzen corporen, durch Albrecht Dürer zu samen getzogen, und zu nutz allen kunstlieb habenden mit zu gehörigen figuren, in truck gebracht, im jar. M.D.XXV. Nuremberg, [Hieronymus Andreae, called Hieronymus Formschneider?], 1525
First printing of the earliest memoir of Charlemagne (742–814), written perhaps a decade after his death by a former courtier adopting the literary model of Suetonius’ Vita Augusti. The fine title-page illustration, depicting Charlemagne and Charles V together within a border charged with imperial insignia, and also the printer's device, and woodcut initials, were designed and cut by Anton Woensam von Worms (circa 1493/1500–1541).
Bound with San Giorgio, Benvenuto da, conte (1450–1527). De origine Guelphorum, et Gibellinorum. Basel, Andreas Cratander, [January 1519] Bound with Buonaccorsi, Filippo, called Callimaco Esperiente (1437–1496). Historia de rege Vladislao, seu clade Varnensi. Augsburg, Sigismund Grimm & Marcus Wirsung, [30 May 1519] Bound with Basse, Heinrich (fl. 1519) Panegiricos genealogiarum illustrium principum domiorum de Anholt. Leipzig, Wolfgang Stöckel, 1519
First printing of a revised and enlarged German translation of Livy's Ab urbe condita, featuring illustrations from woodblocks cut for editions published by Johann Schöffer at Mainz in 1505, and by Johann Grüninger at Strasbourg in 1507, newly married with a large and highly acclaimed set of blocks attributed to Conrad Faber von Creuznach.
Nuremberg, [Hieronymus Andreae, called Hieronymus Formschneider?], 1525
First edition (first state) of “Instruction in measurement with compass and ruler”, the first of the three theoretical treatises published by Dürer towards the end of his life, one of the earliest mathematical works published in the German vernacular, and among the most beautiful printed books of the German Renaissance.
Bound with Pélerin, Jean, called Viator. De artificiali p[er]spectiva. Toul, Pierre Jacobi, 9 July (i.e. 23 June) 1505 Bound with Vitruvius Pollio, Marcus. [De architectura libri decem] M. Vitruvius per Iocundum solito castigatior factus cum figuris et tabula ut iam legi et intelligi possit. Venice, Joannes Tacuinus, 22 May 1511
Second edition of Palatino’s enormously popular calligraphy book, noted for its examples of cursive chancery scripts, mercantile hands, and national hands, but including non-western scripts (Hebrew, Chaldean, Arabic, Greek, Egyptian, Syrian, Indian, Cyrillic, etc.), a rebus, and cipher alphabets, as well as “Lettera Mancina” (right-to-left handwriting, of the kind practised by Leonardo). Only four other copies of the edition can be located ● Bergamo, Biblioteca civica “Angelo Mai” ● Nuremberg, Germanisches Nationalmuseum ● Rome, Biblioteca nazionale Centrale Vittorio Emanuele II ● Turin, Biblioteca Reale. The present copy was bound at Augsburg about 1560 in a style inspired by Italian models. On the upper cover, displayed within a double-ruled-lozenge, is a stamp (height 19 mm) of the civic insignia of Augsburg, the “Stadtpyr” or “Zirbelnuss” (pine cone) set on a column base.
An extraordinary album of etched furniture designs by Jacques Androuet du Cerceau, containing most of his known prints of this type, together with one unrecorded print, gathered and bound circa 1580. Until recently the album reposed in the extensive library formed in the 17th and 18th centuries by the Earls of Macclesfield at Shirburn Castle, Oxfordshire, unknown and unrecorded. Its recovery brings vital evidence to the study of the states and issue dates of Androuet du Cerceau's prints for furniture.
An engraved architectural pattern book presenting eighteen different projects for temples, tombs, churches, and residences for the country and city, in a series of fifty plans, elevations, and sections. It is among the earliest pattern books featuring designs for domestic architecture to be printed anywhere in Europe and also one of the first publications of Jacques Androuet du Cerceau, a pioneer in the production of the architectural model book. Five complete copies are preserved in Parisian libraries and two incomplete copies elsewhere. Our copy retains its original binding and is in quite exceptional state of preservation.
