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Appian Appianus 1477 Historia Romana Ratdolt Bellis Civilibus Incunabula No Res For Sale

Appian Appianus 1477 Historia Romana Ratdolt Bellis Civilibus Incunabula No Res

“TO MY MIND THERE ARE FEW PRINTED BOOKS OF ANY AGE WHICH CAN BE COMPARED WITH THE APPIAN OF 1477, WITH ITS SPLENDID BLACK INK, ITS VELLUM-LIKE PAPER, AND THE FINISHED EXCELLENCE OF ITS TYPOGRAPHY” – GILBERT RICHARD REDGRAVE (BIOGRAPHER OF ERHARD RATDOLT).

 

OFFERED WITH is ONE OF THE GREAT MASTERWORKS OF THE ART OF PRINTING, THE BEAUTIFUL AND HIGHLY DESIRABLE 1477 EDITION OF THE “BELLIS CIVILIBUS ROMANIS” OF APPIANUS ALEXANDRINUS (generally known as APPIAN), CONSTITUTING THE MOST IMPORTANT SECTION OF APPIAN’S “HISTORIA ROMANA,” printed in roman type at Venice in royal quarto by Erhard Ratdolt and Berhnhard Maler in 1477, edited by Peter Loslein, generally known as the Ratdolt Appian, GLORIOUSLY ADORNED WITH WOODCUT INITIALS THROUGHOUT, IN WHICH WHITE CAPITALS, VINES, FOLIAGE AND BUNCHES OF FRUITS APPEAR ON A STARK, BLACK GROUND, constituting only the second appearance in print of Appian’s ‘Bellis Civilibus,’ FURTHER ADORNED WITH A STUNNING WOODCUT BORDER ON THE INCIPIT LEAF, COMPOSED OF VINES AND FOLIAGE, AS WELL AS A BLANK SHIELD FOR THE OWNER’S ARMORIAL (this is the first appearance of this border; it may be considered the earliest fully developed border in a Venetian book and was used once more by Ratdolt  - in his great Euclid of 1482), complete in all respects (save the opening blank leaf), solidly in very good to excellent condition, AN UNUSUALLY TALL AND WIDE EXAMPLE, WITH DIMENSIONS LARGER THAN MOST OF THE sale RECORD, and bound in early 19th century Italian quarter-calf with vellum-tipped corners. This is the second part of the 1477 Appian, comprising the complete ‘Bellis Civilibus Romanis’ and entirely complete in itself. The first part comprised the ‘Historia Romana.’ The two parts appear separately with much greater frequency than they appear together in the sale record. The volume may be referenced as Goff A928, HC 1307, and BMC v 244.

 

PROVENANCE: .1 S. Jacobus de Soncino, whose inscription appears on the incipit leaf. The inscription dates from the 16th century, and Jacobus de Soncino was very likely a member of the Soncino family of printers, who printed the first Hebrew Bible in 1485. The family would likely have been interested to obtain a copy of the 1477 Ratdolt Appian, which was an acknowledged masterwork almost from the day of its publication. The book may well have been in the Soncino family from the 15th or early 16th century, but of course this cannot easily be verified. 2. W.J. Monson, whose armorial bookplate appears on the front endpaper. The volume was probably acquired by Monson early in the 19th century and remained in the library formed by W.J. Monson and his family for the next 200 years.

 

THIS IS AN UNUSUALLY TALL EXAMPLE. The volume measures 29 cm x 22 cm x 4.5 cm. Each leaf measures 285 mm by 214 mm. By comparison, an example of both parts being offered at present on ABE measures only 278 mm by 204 mm. Another example sold at Christie’s in 2002 measured only 275 mm by 185 mm.

 

The opening of the incipit leaf reads as follows:

 

“Ad divum Alfonsum Aragonum & utriusque Sicilie regem in libros civiliu[m] belloru[m] ex Appiano Alexandrino in latinu[m] traductos Prefatio incipit felicissime.” [the dedication is to Alfonso, King of Aragon and The Two Sicilies]

 

The colophon reads as follows:

 

“Impressum est hoc opus Venetijs per Bernardu[m] pictorem & Erhardum ratdolt de Augusta una cum Petro loslein de Langencen correctore ac socio. Laus Deo. / M.CCCC.LXXVII [1477].”

