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Beautifully illuminated incunable of the Natural History

Schätzpreis: 30.000 $ - 50.000 $
Zuschlagspreis:  n. a.
Los-Nr. 3, Aufrufe: 60

Beautifully illuminated incunable of the Natural History Pliny the Elder, 1479 PLINY THE ELDER (23-79 CE). Historia naturalis. Edited by Philippus Beroaldus. Treviso: Michael Manzolus, 1479. A beautifully illuminated incunable edition of Pliny’s “encyclopedia of all the knowledge of the ancient world” (PMM). When it was first published in Venice in 1469, this work marked the first appearance of any scientific text in print. This sixth Latin edition is one of the finest specimens from the press of Michael Manzolus. This copy is illuminated with 37 fine burnished gold initials and a full-page white vine-stem border introducing the beginning of Pliny’s text. Historia naturalis is also the most important early source on the history of art, outlining not just the history of ancient painting but the materials and techniques of the visual arts—including those used in the decoration of this book. The Ottoni coat of arms indicates that this copy was illuminated for that family, possible Count Alessandro Ottoni. Another early owner has left marginalia and manicules, with special attention to sections on the wonders of India and referencing the Hieroglyphica of Piero Valeriano. Pliny, an enthusiastic student of nature unto death, ultimately perished while observing the eruption of Vesuvius. BSB-Ink P-603; Goff P-791; HC 13092*; ip00791000. See PMM 5 (1469 ed). Folio (298 x 205mm). 358 leaves (of 360; without first and last blanks). Numerous initials and rubrics supplied in red & blue alternately. Painted white vine-stem border with coat of arms and heightened in gold on f. 23; 37 illuminated white vine initials (first 3 leaves with inner margins repaired, occasional minimal spots, final leaf with some worming). 17th-century Italian brown morocco, covers elaborately gilt with empty shield at center (lacking ties, subtle repairs to spine). Provenance: Counts of Ottoni, possibly Alessandro Ottoni (d. 1485; coat of arms painted into illuminated border) – early marginalia and manicules.

Informationen zur Auktion
Auktionshaus: Christie's
Titel: The Open Book: Fine Travel, Americana, Literature and History in Print and Manuscript
Auktionsdatum: 18.06.2020
Adresse: Christie's
Online | 2 - 18 June