This series of engravings of Roman triumphal arches composed in the Doric, Ionic and Corinthian Orders, and selon l'ordre salomonique, is among the earliest dated publications of Jacques Androuet du Cerceau, a pioneer in the production of the architectural model book. A complete set comprises a title and twenty-five plates. Six plates are missing from our group: the title, Larc dAncone, Larc de Benevente, Larc de Veronne par Vitruve larchitecteur, Larc de Suse, and Arc selon lordre ionique. The nine antique arches (the arches of Titus, of Septimius Severus, and of Constantine, in Rome; and the arches of Ancona, Verona, Benevento, Pola, Susa, and Ravenna) are mostly plagiarised from illustrations in Serlio's Terzo Libro and Quarto Libro, with Androuet du Cerceau integrating details and inscriptions that Serlio described separately. Androuet's sources for the other designs have yet to be identified.
The Arte subtilissima is the revised second edition of the first calligraphy and handwriting manual published in Spain. The woodblocks of the first edition (1548) are re-employed, except for three; twenty-four “Tablas mas estudiadas y mas esmeradas que antes” are added, and these enlarge the book by two gatherings (sixteen leaves). One of the new blocks is dated 1547, seven are dated 1550, and sixteen are undated. J.P.R. Lyell’s complaint that Iciar’s writing books were “thumbed out of existence” is validated by modern bibliographical tools: ten copies of the 1548 first edition, some just fragments, are recorded in public collections worldwide. Our 1550 second edition is less rare, but equally difficult to find complete and in good condition: twelve copies are recorded public collections, of which at least four are incomplete.
This is the first of three extensive books on house-building published by Androuet du Cerceau. It was issued by the same printer in the same year under the title Livre d’Architecture… contenant les plans et desseings de cinquante bastiments tous différens. As often, it is found here with the author’s Second Livre d’Architecture, in which designs for chimneys, window surrounds, doors, fountains, wells, garden pavilions, and funerary monuments, are provided. The once-fine binding of our copy is characteristic French work of about 1570 decorated in gilt with centre- and corner-pieces, and a complex monogram on both covers, which we dismember into the letters A B C E M N O R S T. It could be standing either for a motto or for a name.
Bound with Androuet du Cerceau, Jacques. Le second livre d’architecture, par Iacques Androuet du Cerceau. Contenant plusieurs & diverses ordonnances de Cheminees, Lucarnes, Portes, Fonteines, Puis & Pavillons, pour enrichir tant le dedans que le dehors de tous edifices. Avec les desseins de dix Sepultures toutes differentes. Paris, André Wechel, 1561
First edition of a suite of prints reproducing a sylloge of inscriptions and monumenta sepulchralia, compiled by a Silesian nobleman, Siegfried Ribisch (1530-1584), during his ten-year peregrinatio academica across Europe (1545-1554). A remarkable and highly desirable copy: fabric bindings of the sixteenth century are now seldom encountered on the market.
A lavishly illustrated description of the triumphal entry into Brussels on 18 January 1578, of Archduke Matthias of Austria (1557-1616), brother of the Emperor Rudolph, to take his oaths as Governor-General of The Netherlands, and of festivities during the days following. Our copy was bound for Ferdinand Hoffmann, baron of Grünpühel and Strechau (1540-1607), whose library comprised at his death more than ten thousand volumes, the modern acquisitions ordinarily bound in green-stained vellum, as here.
Bound with Houwaert, Johan Baptista. Oratie der Ambassadeuren vanden doorluchtighen Prince Matthias Aertshertoge van Oostenrijcke… Verhaelt inden Rijckxdach gehouden tot Wormes, voor die Raetsheeren ghedeputeert by die Princen Electeurs, ende ander Ambassadeurs ende Ghecommitteerde van t'heylich Roomsche Rijcke… Rhetorijckelicke in ons Nederlantsche tale ouerghestelt, door Jean Baptista Houwaert. Antwerp, Christopher Plantin, 1578
Also in the volume is a verse translation by Houwaert of the famous speech delivered (in Latin) on 7 May 1578, by Philippe de Marnix de Sainte Aldegonde (1540-1598), before a delegation of the Diet (Reichstag) of Worms, a fruitless appeal to gain the German princes to the cause of the States-General against the Spanish. Of this work, only five other copies are known.
Four “column books”, a type of pattern book intended for the man of practice – building masters, stonemasons, sculptors, cabinet makers, stained glass artists, painters of architectural backgrounds, and all “ingenious lovers of architecture”, reducing Vitruvius’s architectural theory to a more narrow description of column orders, and showing those craftsmen interested the new foreign (Italian) fashion how to choose the right columnar elements and combine them appropriately on real buildings or in decoration. Their author, the productive and multi-talented artist Jan Vredeman de Vries, has only lately been recognised as one of the most successful disseminators in countries north of the Alps of the ideas and forms of the Italian Renaissance, as the “chief motor behind the spread of the so-called Antwerp Mannerist architecture” (Krista de Jonghe), whose “paper architecture” had an impact on a variety of media not just in Europe but also in the New World.
