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.
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.
Rare illustrated version of Guarini’s enormously popular pastoral tragicomedy Il Pastor Fido, conceived in Vienna in 1640 by Johann Wilhelm Baur, and realised after his death by the Augsburg engraver Melchior Küsell, who provided a rhyming synopsis in 336 lines (printed beneath the illustrations) and the eight lines of verse addressed “An den Leser” (printed beneath the title-plate).
A remarkable copy, printed on blue paper, of Zatta’s lavishly illustrated and ornamented edition of Ariosto, one of “les chefs-d’œuvre du livre illustré vénitien du XVIIIe siècle” (Maria Teresa Caracciolo). All copies of the edition feature a suite of sixty-six full-page engraved plates and in addition fifty-one engraved “Argomenti”, numerous initials, head- and tail-pieces. Only a small number of special copies – we are aware of about twenty besides our own, printed on vellum, carta azzura, or two sizes of carta d’Olanda – were further embellished by figurative engraved borders enclosing every page of text. These special copies are prized by collectors, who have paid dearly for them from almost the moment of publication to our own time.
One of the last and least-known of Bodoni’s type specimen books, presenting forty componimenti poetici by De Rossi, director of the Reale Accademia Portoghese di Belle Arti in Rome, each poem set in a different Bodoni type opposite a “love emblem” (Praz) engraved by Francesco Rosaspina (1762-1841). According to the printer’s friend and biographer, Giuseppe De Lama, writing in 1816, 100 copies were printed, of which “non più di sei esemplari si tirarono coi contorni” and four copies coloured by Antonio Pasini. In 1948, Giani corrected De Lama’s arithmetic, claiming an edition of “sei esemplari coi contorni, quattro miniati da Antonio Pasini e quaranta normali… Preziosi edizione di 50 esemplari irreperibili”.
(24 cm), (4) 188 pp., plus 12 leaves of plates with 53 illustrations. Publisher’s pictorial wrappers. - The catalogue (pp.81-160) provides very detailed bibliographical descriptions of 142 editions of novels and poetry illustrated by more than 70 printmakers working in France, The Netherlands, Germany, and England. “This is probably the most useful work specifically devoted to French 17th-century book-illustration to appear since Jeanne Duportal’s Étude sur les livres à figures édités en France de 1601 à 1660 (Paris, 1914)” (from a review by Frances A. Yates, in The Book Collector, Autumn 1958, pp.306-310). ¶ Superior copy in new condition.
(30 cm), xiii, 255 pp.,  leaves of plates, illustrations. Publisher’s printed boards. - Facsimile reprint of the Oxford University Press edition of 1914. ”Approximately 250 copies” were printed (prospectus, loosely inserted in the copy). ¶ Very good, unmarked copy.