Speculum vitae humanae. Rodericus Zamorensis.
Speculum vitae humanae.
Speculum vitae humanae.
Speculum vitae humanae.
Speculum vitae humanae.
Speculum vitae humanae.
AN “ENCYCLOPEDIA OF HUMAN LIFE” — BRUNO

Speculum vitae humanae.

Rome, Joannes Philippus de Lignamine 31 July 1473.

Small folio (251 x 171 mm.). [ii blank], [xix], [299], [7]p. Roman type (125), 31 lines per page, initial spaces blank.

Recent blind-ruled crushed brown morocco, gilt-lettered spine title, early manuscript ownership inscription on the top edge of the Capuchins at Nocera.

THE FIRST PRINTED BOOK WITH A DEDICATORY PREFACE AND THE FIRST BOOK TO APPEAR IN ITS AUTHOR’S LIFETIME.
     First printed in 1468, The Mirror of Human Life presents the rewards and hardships of a virtuous life in secular and ecclesiastical trades: it remains a rich source for medieval social history. The Mirror treats the occupations of, i.a., physician, astronomer, grammarian, actor, emperor, armorer, merchant, artisan, noble, navigator, soldier, notary, judge, farmer, lawyer, hunter, mathematician, architect, educator, shepherd and musician before turning to, i.a, bishop, archbishop, treasurer, priest, pope, monk, cardinal, cantor and scholar. The Mirror was was translated into French, German and Spanish and printed at least twenty-one times by 1501.
     From Messina and a courtier to two popes, LIGNAMINE WAS THE FIRST NATIVE ITALIAN PRINTER. He established the fourth press in Rome. To the delight of this bookseller, HE WAS ALSO THE FIRST PRINTER TO CAST A SMALL CAP FONT. Here those types appear sporadically as numerals. He installed his press in his home but “did not soil his own hands with printer’s ink” (BMC). Instead, he “subsidized and directed his printing venture with the intention of advancing his own career” in government (Feld), which culminated in his appointment by Sixtus IV to be Apostolic Commissioner for his native Sicily.
     Rodrigo Sánchez de Arévalo was a Spaniard who spent much of his life in Rome in service to the Holy See. Under the backward-looking Pope Paul II, the book’s dedicatee, Rodrigo oversaw the papal prison at Castel Sant’Angelo, which held Bartolomaeus Platina, Pomponius Leto and other Roman humanists imprisoned for sodomy, heresy and sedition.
     Three U.S. libraries hold this edition (Library of Congress, Huntington, Stanford). A small copy (five quires stained, worm trail in seven), scattered underlining and shaved marginal manuscript notes by a ?17th-century reader (heaviest in the chapters on archbishops, cardinals and prelates); Rosenberg bookplate, designed in 1935 by Picasso when the collector was fourteen years old.
¶Klebs, Incunabula scientifica et medica 857.9; Palau 272022; BMC IV: 31; Goff R-220; ISTC ir00220000; see Feld’s “The First Roman Printers and the Idioms of Humanism” in Harvard Library Bulletin XXXVI (1988) pp. 35-91, esp. nos. 3 & 10 and Smith’s “The Pre-history of ‘Small Caps’ in Journal of the Printing Historical Society 22 (1993) 79-106, esp. 85-87 and Bruno’s The Tradition of Technology: Landmarks of Western Technology 127.

Item #11141

Price: $16,500.00