Venice: Antonio di Bartolommeo da Bologna (Miscomini), 1476.
5th Edition. Hardcover. Folio - over 12 - 15" tall. Very Good. Item #003344
October 1476. Folio (340 x 235 mm). 291 (of 292) leaves, lacking the final blank leaf only. Roman type 4:78R, 63 lines. Signatures: a-y10 z8 A8, <1-5>10 <6-10>10 <11-15>10 <16-20>10 <21-24>8 <25-28>8. Rubricated throughout with capital strokes and initials opening paragraphs painted in red. Deckle edges entirely preserved. Bound by an unidentified, most probably German, bindery (single fleur-de-lys stamps not listed in EDBD) in goatskin over wooden boards, ruled and stamped in blind. Two original brass catch-plates on upper board and one pin-plate on rear board present, old rebacking with most of the original spine leather preserved, boards with a few patches of leather restored; old endpapers, leather tabs and quire guards preserved (leather rubbed and crackled, extremities slightly worn). Bound in as first flyleaf is a slightly smaller leaf of parchment, lacking the rear flyleaf. Copiously annotated throughout in a 16th-century Latin hand, including several text corrections. Internally crisp and bright with little marginal dust- and finger-soiling, occasional very minor spotting, a few marginal paper flaws, brown spot at fore-margin of a few final leaves. The bifol. e5^6 working loose. An outstanding, unsophisticated, crisp and unpressed copy in its first binding. Provenances: ink inscriptions on front pastedown and first two flyleaves, in several hands of the 16th and early 17th centuries, one by an Adrianus Lintermans of Benedictine's St Trudo's Abbey (Limburg, Belgium) dated 21 Sept. 1617; Hans Fürstenberg Library (ex-libris on front pastedown), sold at Hotel Drouot Paris, 16 Nov. 1983 (lot 62, 23,000 Frs). 16th-century handwritings, mostly probationes pennae, are found on the parchment flyleaf, including "Charles par la divine clémence Empereur des Rommains" and on verso an aphorism from Martial's Epigrammata "rebus in angustis facile est contemnere vitam; fortiter ille facit qui miser esse potest."
RARE EARLY EDITION OF THE WORKS OF THE GREATEST LATIN POET, beautifully printed in two very fine and clear Roman types. This is one of only five books which Antonio Miscomini (or Antonio di Bartolommeo da Bologna) printed in Venice (Offizin 21) between 1476 and 1478. The date 1486 in the colophon is beyond all question a printer's error. The matter is discussed in the introduction to the British Museum Catalogue, Vol. V. (see Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Typenrepertorium der Wiegendrucke, ma08692). Virgil was already celebrated in his own lifetime, and his poetry has continued to be revered over the centuries for its majesty, sense of nobility, and technical perfection. The Aeneid is accepted as a national epic and a foundation stone of western literature and thought. Dante himself regarded Virgil as 'our greatest poet' and cast him as a Christian prophet and his guide to the Gates of Paradise in the Divine Comedy. Ours is the second edition to include the commentary of Servius (first printed in an Opera the year before by Rubeus). His commentary relied greatly on Aelius Donatus, though he names him only when he disagrees with him. The principle stress is on matters of grammar, rhetoric and style, as the commentary was mainly intended for school purposes.
References: Copinger 6044; GW M49821; BMC V, 240 (u. S. XVII zur Datierung); Goff V-167; USTC 990007; Stillwell V,149 (lists eight copies); W.A.Copinger, Incunabula Virgiliana. In: Transactions of the Bibliographical Society 2(1893-94) pp. 123-226; M.Davies & J.Goldfinch, Vergil: A Census of Printed Editions 1469-1500, London 1992; C.Kallendorf, A Bibliography of the Early Printed Editions of Virgil 1469-1850, New Castle (Del.) 2012; G.Mambelli, Gli annali delle edizioni virgiliane, Firenze, 1954; Ader Picard Tajan, Hotel Drouot, Incunables et livres anciens provenant de la Fondation Fürstenberg-Beaumesnil, Paris 1983. - Visit our website to see more images!
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