 

THE ‘BELLIS CIVILIBUS ROMANIS’ FORMS THE LARGEST, MOST COHERENT AND MOST IMPORTANT PART OF APPIAN’S GREAT ‘HISTORIA ROMANA.’ IT’S IMPORTANCE AS A SOURCE FOR ROME’S CIVIL WARS IS AS GREAT AS THE COMMENTARIES OF CAESAR OR THE ‘PHARSALIA’ OF LUCAN.

 

ERHARD RATDOLT WAS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT PRINTERS OF THE 15TH CENTURY. THE 1477 APPIAN, OFFERED HERE, IS UNIVERSALLY CONSIDERED A TYPOGRAPHICAL MASTERWORK AND AMONGST THE MOST BEAUTIFUL EXAMPLES OF EARLY PRINTING. RATDOLT ALSO PRINTED THE ‘CALENDRIUM’ OF 1476, THE ‘POETICON ASTRONOMICON’ OF 1482 AND THE EUCLID OF 1482. THE LATTER INCLUDED THE FIRST PRINTED GEOMETRICAL DIAGRAMS.

 

THE WOODCUT BORDER IS CONSIDERED TO BE THE FIRST FULLY DEVELOPED WOODCUT BORDER IN A VENETIAN BOOK. Ratdolt’s first border, a three-sided, simple black-on-white title designed for the Calendarium of 1476, is composed of fairly conventional plants growing out of vases. The borders for the Historia romana and De bellis civilibus, by contrast, are scrolling white vines and acanthus leaves, full and lush, black-on-white (in some copies, red-on-white), with a medallion for the owner1s arms in the lower edge. Ratdolt’s initial letters, which replaced the illuminated or rubricated initials, are also of the utmost importance in the history of book-decoration (see Hind, ‘A History of Woodcut,’ vol II, pages 459-462.) The partnership of the printers Erhard Ratdolt and Bernhard Maler and the corrector and editor Peter Löslein lasted from 1476 to 1478. The exceptional beauty of the books printed at their press is characterized by the use of a series of very fine woodcut borders and initials along with a strikingly clear and pleasing roman type. Although traditionally credited to Ratdolt, the design of the woodblocks and possibly of the type is more likely to have been the work of Bernhard Maler, the painter, who was in charge of the press. When Ratdolt set up his own press in 1480, he apparently brought only one of the border blocks with him, the one that appears in volume offered here, which he used again for the 1482 Euclid. 

 

OF THE AUTHOR, APPIAN OF ALEXANDRIA Appian of Alexandria was a Roman historian of Greek ethnicity who flourished during the reigns of Emperors of Rome Trajan, Hadrian, and Antoninus Pius. He was born circa 95 in Alexandria. He tells us, after having filled the chief offices in the province of Aegyptus (Egypt), he went to Rome circa 120, where he practised as anadvocate, pleading cases before the emperors (probably as advocatus fisci),[1] that in 147 at the earliest he was appointed to the office of procurator, probably in Egypt, on the recommendation of his friend Marcus Cornelius Fronto, a well-known litterateur. Because the position of procurator was open only to members of the equestrian order (the "knightly" class), his possession of this office tells us about Appian's family background. His principal surviving work (known in Latin as Historia Romana and in English as Roman History) was written in Greek in 24 books, before 165. This work more closely resembles a series of monographs than a connected history. It gives an account of various peoples and countries from the earliest times down to their incorporation into the Roman Empire, and survives in complete books and considerable fragments. The work is very valuable, especially for the period of the civil wars. The Civil Wars, five of the later books in the corpus, concern mainly the end of the Roman Republic and take a conflict-based approach to history.

