HYGINUS Caius Julius (fl. 2nd century, attributed to). Poeticon astronomicon. Edited by Jacobus Sentinus and Johannes Lucilius Santritter. Venice: Erhard Ratdolt, 14 October 1482.
Chancery 4o (217 x 159 mm). Collation: a-f8 g10 (a1 blank, a2r dedication to M. Fabius [Quintilianus?], a3r text, g9r commendatory poem by Jacobus Sentinus, g10r poem and verse colophon by Johannes Santritter, g10v blank). 57 (of 58 lacking the blank) leaves. 31 lines. Types 3:91G (text), 7:92G (heading on a2r), 91 Gk (a few words). Title on a2r printed in red, 11-, 7-, 5- and 3-line white-on-black woodcut initials. 47 half-page woodcuts, probably designed by Santritter, of the constellation and planet figures. (Some very minor marginal worming, light browning to a few leaves, small repair to blank margin of f2 and g9.) 19th-century English straight-grain morocco ruled in blind and gilt, spine gilt-lettered and tooled in blind in gilt, gilt edges.) Provenance: Tammaro de Marinis; Martin Breslauer sold in April 1965 to; Otto Schäfer (small ink stamp and inventory number 412; his sale part I Sotheby's New York, 8 December 1994, lot 95).
Second edition, FIRST ILLUSTRATED EDITION. The series of woodcuts constitutes the earliest printed representation of the constellations. The woodcuts, attributed to Santritter, derive from medieval manuscript sources and depict figures in medieval European costume. The text is attributed to Hyginus the mythographer and based on Greek sources, particularly Aratos' Phaenomena. Blending myth and science, the work explains the basics of astronomy, the 42 constellations and the zodiac. The text was first published in an unillustrated edition in Ferrara in 1475.
Arnim Katalog der Bibliothek Otto Schäfer 171.2 (this copy); BMC V, 286; BSB-Ink H-459; CIBN H-334; Essling 285; Goff H-560; HC 9062*; ; Hind II, p. 462; IGI 4959; Klebs 527.2; Pollard/Perrins 31; Redgrave 30; Sander 3472.