Fabulæ. Laurentius. c. Abstemius.


Venice, Giovanni Tacuino de Tridino 1495.

4to (216 x 157 mm.). [29] leaves. Roman type (107/8), 30 lines per page, two rubricated initials, two series 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 BY A LIVING AUTHOR IN THE 15TH CENTURY. Though claiming Greek sources, these one hundred stories are, in fact, of the author’s own invention. He drew on popular tales and international folklore. They influenced Faerno and were regularly reprinted — often in the vernacular — in part or in whole through the 1820s. Abstemius served the Duke of Urbino as librarian. Valla’s Latin rendering of thirty Aesopic fables concludes the volume. I have traced one copy at international auction since 1950. In excellent condition, many lower and outer margins uncut, scattered contemporary marginal ms. notes in Latin, bookplate of Joseph Nève.Goff A-10; ISTC ia00010000; Polain 3 (this copy); Keidel, A Manual of Aesopic Fable Lit. 144; Brunet I: 15-6; see Hervieux’s Les fabulistes latins I: 631-2 & Fabula Docet 38. Item #8396

Price: $32,000.00

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