 

Little is known of the life of Appian of Alexandria. He wrote an autobiography that has been almost completely lost. Information about Appian is distilled from his own writings and a letter by his friend Cornelius Fronto. However, it is certain that Appian was born around the year AD 95 in Alexandria, the capital of Roman Egypt. Since his parents were Roman citizens capable of paying for their son’s education, it can be determined that Appian belonged to the wealthy upper classes. It is believed that Appian moved in 120 to Rome, where he became a barrister. In the introduction to his Roman History, he boasts “that he pleaded cases in Rome before the emperors.” The emperors he claims to have addressed must have been either Hadrian or Marcus Aurelius and definitely Antoninus Pius, for Appian remained in Egypt at least until the end of the reign of Trajan (117). In the letter of Cornelius Fronto, it is revealed that a request on behalf of Appian to receive the rank of procurator occurred during the co-regency between 147 and 161. Although Appian won this office, it is unclear whether it was a real job or an honorific title. The only other certain biographical datum is that Appian's Roman History appeared sometime before 162. This is one of the few primary historical sources for the period.

 

Appian began writing his history around the middle of the second century AD. Only sections from half of the original 24 books survive today. The most important remnants of Appian's work are the five books on the Civil Wars—books 13-17 of the Roman History. These five books stand out because they are the only comprehensive, meticulous source available on an extremely significant historical period, during which Roman politics were in turmoil because of factional strife. Especially notable is this work's ethnographic structure. Appian most likely used this structure to facilitate his readers' orientation through the sequence of events, which occur in different places and are united only by their relationship to Rome. A literary example of this can be found from Appian’s Civil Wars (part 5 of 17). It states, “And now civil discord broke out again worse than ever and increased enormously....so in the course of events in the Roman empire was partitioned....by these three men: Antony, Lepidus, and the one who was first called Octavius....shortly after this division they fell to quarrelling among themselves...Octavius...first deprived Lepidus of Africa...and afterward, as the result of the battle of Actium, took from Antony all the provinces lying between Syria and the Adriatic gulf." One might expect that a historical work covering nine centuries and countless different peoples would involve a multitude of testimonials from different periods. However, Appian's sources remain uncertain, as he only mentions the source of his information under special circumstances. He may have relied primarily on one author for each book, whom he did not follow uncritically, since Appian also used additional sources for precision and correction. At our present state of knowledge questions regarding Appian’s sources cannot be solved.

 

OF THE PRINTER, ERHARD RATDOLT Erhard Ratdolt (1442–1528) was an early German printer from Augsburg. He was active as a printer in Venice from 1476 to 1486, and afterwards in Augsburg. From 1475 to 1478 he was in partnership with two other German printers. The first book the partnership produced was the Calendarium (1476), written and previously published by Regiomontanus, which offered one of the earliest examples of a modern title page. Other noteworthy publications are the Historia Romana of Appianus (1477), and the first edition of Euclid's Elements (1482), where he solved the problem of printing geometric diagrams, the Poeticon astronomicon, also from 1482,Haly Ratdolt is also famous for having produced the first known printer's type specimen book (in this instance a broadsheet displaying the fonts with which he might print). His innovations of layout and typography, mixing type and woodcuts, have subsequently been much admired. His graphic choices and technical solutions influenced also those of William Morris.

 

THE VOLUME IS SOLIDLY IN VERY GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION INTERNALLY, with clean pages, clear print and ample margins throughout. There is a very slight dampstain in the upper gutter margin, not affecting the text. The opening leaf (A2) is a little toned, and the occasional leaf elsewhere shows a very slight dampstain or a little very light foxing. There are a few wormholes in quire a and quire x, costing a part of a few letters but never affecting legibility or sense. Leaves q4 and t9 each show a very minor marginal tear, not affecting the text. Considered generally the volume is quite clean and very pleasing, as shown by the photos below.

 

THE VOLUME IS BOUND IN EARLY 19TH CENTURY ITALIAN QUARTER-CALF OVER MARBLED AND VELLUM-TIPPED BOARDS. THE BINDING IS IN VERY GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION. The spine is divided by raised bands into 6 compartments, with the original red and green morocco labels retained, and with a gilt ornament in the center of other 4 compartments. The 18th century binding of red morocco is richly gilt upon the spine and the boards. The binding is in very good to excellent condition, with strong hinges, a strong book-block, and only minor wear at the edges and corners. The volume measures about  cm by  cm by  cm; each leaf measures about 287 mm by 205 mm.

