• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 5141

    Fine Printed Books & Manuscripts

    12 November 2007, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 47

    STELLUTI, Francesco (1577-1653, editor and translator) -- PERSIUS FLACCUS (34-62), Aulus. Persio tradotto in verso sciolto e dichiarato. Rome: G. Mascardi, 1630. 4° (216 x 150mm). Latin and Italian text, engraved allegorical title by Matthäus Greuter, engraved portrait of Persius, one full-page engraved plate depicting a bee as seen under a microscope, and 5 smaller engravings, woodcut initials and tailpiece (occasional soiling, some variable spotting and browning, lacking final blank, quires Q-S have been supplied from another copy). Contemporary limp vellum, spine titled in manuscript (a little soiled, extremities chipped, short splits on upper hinge, minor repairs on lower pastedown). Provenance: presentation inscription recording the gift of the book from Cardinal de Laurea, 15 August 1689 (possibly Cardinal Brancatus de Laurea, d. 1693).

    Price Realised  

    STELLUTI, Francesco (1577-1653, editor and translator) -- PERSIUS FLACCUS (34-62), Aulus. Persio tradotto in verso sciolto e dichiarato. Rome: G. Mascardi, 1630. 4° (216 x 150mm). Latin and Italian text, engraved allegorical title by Matthäus Greuter, engraved portrait of Persius, one full-page engraved plate depicting a bee as seen under a microscope, and 5 smaller engravings, woodcut initials and tailpiece (occasional soiling, some variable spotting and browning, lacking final blank, quires Q-S have been supplied from another copy). Contemporary limp vellum, spine titled in manuscript (a little soiled, extremities chipped, short splits on upper hinge, minor repairs on lower pastedown). Provenance: presentation inscription recording the gift of the book from Cardinal de Laurea, 15 August 1689 (possibly Cardinal Brancatus de Laurea, d. 1693).

    FIRST EDITION OF STELLUTI'S TRANSLATION AND THE FIRST BOOK TO CONTAIN ILLUSTRATIONS OF NATURAL OBJECTS AS SEEN THROUGH THE MICROSCOPE. 'The work includes the Latin text of the Satyrae VI of Aulus Persius Flaccus together with an Italian translation and notes by Stelluti' (Garrison-Morton). Stelluti was a friend of Galileo, and a founding member of the renowned Accademia dei Lyncei, the first important scientific society founded in Europe. Galileo was a fellow-member of the academy, and it was his microscope that Stelluti used for his observations. His microscopic illustrations of the honey bee appeared in an extremely rare broadside by Federigo Cesi in 1625 (two copies recorded by Wellcome), but the Persio contains the first such illustrations to appear in a book. Carli-Favaro 121; Cinti 86; Cole 403; Garrison-Morton 259; Nissen ZBI 3988; NLM/Krivatsy 8806; Wellcome I, 4917.


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Special Notice

    No VAT on hammer price or buyer's premium.