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V.Rare Incunabule, Vitae Pontificum, Ist Ed, 1479 By Bartolomaeus Platina

Pope Sixtus IVth's Appointed Vatican Librarian. Over 525 years old. When Bartolomeo Sacchi ('Platina', 1421-1481) wrote his Vitae pontificum (Lives of the Popes) and presented it to Pope Sixtus IV in 1475, he surely could not have imagined how influential it would become over the centuries. His was the first papal history, the lives of the popes from the time of Jesus Christ, to the reign of Sixtus IV, composed as a humanist Latin narrative and, as such, marked a distinct breakthrough in relation to the Liber pontificalis, the standard medieval chronicle of the papacy. Whatever Platina's intentions for the book that was published in 1479, it soon came to be regarded as the official history of the Roman pontiffs, an icon of the earliest printing. Formerly from the library of the renown Abolishionist William Roscoe, sold by him at auction in 1816 for ?1.13/-, due to the financial difficulties of his banking house, and acquired by order of the Library Committee of the City of Bath Reference Library. This book was likely commissioned due to the influences of Pope Sixtus IV [Francesco della Rovere] upon his librarian, it's author, Bartolomaeus Platina. We show in the gallery a painting of Pope Sixtus appointing Platina as the official Vatican Librarian. An Incunable is a most rare book, pamphlet, or broadside (such as the Almanach cracoviense ad annum 1474) that was printed?not handwritten?before the year 1501 in Europe. They are the earliest form of printed books. Incunabula include the Gutenberg Bible of 1455, probably the most valuable book in the world. This is a First Edition of Bartholomaeus Platina's great history of the lives of the Popes, the first systematic papal history, not only to create the first detailed history of the Popes but also to villify his mortal enemy Pope Paul IInd Pietro Barbo. This book was created in the era of the great Rennaiscance, in the time of the notorious Borgias and in the year of the notorious Pazzi conspiracy, which was a plot by members of the Pazzi family and others to displace the de' Medici family as rulers of Renaissance Florence. It was printed at the time that Leonado De Vinci drew the hanging of a Pazzi conspiritor Bernardo di Bandino Baroncelli. On 26 April 1478 there was an attempt to assassinate Lorenzo de' Medici and his brother Giuliano de' Medici. Lorenzo was wounded but survived; Giuliano was killed. The failure of the plot served to strengthen the position of the de' Medici. The Pazzi were banished from Florence. During the time the Platina served as the first librarian at the Vatican under its modern founder, Sixtus IV. Platina started his career as a soldier employed by condottieri, before gaining long-term patronage from the Gonzagas, including the young cardinal Francesco, for whom he wrote a family history. He studied under the Byzantine humanist philosopher John Argyropulos in Florence, where he frequented other fellow humanists, as well as members of the ruling Medici family.

Around 1462 he moved with Francesco Gonzaga to Rome, where he purchased a post as a papal writer under the humanist Pius II (Enea Silvio Piccolomini) and became a member of the pagan-influenced Roman Academy founded by Pomponio Leto. Close acquaintance with the renowned chef Maestro Martino in Rome seems to have provided inspiration for a theoretical treatise on Italian gastronomy entitled De honesta voluptate et valetudine ("On honourable pleasure and health"), which achieved considerable popularity and has the distinction of being considered the first printed cookbook.

Platina's papal employment was abruptly curtailed on the arrival of an anti-humanist pope, Paul II (Pietro Barbo), who had the rebellious Platina locked up in Castel Sant'Angelo during the winter of 1464-65 as a punishment for his remonstrations. In 1468 he was again confined in Castel Sant'Angelo for a further year, where he was interrogated under torture, following accusations of an alleged pagan conspiracy by members of Pomponio's Roman academy involving plans to assassinate the pope.