 

As stated above, THE VOLUME IS COMPLETE IN ALL RESPECTS SAVE THE OPENING BLANK LEAF (a1). IT COMPRISES 211 LEAVES. THE COMPLETE TEXT OF THIS 1477 EDITION IS PRESENT, INCLUDING THE FAMOUS WOODCUT BORDER ON THE OPENING LEAF. The volume collates a2-10, b-c10, d12, e-x10. Each leaf is printed in 32 lines.

 

In all, this is a very rare, important and pleasing example of ONE OF THE GREAT MASTERWORKS OF THE ART OF PRINTING, THE BEAUTIFUL AND HIGHLY DESIRABLE 1477 EDITION OF THE “BELLIS CIVILIBUS ROMANIS” OF APPIANUS ALEXANDRINUS (generally known as APPIAN), CONSTITUTING THE MOST IMPORTANT SECTION OF APPIAN’S “HISTORIA ROMANA,” printed in roman type at Venice in royal quarto by Erhard Ratdolt and Berhnhard Maler in 1477, edited by Peter Loslein, generally known as the Ratdolt Appian, GLORIOUSLY ADORNED WITH WOODCUT INITIALS THROUGHOUT, IN WHICH WHITE CAPITALS, VINES, FOLIAGE AND BUNCHES OF FRUITS APPEAR ON A STARK, BLACK GROUND, constituting only the second appearance in print of Appian’s ‘Bellis Civilibus,’ FURTHER ADORNED WITH A STUNNING WOODCUT BORDER ON THE INCIPIT LEAF, COMPOSED OF VINES AND FOLIAGE, AS WELL AS A BLANK SHIELD FOR THE OWNER’S ARMORIAL (this is the first appearance of this border; it may be considered the earliest fully developed border in a Venetian book and was used once more by Ratdolt  - in his great Euclid of 1482), complete in all respects (save the opening blank leaf), solidly in very good to excellent condition, AN UNUSUALLY TALL AND WIDE EXAMPLE, WITH DIMENSIONS LARGER THAN MOST OF THE sale RECORD, bound in early 19th century Italian quarter-calf with vellum-tipped corners, and OFFERED WITH .

     

 

Please take the time necessary to review the photos below in order to gain a better understanding of the content and condition of the volume. Please also take a moment to view my other sales of rare and desirable English and Continental printed books dating from the 15th through the 19th century.

 

Shipment is free for customers in the United States and Canada. For U.S. clients we ship either FedEx Ground for large shipments or USPS Priority for single books or smaller amounts. We ship using Canada Post for Canadian customers.

 

Canadian buyers please note that we list on .com which automatically charges for international shipment. Your invoice will be amended to reflect free shipping.

 

We charge for shipment of international orders.  We try to ship using USPS flat rate priority-mail boxes and we charge for shipment at cost or slightly below. Small 12mo books are shipped for USD 20.00. The cost of shipment for any book in Octavo, Quarto or small folio format is USD 45.00. The cost of shipment for large folios or quartos of equivalent size is USD 58.00. Multiple folio volumes and sets are, of course, generally more expensive and the cost of their shipment will always be quoted in the listing. With all of our sales if an individual client wins multiple books we charge only charge for the shipment of one book and cover the cost of shipment of the rest. Please note that mobile devices do not yet display correctly the shipment costs for international customers. Please enquire or consult the non-mobile site in order to obtain complete information concerning the cost of shipment.

 

All purchases save those by Canadian clients are shipped from New York State once per week, weather permitting. If you require faster service or special handling please let us know and we will do our best to accomodate.

     


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Appian Appianus 1477 Historia Romana Ratdolt Bellis Civilibus Incunabula No Res

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Appian Appianus 1477 Historia Romana Ratdolt Bellis Civilibus Incunabula No Res:
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