NANI MIRABELLI, DOMINICUS. fl. late 15th c.
Polyanthea opus suavissimus floribus exornatum compositum.... Savona: Francesco Silva, Ides of February, 1503.
Folio (297 x 201 mm). α-β8 a-z8 &8 З8 Њ8 A-P8 Q-R6. Double column. Title, opening initial and heading of dedication and text all printed in red. Half-page hand-colored woodcut on first text leaf. Decorative initials. Rubricated through f 80, including the index with red line fillers and capitals touched in yellow and some hand-colored initials. Mid-20th century vellum gilt, all edges gilt. Title with pale dampstain, first four leaves with small marginal repairs to upper corners, marginal brown stain to final 12 leaves, intermittent minor toning.
Provenance: early ownership inscriptions of Joachim Binimeli and of Damian Protat on title page.
RARE AND BEAUTIFUL FIRST EDITION OF ONE OF THE EARLIEST 'KONVERSATIONLEXICA.' "In some ways [the Polyanthea] may be said to have been the prototype of the Conversationslexicon: it is arranged alphabetically by subjects, and it is furnished with etymological derivations, complete with numerous illustrative quotations" (Collison Encyclopedias). Nani's sources include Dante, Petrarch, and hundreds of others. He includes anecdotes and proverbs from antiquity and medieval writing as well as natural history and medicine. Not in Adams (indeed only one Savona imprint appears in the index).