Platina's fortunes were revived by the return to power of the strongly pro-humanist pope, Sixtus IV (Francesco della Rovere), who in 1475 made him Vatican librarian?an appointment which was depicted in a famous fresco by Melozzo da Forl?. He was granted the post after writing an innovative and influential history of the lives of the popes that gives ample space to Roman history and pagan themes, and concludes by vilifying Platina's nemesis, Paul Iia paragraph from Platina's Vit? Pontificum first gave rise to the legend of the excommunication of Halley's comet by Pope Callixtus III,
Vit? Pontificum ("Lives of the Popes", 1479) "Incunable" is the anglicised singular form of "incunabula", Latin for "swaddling clothes" or "cradle", which can refer to "the earliest stages or first traces in the development of anything." A former term for "incunable" is "fifteener", referring to the 15th century. Vitae pontificum, FIRST EDITION, 239 leaves (of 240, lacking first leaf), 39 lines, roman (and a little Greek) letter, capital spaces with guide letters, a few early marginal ink annotations, tears repaired to 2 leaves, small worm trace in upper margin of approximately 30 leaves (touching letters on approximately 20), inner margins of final leaves strengthened at gutter margins and a few other small paper repairs, gnawing to some fore-corners, blindstamp on approximately 6 leaves, late seventeenth/early eighteenth century red morocco gilt, sides panelled with corner, side and central decorations, spine gilt-tooled (including title and publication date) in 7 compartments within raised bands, rebacked preserving most of original spine. [Venice], Johannes de Colonia and Johannes Manthen, 11 June 1479. William Roscoe's copy of the first editon of Platina's history of the Popes.

Provenance: William Roscoe (1753-1832), historian and author of Lorenzo de Medici (1796) and The Life of Pope Leo X (1805), with a 10-line pencil note in his hand, above which an ink note reads "Notes by Wm. Roscoe vide infra. Coll. By him". One of this books former owners was the renown William Roscoe (8 March 1753 ? 30 June 1831). He was an English historian, leading abolitionist, art collector, M.P. Lawyer, banker, botanist and miscellaneous writer, perhaps best known today as an early abolitionist. 11.25 inches x 7.5inches x 2.25 inches.

Code: 20006

4950.00 GBP

Shortlist item
Thomas Carlyle's 'Heroes.., From Field Marshal Keitel's Personal Library

