PLATINA, Bartholomaeus (1421-81). Vitae pontificum. [Venice]: Johannes de Colonia and Johannes Manthen, 11 June 1479.
Chancery 2° (304 x 206mm). Collation: a10 b-o8 p6 q-y8 z10 &8 aa-ee8 ff6 (a1r blank, a1v letter to the author by Squarzifacius, register, a2r text, ff6r colophon, ff6v blank). 240 leaves. 39 lines. Type: 8:109R3, 110 Greek on 22v. 7-line illuminated initial opening prologue in red on blue and gold ground within green fictive frame and with foliate extensions, illuminated foliate decoration in lower border incorporating the ?Schmugenhofer coat-of-arms, unidentified coat-of-arms of an archduke of Austria in fore-margin, 3- to 6-line initials and paragraph marks alternating in red or blue, contemporary MS. foliation, some printed guide-letters in first 2 quires. Contemporary manuscript table of contents on flyleaf and first blank page. (Fo. A3.7 rehinged.) Contemporary blindstamped calf over wooden boards, sides tooled to different panelled design with foliate, lion, stag, double-headed eagle and acorn tool (not in Schwenke-Sammlung), fore-edge clasps, evidence of chain staple on back board (repairs at spine, lightly restored, clasps renewed, one modern endleaf). Provenance: Schmugenhofer family, medieval patrician family of Nuremberg (coat-of-arms on a2) -- an archduke of Austria (coats-of-arms on a2) -- early additions on two leaves.
FIRST EDITION of Platina's great history of the lives of the Popes, the first systematic papal history. Platina served as the first librarian at the Vatican under its modern founder, Sixtus IV. A LARGE, FRESH COPY, retaining some deckle edges. HC *13045; BMC V, 235 (IB. 20355-6); CIBN P-443; Polain(B) 3186; BSB-Ink. P-565; Bod-inc. P-342; Goff P-768.