4 June 2008,
London, King Street
Price Realised GBP 22,500
Estimate GBP 20,000 - GBP 30,000
VITRUVIUS POLLIO, Marcus (c.70 BC-c.15 BC). De architectura. Edited by Fra Giovanni Giocondo (1433-1515). Venice: Giovanni Tacuino, 22 May 1511.
2° (304 x 208mm). Collation: AA4; A-N8; O6; P10. 123 leaves (of 124, without final blank). Roman type, a few words in Greek, shoulder notes, index at end in triple column. Four-piece decorative woodcut title border, 136 woodcut illustrations and diagrams in the text, most within double rule borders, printer's device on P9v (Kristeller 326), woodcut initials. (Title soiled, lightly browned and with one crease, occasional light spotting, light marginal soiling.) 17th-century half vellum, spine lettered in gilt, edges marbled (extremities rubbed, boards with some wear and some dampstains). Provenance: pressmark on title -- W. Gedney Beatty (1869-1941, American architect; gifted to:) -- The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Department of Prints (bookplate recording the bequest, cancelled).
FIRST ILLUSTRATED EDITION of Vitruvius's fundamental architectural treatise. The three previous editions contained a few schematic woodcut diagrams, but Tacuino's edition is the first to be extensively illustrated with woodcuts of architectural details and plans, machinery, etc. The often-copied woodcut title border is 'one of the most influential pieces of ornamentation of the sixteenth century' (Mortimer), and was apparently printed here for the first time. This edition was the work of Fra Giovanni Giocondo, a working architect and authority on classical inscriptions, who during the last year of his life collaborated with Raphael and Sangallo on St. Peter's. Adams V-902; Berlin Kat. 1798; Cicognara 696; Essling 1702; Fowler 393; Mortimer Italian 543; Millard Italian 156; Norman 2157; Sander 7694.
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