A Thomas Carlyle: On Heroes and Hero-Worship and the Heroic in history. German Josef Neuberg. R. v. Decker, Berlin, 1917, taken in 1946 from the family library and home of Field Marshal Keitel, bearing the Ex Libris book label of his family and eldest son, who he lost in the war. Karl-Heinz Keitel SS-Sturmbannfuhrer of 8th SS Cavalry Division Florian Geyer, awarded the German Cross in Gold, Iron Cross 1st Class for heroism, Iron Cross Iind class, Close Combat Clasp & Wound Badge in black. Wilhelm Bodewin Johann Gustav Keitel (22 September 1882 to 16 October 1946) was the most famous German field marshal of WW2 who served as chief of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (Supreme Command of the Armed Forces) for most of World War II, making him the Chief of Defence for Germany and Hitler's number two after Reichmarshall Goring. At the Allied court at Nuremberg, he was tried, sentenced to death, and hanged as a war criminal. He was the third highest-ranking German officer to be tried at Nuremberg. Karl-Heinz Keitel was born on 2 January 1914, in Wolfenbuttel, the eldest son of Wilhelm Keitel who would rise to become Chief of the OKW, the German Military High Command, during World War II. Karl-Heinz joined the Heer in 1934 and served in various cavalry units following the outbreak of war in 1939. In June 1943 he was assigned to the Kavallerie-Schule in Potsdam-Krampnitz, and served as a battalion commander, and later the regimental commander of the Kavallerie-Regiment Nord. On 5 August 1944, he transferred into the Waffen-SS and served with the 22. SS-Freiwilligen-Kavallerie-Division "Maria Theresia". On 20 October of that year, he was promoted to command SS-Freiwilligen-Kavallerie-Regiment 17 / 22.SS-Freiwilligen-Kavallerie-Division "Maria Theresia" in the area of Hungary. In November 1944, combined with the Florian Geyer division, the "Maria Theresia" was assigned to the garrison of Budapest. On 12 December he was wounded in action while defending against Red Army probing attacks into Budapest for which he was awarded the Wound Badge in Black.
In March he transferred to the 37. SS-Freiwilligen-Kavallerie-Division "Lutzow" as its commander, and led the 2000 strong remnants of the division in heavy fighting around Wiener-Neustadt as part of 6. SS-Panzer Armee. He was reportedly promoted Obersturmbannfuhrer (Lieutenant Colonel) in the closing months of the war. The book's label also bears the label of his wife Dorothee, the daughter of the Werner Eduard Fritz von Blomberg (2 September 1878 - 14 March 1946) was a German Generalfeldmarschall, Minister of War, and Commander-in-Chief of the German Armed Forces until January 1938. The marriage of Karl-Heinz and Dorothee was one of the reasons her father, Generalfeldmarschall von Blomberg, was forced to resign by Hitler in 1938 It was in order to avoid a damaging scandal caused by the Generalfeldmarschall's new wife's criminal history as a prostitute that was discovered by Himmler. It was an extraordinary discovery as both Hitler and Goring attended her wedding to Keitel.
This is a typical book that struck home to the Nazi psyche as it extols the virtues of a radical new thinking progressive hero that could lead a stagnant peoples out of the darkness of old fashioned ideals and values. It could not have been more perfect for the supporters of Adolf Hitler and his new Nazi principles. Progress through National Socialism, where the working classes could rise up rid themselves of the shackles of the old, backward thinking nobility and upper classes. Effectively communism but with a different hat. It is certainly not to say that Carlyle was any way connected with their views at all, but the premise of a Heroic new thinker to lead his people to a working class based Arian promised land fitted Hitler and his supporters perfectly. Thomas Carlyle: On Heroes and Hero-Worship and the Heroic in history. German Josef Neuberg. R. v. Decker, Berlin, The book, a series of six lectures that Carlyle delivered to London audiences in 1840, represents not so much soundly based ideas about the making of history as it does Carlyle?s view of how the world would be if powerful and inspired people were to have the power he thought they deserved. The book thus became England?s contribution to the nineteenth century cult of the ?great man,? a dream that was most seductively attractive to intellectuals forced to put their ideas in the marketplace with all the other merchants, but closed off from the real power that was being exercised in the newly industrialized world by economic entrepreneurs. Like most nineteenth century historians and philosophers, Carlyle promotes the notion that progress is good and inevitable; unlike many of his contemporaries, however, he does not believe that the passage of time in and of itself assures progress. Only when persons of heroic temperament step forward to lead the masses can true progress for society occur. The persons featured in On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History were just such people; their actions, and their willingness to live in accordance with the vision of society that motivated them, changed history for the better. Carlyle finds no one around him acting in a way to set his own age right; given to commercialism and self-gratification, the people of nineteenth century Europe lack the will or the leadership to make something worthwhile of their lives. If his work is not totally successful in conveying a portrait of heroism good for all times, it does succeed in showing Carlyle’s disenchantment with the nineteenth century and its lack of political heroes, as he saw it. Another volume that we know of, also originally from Field Marshal Keitel's library, an 1827 first edition of Alexander Pushkin’s The Robber Brothers printed in Russian, was appently given to Keitel in 1941/2, after it's liberation from another but unknown Russian Ex Libris collection during Operation Barbarossa. That volume was given, in its turn in 1945, to Marshal Zhukov, commander of the Army of the USSR, and bears his Red Star stamp, and also Keitel's military stamp.