Bound with Architectura 3e stuck. De oorden tuschana, in tvveen ghedeylt in XII. Stucken. Antwerp, Widow of Hieronymus Cock [Volcxken Diericx], 1578 Bound with Das ander Buech, Gemacht auff die zvvay Colonnen, Corinthia und Composita sampt jren podien, basen, cornicen, capitellen, architraben, phrisen und coronamenten. Antwerp, [Widow of Hieronymus Cock (Volcxken Diericx)], 1581 Bound with [Das Erst Buch, Gemacht Auff de Zvvey Colommen Dorica und Ionica, sampt iren podien, bases, cornicen, capitelen, architraben, phrisen und coronamenten]. [Antwerp, Widow of Hieronymus Cock (Volcxken Diericx), 1581]
A model book intended for the instruction of young artists and artisans, consisting of twenty-nine engravings of ancient gods, each depicted in the nude, in diverse and complicated postures, as if to instruct the viewer on the anatomy of the body; a few lines of Latin verse by the Flemish humanist-physician Hugo Favolius (1523-1585) explicate each image. Its widespread use by craftsmen is attested by copies carved in wooden panels of four pieces of contemporary French furniture.
This series of engravings reproduces the lost altarpiece installed in 1589 in the private chapel in the Munich Neuveste of Herzogin Renata, wife of Herzog Wilhelm V (“the Pious”) von Bayern. Designed by Friedrich Sustris (1526-1599), Court Superintendent of the arts, and painted by Christoph Schwarz (1548-1592), the altarpiece consisted of nine copper panels: an image of the Crucifixion in the centre, framed by depictions of Christ’s seven falls during his Passion, and a devotional text (Isaiah 53). The altarpiece was dismantled in the 18th century and only the Crucifixion panel has survived. A comparison of it, a drawing of the altarpiece by Sustris, and Sadeler’s prints, indicates that the engravings were made in the same size as the original panels, and preserve their essential elements.
A rare suite of engravings of female costume accompanied by blank escutcheons with elaborate crests and mantling, intended for blazoning as coats of arms. The title prescribes its use as an “album amicorum”: new acquaintances and friends of the owner were to choose a print, and fill in the template with their coat of arms; sententiae could also be added to the image, as well as a signature and date. Our copy is atypical in containing none of the autographed pages that make up other alba. It was adapted for a different purpose: the prints were interleaved, and French lyric verse entered instead on the blank pages by a courting couple.
A “pocket edition” of Ortelius’ Theatrum with maps engraved in the studio of Philip Galle and a text translated from Latin into Italian by Giovanni Paulet d’Anversa. The first owner of this copy was the scientist Federico Cesi, founder in 1603 of the Accademia dei Lincei, the forerunner of all European scientific societies. On its covers appears Cesi’s gilt-stamped heraldic insignia and on its title-page (and once elsewhere) is his emblematic ink stamp. The volume is cited in a manuscript catalogue of Cesi’s library compiled for his widow, Isabella Salviati, and afterwards utilised (with valuations added by the bookseller Hermann Scheus) for the sale of the library, concluded on 23 January 1633, to Cassiano dal Pozzo. Dal Pozzo acquired most, but not all the books in Cesi’s library: about twenty were reserved for Cardinal Francesco Barberini (six of these survive in the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana), and others were retained by Isabella Salviati in the Palazzo Cesi di Via della Maschera d’Oro. Our atlas was one of the books retained by Isabella Salviati. After Isabella’s death (circa 1642), her daughter Olimpia inherited about 175 books. Since our atlas was not among these, it presumably already had left Cesi family ownership.
First printing of this compendium of the lives and maxims of the Desert Fathers, dedicated to the royal finance minister Martin Ruzé de Beaulieu (1530-1613), and featuring a fine series of engravings of hermit saints by Jacob de Weert and Jacob van der Heyden. The text enjoyed enduring popularity, being reprinted at least a dozen times before the end of the century (the De Weert and Van der Heyden matrices were not used to illustrate any subsequent edition). Our copy was bound for a member of the Béthencourt family of Rouen, probably Galien II de Béthencourt, who was born in 1580, and in 1624 inherited the office of councillor of the court to the Parlement.