Venice, Giovanni Tacuino de Tridino 1495.
4to (216 x 157 mm.). [ii], p. Roman type, rubricated initials, two sets of floriated white-line woodcut initials.
Dark blue Jansenist morocco (Chambolle-Duru, rubbed), spine title & turn-ins gilt, all edges gilt.
First Edition: THE ONLY PROSE FABLE BOOK PUBLISHED IN THE 15TH CENTURY BY A LIVING AUTHOR. Abstemius was librarian to the Duke of Urbino.
These one hundred stories are of the author’s own invention. They influenced Faerno and La Fontaine and were regularly reprinted — often in the vernacular — in part or in whole through the 1820s, sometimes under the name Hecatomythium. Thirty of Aesop’s fables, in Valla’s Latin translation, conclude the volume. I have traced one copy at auction since 1950. In excellent condition, many lower and outer margins uncut, scattered contemporary marginal manuscript notes in Latin, bookplate of Joseph Nève de Mévergnies (1857-1940).
¶Polain, Catalogue des livres imprimés au XVe siècle des bibliothèques de Belgique 3 (this copy); ISTC ia00010000; Goff A-10; see Hervieux’s Les Fabulistes latins I: 631-2 & Fabula docet 38.