Code: 19641

975.00 GBP

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A Wonderful Edition of The Trial of King Charles 1st for Treason Pub.1684

Owned by the William Tanckred MP, the 'High Sheriff of Yorkshire' & 'Master of the Harriers' to the later King William IIIrd. Titled; Nalson (John), "A True Copy of the Journal of The High Court of Justice for the Tryal of K. Charles I?, printed by H.C. for Thomas Dring, London 1684". Inscribed twice by its principle owner Christopher Tancred (8 April 1659 ? 22 November 1705), of Whixley in Yorkshire. He was the Member of Parliament for Aldborough from 1689 to 1698, and he also served as High Sheriff of Yorkshire in 1684 and Master of the Harriers to King William III. It is very rare to get an inscribed original copy to an original Parliamentarian of the 17th century. We know of only one other copy like it owned by another Member of Parliament at the time of printing. The trial of Charles I was one of the most momentous events ever to have taken place in Westminster Hall. Kings have been deposed and murdered, but never before had one been tried and condemned to death whilst still King.

The trial of Charles I in Westminster Hall

Sound of trumpets
Following the end of the Civil War Charles I was brought to trial in Westminster Hall on 20 January 1649. The Serjeant at Arms rode into the Hall carrying the mace and accompanied by six trumpeters on horseback. The King's trial was proclaimed to the sound of trumpets and drums, at the south end of the Hall.

Bringing the King through a large crowd at the north was too great a risk; on the other hand, it was important that the trial be held in public. The court was divided from the public by a wood partition from wall to wall, backed by railings, and guards were stationed on the leads.

The King appeared before his judges four times, charged with tyranny and treason. The exchanges always took a similar form with the King challenging the court's authority and its right to try him.
The peculiar nature of the trial reflects not simply the fact that a King was on trial but that both the King and his judges took their stand on what are still crucial principles - the King on his right to trial by a properly constituted court acting on the basis of established law, and his accusers on the need to call to account a King they had described as a tyrant who shed the blood of his people.

The King's persistence disconcerted the judges, but there was little doubt about the outcome, and the death sentence was proclaimed on 27 January.

Eleven years later, after the restoration of the monarchy (under Charles II), many of the surviving regicides were tried in the Old Bailey (Sessions House), and ten were condemned and executed.

The bodies of the key men who ordered the execution of Charles I - Oliver Cromwell, John Bradshaw and Henry Ireton - were exhumed and their heads stuck on poles on one of the Hall's towers. Cromwell's remained there for more than 20 years. Complete with the print of the Kings portrait which is often lacking. With wear and with appropriate small faults.12.5 inches x 8 inches.

Code: 23151

1950.00 GBP

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A Fabulous 1939/40 Early War Bound Album of French Hebdo Magazines

Printed in Paris, 31 issues, all bound in one volume, concentrating in many respects on war stories and the movies and film stars of the period. Each copy has simply fabulous cover art. They are truly wonderful issues of the critical period of France's journey into Germany's invasion and the French capitulation. From October 1939 to May 1940. Individually they fetch from around ?20 each,but it is rare to get a fully bound volume of so many original early wartime issues, dated and published before the occupation of Paris in 1940.

Code: 23137

420.00 GBP

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The Gun Report Volume III No 5 October 1957, Plus 200 Others All £15 Each

We have just acquired over two hundred archived copies of the Gun Report From the 1950's to 1980. All at £15 each or 10 for £100. They are simply wonderful reading, and fabulous reference works, with advertisements and reports that likely will never be seen again. A little bit of history with lots of information, photos and enjoyment, nicely bound. Contact for details on the other 200 issues we have. All sold for £15 each.
Aledo IL World-Wide Gun Report 1957 Soft cover. Very Good Example Magazine. Very good condition, light cover wear. Boutet Gun Designer by F Theodore Dexter, Specialization by Robert A Erlandson, Captain David L Payne by Chester C Heizer, Powder Horns by Chester Williams, Old Time Bullet Seaters by Richard H Chamberlain, 60070-60072, From Rodent Rifle to "Gangster's Gat" by James A Leftwich, Who's Who in the Gun World (Featuring John Roten, Wharton, TX) by Annie Lee Williams, A Restored Flintlock Pistol by Ronald Lister, The Story of the Alamo Part I by Paul C Janke. 48 pages. 11 1/2" X 8 1/2" format

