AESOP. c.620-560 B.C. [Vita et Fabulae], Latin prose version of Romulus, Franciscus Rinucius Aretinus, translator, et Fabulae, Lib. I-IV, with the metrical version of Anonymous Neveletti (i.e., Aesopus Moralisatus).  [Basel: Jacob Wolff von Pforzheim,  c.1489.]
Lot 3
AESOP. c.620-560 B.C.
[Vita et Fabulae], Latin prose version of Romulus, Franciscus Rinucius Aretinus, translator, et Fabulae, Lib. I-IV, with the metrical version of Anonymous Neveletti (i.e., Aesopus Moralisatus). [Basel: Jacob Wolff von Pforzheim, c.1489.]
Sold for US$ 106,250 inc. premium

Fine Books and Manuscripts

12 Jun 2018, 13:00 EDT

New York

Lot Details
AESOP. c.620-560 B.C. [Vita et Fabulae], Latin prose version of Romulus, Franciscus Rinucius Aretinus, translator, et Fabulae, Lib. I-IV, with the metrical version of Anonymous Neveletti (i.e., Aesopus Moralisatus).  [Basel: Jacob Wolff von Pforzheim,  c.1489.] AESOP. c.620-560 B.C. [Vita et Fabulae], Latin prose version of Romulus, Franciscus Rinucius Aretinus, translator, et Fabulae, Lib. I-IV, with the metrical version of Anonymous Neveletti (i.e., Aesopus Moralisatus).  [Basel: Jacob Wolff von Pforzheim,  c.1489.] AESOP. c.620-560 B.C. [Vita et Fabulae], Latin prose version of Romulus, Franciscus Rinucius Aretinus, translator, et Fabulae, Lib. I-IV, with the metrical version of Anonymous Neveletti (i.e., Aesopus Moralisatus).  [Basel: Jacob Wolff von Pforzheim,  c.1489.]
AESOP. c.620-560 B.C.
[Vita et Fabulae], Latin prose version of Romulus, Franciscus Rinucius Aretinus, translator, et Fabulae, Lib. I-IV, with the metrical version of Anonymous Neveletti (i.e., Aesopus Moralisatus). [Basel: Jacob Wolff von Pforzheim, c.1489.]
Folio (238 x 165 mm). a-o8.6 p8 q10 (q9 and q10 blank) TEXT COMPLETE WITH 114 LEAVES, this copy with one of the final two blank leaves (not called for by BMC see below) full-page woodcut frontispiece, 192 woodcut illustrations in text, woodcut initials. 19th century paneled burgundy morocco, by J. Leighton, gilt edges. Light wear to upper joint. Inner upper corner with minor worming, repaired, occasionally touching letters, a few headlines shaved, a few other repairs to margins, h2 shaved affecting woodcut at lower margin with 1/8 in supplied in facsimile, l6 with upper and outer margins renewed, touching a few letters supplied in facsimile.
Provenance: Early ink annotations on b5 verso and final blank; C. W. Dyson Perrins (bookplate, his sale Sotheby's, 10 March 1947, lot 536); Silvain S. Brunschwig (morocco bookplate).

THE EARLIEST ILLUSTRATED EDITION OF AESOP TO BE PRINTED IN SWITZERLAND, FORMERLY IN THE COLLECTIONS OF DYSON PERRONS AND SILVAIN BRUNSCHWIG. Early references to Aesop, including those by Aristotle, Plato, Herodotus and Aristophanes, suggest he was a Greek slave, born circa 620 B.C. No manuscript writings by Aesop have survived, and although collections of the fables from the 4th century B.C. are suggested, Fables attributed to Aesop were first gathered and set down in writing by Babrius (in Greek) and Phaedrus (in Latin) as early as the first century C.E. In the tenth century, a prose version in Latin by Romulus appeared, which would become the most influential of the early versions and the version upon which most subsequent prose translations were based.

The editio princeps of the Fables in Latin appeared around 1470, in Greek in 1478, and in English by Caxton in 1484. The earliest illustrated edition of the Fables appeared in Ulm in 1476, published by Johann Zainer, and the woodcuts were quickly copied, sometimes in reverse, by other printers. The present edition, the earliest to be published in Switzerland, uses copies of those cuts in reverse, attributed by B.M.C. to Adam von Speier.

The printer of this edition has been established by Clifford C. Rattey as Jacobus Wolff de Pforzheim, having previously been erroneously attributed to Joh. de Amorbach or M. Furter. As to the dating of this edition, recent bibliographic descriptions date the work "not after 1489"; this edition was previously dated to circa 1492 (by Goff and Schreiber) and Rattey concluded it to have been printed "nearer to 1490." See Rattey, "The Undated Aesop Attributed Jakob Wolff de Pforzheim" in The Library (1957), pp. 119-121. GW calls for the last gathering q10 with the blank final two leaves. BMC calls for 8 leaves in the last gathering despite the collation mark q5 in this gathering. The above copy has one of the two final blanks. BMC III, 788; BSB-Ink A-76; Fairfax-Murray German 19; Goff A-115; GW 350.
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