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Vita et fabulae. Latin prose version of Romulus, fables of Remigius and others. Translated from Greek into Latin by Rinucius Aretinus
[Augsburg: Anton Zorg, not before 1483]. From the Collection of Arthur & Charlotte Vershbow. Folio (275 x 194 mm). 121 leaves (of 130) lacking p8 and q1-8. Gothic types. 35 lines. Space for large opening initial on a2r, a few four-line woodcut capitals in the Vita, spaces for initials with guide-letters in the rest of the book. Frontispiece full-page woodcut and 183 (of 193) smaller woodcuts (80 x 107 mm), a few repeated. 19th-century English green morocco, tooled in blind. Some minor worming at beginning and end. Provenance: 4th Earl of Ashburnham (1797-1878, shelfmark, sale Sotheby's, 25 June 1897, lot 19); purchased from Maggs Bros., 1960. One of four Sorg editions to contain the original woodcuts from Johannes Zainer's Ulm c. 1476-77 edition, the first illustrated edition of the group of Greek fables generally ascribed to Aesop. All of the woodcuts were printed from Zainer's much-copied original blocks with the exception of the large frontispiece cut, a slightly reduced copy of that of the Ulm edition. Sorg also printed three editions with these cuts of Steinhöwel's German translation, apparently all preceding this Latin edition. Three other editions of Aesop, illustrated with the original Zainer blocks, were published before 1493, by different Augsburg presses (Schöbser: GW 358 and 359, and Schönsperger: GW 361, printed respectively in 1485, 1487 and 1491). All are very rare; of the present edition, ISTC records 19 other copies, while most of the other editions are known in fewer than five copies. According to American Book Prices Current only one copy of this edition (or any other edition with Zainer woodcuts) has sold in the last 35 years: Christie's New York, 22 April 1994, lot 75 for $189,500. BMC II 356 (IB 6075); BSB-Ink A-75. Fairfax Murray German 18 (dated c. 1486); Goff A-112 (4 copies); GW 347; HC 326*; Proctor 1723; Schreiber 3022 ("perhaps the finest illustrations of any 15th century German book"). Fact and Fantasy 3.
      [Bookseller: Riverrun Books & Manuscripts]
Last Found On: 2017-08-06           Check availability:      Biblio    


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