Code: 23062

15.00 GBP

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C14th Illuminated Medieval French Book of Hours Manuscript Leaf with Dragon

A simply beautiful 14th century vellum leaf from a 'Book of Hours' written in Paris, with a block of text of 14 lines to each side in batarde script with use of gold leaf; coloured filler blocks with white detailing, gold leaf to the versals; each text with marginal decoration of a tree in leaf, one with a regardant dragon at the top. 3.43 grams, 18.5x13cm (7 1/4 x 5"). Fine condition. Books of hours were the most popular books for laypeople in the late Middle Ages and Renaissance. They contained sets of prayers to be performed throughout the hours of the day and night. These books were often designed to be visually appealing, and wealthy patrons commissioned leading artists to work on them. The manuscript also contained illustrations of hell which acted as reminders that behaviour on Earth would determine the destination of their soul. Scenes within some manuscripts of this type may show people being captured, tortured and eaten by monsters and demons. Many were illuminated with miniatures, decorated initials and floral borders. Paper was rare and most Books of Hours were composed of sheets of parchment made from skins of animals, usually sheep or goats the finest were called vellum. By the 14th century, the cloisters of monks writing in the scriptorium had almost fully given way to urban scriptoria, especially in Paris, Rome and the Netherlands. While the process of creating an illuminated manuscript did not change, the move from monasteries to alternative settings was a radical step. Demand for manuscripts grew to an extent that Monastic libraries began to employ secular scribes and illuminators. These individuals often lived close to the monastery and, in instances, dressed as monks whenever they entered the monastery, but were allowed to leave at the end of the day. In reality, illuminators were often well known and acclaimed and many of their identities have survived.

First, the manuscript was "sent to the rubricator, who added (in red or other colours) the titles, headlines, the initials of chapters and sections, the notes and so on; and then ? if the book was to be illustrated ? it was sent to the illuminator". In the case of some manuscripts the writing would "undoubtedly have been discussed initially between the patron and the scribe but by the time that the written gathering were sent off to the illuminator there was no longer any scope for innovation"

Code: 22927

2450.00 GBP

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1st Edition James Bond, Man with the Golden Gun, by Ian Fleming

London: Jonathan Cape 1965. 1st Edition 1st Impression. Flemings 12th outing for Commander Bond. Minor spotting as to be expected. With dust jacket. Cover artist Richard Chopping (Jonathan Cape ed.). The Man with the Golden Gun is the twelfth novel (and thirteenth book) of Ian Fleming's James Bond series. It was first published by Jonathan Cape in the UK on 1 April 1965, eight months after the author's death. The novel was not as detailed or polished as the others in the series, leading to poor but polite reviews. Despite that, the book was a best-seller.

The story centres on the fictional British Secret Service operative James Bond, who had been posted missing, presumed dead, after his last mission in Japan. Bond returns to England via the Soviet Union, where he had been brainwashed to attempt to assassinate his superior, M. After being "cured" by the MI6 doctors, Bond is sent to the Caribbean to find and kill Francisco Scaramanga, the titular "Man with the Golden Gun".

The first draft and part of the editing process was completed before Fleming's death and the manuscript had passed through the hands of his copy editor, William Plomer, but it was not as polished as other Bond stories. Much of the detail contained in the previous novels was missing, as this was often added by Fleming in the second draft. Publishers Jonathan Cape passed the manuscript to Kingsley Amis for his thoughts and advice on the story, although his suggestions were not subsequently used.

The novel was serialised in 1965, firstly in the Daily Express and then in Playboy; in 1966 a daily comic strip adaptation was also published in the Daily Express. In 1974 the book was loosely adapted as the ninth film in the Eon Productions James Bond series, with Roger Moore playing Bond and Fleming's cousin, Christopher Lee, as Scaramanga.
The Man with the Golden Gun film was filmed in 1974 the ninth film entry in the James Bond series and the second to star Roger Moore as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. A loose adaptation of Ian Fleming's novel of the same name, the film has Bond sent after the Solex Agitator, a device that can harness the power of the sun, while facing the assassin Francisco Scaramanga, the "Man with the Golden Gun". The action culminates in a duel between them that settles the fate of the Solex.

The Man with the Golden Gun was the fourth and final film in the series directed by Guy Hamilton. The script was written by Richard Maibaum and Tom Mankiewicz. The film was set in the face of the 1973 energy crisis, a dominant theme in the script. Britain had still not yet fully overcome the crisis when the film was released in December 1974. The film also reflects the then popular martial arts film craze, with several kung fu scenes and a predominantly Asian location, being set and shot in Thailand, Hong Kong, and Macau. Part of the film is also set in Beirut, Lebanon, but it was not shot there. Ian Fleming wrote The Man with the Golden Gun at his Goldeneye estate in Jamaica in January and February 1964, completing it by the beginning of March. His health affected him badly during the writing process and he dropped from his usual rate of two thousand words a morning to a little over an hour's worth of work a day.

As with his previous novels, Fleming used events from his past as elements in his novel. Whilst at Kitzb?hel in the 1930s, Fleming's car, a Standard Tourer, had been struck by a train at a level crossing and he had been dragged fifty yards down the track. From that time on he had associated trains with death, which led to their use as a plot device not just in The Man with the Golden Gun, but also in Diamonds Are Forever and From Russia, with Love. To show just how much all things original Bond are appreciated in the world of collectors the Walther pistol used by Connery in the poster of From Russia With Love, in 1963, and also drawn in the man With The Golden Gun poster [as shown here] an air pistol, .177 (4.5mm) Walther 'LP MOD.53' Air Pistol, Serial No. 054159, was sold by Christies in 2010 with an estimate of ?15,000 to ?20,000 for an incredible ?277,000. [We dropped out of the bidding at ?22,000] Incredible in that it was never used in any film, was an air pistol not a real automatic, and only used in promotional posters. It was 'said' to have been used by accident in fact as they couldn't find a correct Walther PPK on the day of the photoshoot.

Code: 22632

3450.00 GBP

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Owned by the Earl of Portsmouth.The History of the Life of King Henry IInd.

And of the age in which he lived, in five books,: to which is prefixed, a history of the revolutions of England from the death of Edward the Confessor to the birth of Henry the Second / by George Lord Lyttelton Printed for W. Sandby and J. Dodsley, 1767 [second printing] 2 impressive and original leather bound volumes, from the personal library of the Earl of Portsmouth. Three books of the set are contained in these two, beautiful, large volumes. George Lyttelton, studied at Eton (1725) and Oxford (1726) before touring the Continent (1728-31) before becoming intimate with Pope's circle at Twickenham. He was secretary to the Prince of Wales (1732-44), member of Parliament from Okehampton (1735-56); succeeded as 5th baron Lyttleton 1751, and was lord of the treasury (1744-54) and Chancellor of the Exchequer (1755-56). As an opposition politician, Lyttleton was allied to the Prince of Wales; as a poet he was associated with his near-neighbor at Hagley Park, William Shenstone.

His life was detailed by Samuel Johnson's Lives of the Poets series, published in 3 volumes between 1779 and 1781. In it Dr Johnson states 'His last literary production was his "History of Henry the Second," elaborated by the searches and deliberations of twenty years, and published with such anxiety as only vanity can dictate. The story of this publication is remarkable. The whole work was printed twice over, a great part of it three times, and many sheets four or five times. The booksellers paid for the first impression; but the changes and repeated operations of the press were at the expense of the author, whose ambitious accuracy is known to have cost him at least a thousand pounds. He began to print in 1755. Three volumes appeared in 1764, a second edition of them in 1767, a third edition in 1768, and the conclusion in 1771.

Andrew Reid, a man not without considerable abilities and not unacquainted with letters or with life, undertook to persuade Lyttelton, as he had persuaded himself, that he was master of the secret of punctuation; and, as fear begets credulity, he was employed, I know not at what price, to point the pages of "Henry the Second." The book was at last pointed and printed, and sent into the world. Lyttelton took money for his copy, of which, when he had paid the pointer, he probably gave the rest away; for he was very liberal to the indigent. When time brought the History to a third edition, Reid was either dead or discarded; and the superintendence of typography and punctuation was committed to a man originally a comb-maker, but then known by the style of Doctor. Something uncommon was probably expected, and something uncommon was at last done; for to the Doctor's edition is appended, what the world had hardly seen before, a list of errors in nineteen pages. Each volume is 11.5 inches x 9.25 inches x 2 inches

Code: 22555

475.00 GBP

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Always Wanted by The Lanes Armoury Bookshop

Ist Editions of Charles Dickens, Winston Churchill, Charles Darwin, John Le Carre, Ian Fleming, Rudyard Kipling. With or without dust jackets, autographed copies especially desired. We have ?25,000 awaiting for a Signed Ist Edition Charles Dicken Christmas Carol. We have thousands of books, but as they are our largest individual selling item they come and go so fast that individual listing is too impractical. If you require a military, or historical book, either antique or modern, please email a request, stating; title, author, and publisher [if known]. Large quantity book purchases [over 30 volumes] can attract discounts wherever possible. We specialise in hardbacks, both for reference or the study of history, and 'coffee table' books. We also specialise in rare medieval books, Ist Editions, autographed books and manuscripts, and Incunabula [they are volumes printed before 1501]

Code: 22457


Dante Alighieri?s Divina Commedia, Printed in Venice Petrus de Piasio 1491.

Now SOLD Single page from Dante Alighieri?s Divina Commedia, completed in 1320. It remains a classic in world literature. This incunabula leaf is part of the complete Divina Commedia printed in Venice by Petrus de Piasio in 1491. Page 182. "Dante, Divine Comedy, 'The central man of all the world' - Ruskin, Incunabulum, printed by Petrus de Piasio, Venice, 1491. Dante Alighieri, the supreme exponent of the Middle Ages, is, according to Ruskin, 'the central man of all the world as representing in perfect balance the imaginative, moral and intellectual faculties, all at their highest.' Dante's great work, the Divine Comedy, is an original creation. It is explained in his own words: 'The subject of the whole work, taken literally, is the state of souls after death, regarded as fact. Taken allegorically, its subject is man, insofar as by merit or demerit, in the exercise of free will, he is exposed to the reward or punishment of justice.' In the narrative of his journey, which was inspired by a vision in 1300, Dante is accompanied by two guides, 'Virgil, who stands for human reason, ? and Beatrice, who symbolizes divine grace.' Virgil cannot lead the poet beyond Purgatory, while Beatrice lifts him through the spheres of Paradise by contemplation. The last line symbolizes the new ?love which moves the sun and other stars.? The magnitude of Dante?s conception is no more wonderful than the composition and form in which he expressed it with metrical virtuosity through the hundred cantos. The lasting popularity of the work is evident from the thousands of editions printed and the vast critical literature that has been written concerning this work. This edition of the Commedia, printed in Venice, 1491, by Petrus de Piasio of Cremona, is one of the best known of all the numerous fifteenth century editions. For several years, (1480-1483), de Piasio was in partnership with A. Torresanus, into whose hand the equipment of Jenson had fallen after the latter?s death.?
Leaf has woodcut illustration, initial, headlines, and signatures.

Code: 22404

3000.00 GBP

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