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DIOSCORIDES (fl. 1st century A.D.). De materia medica. Edited and with commentary by Petrus de Abano (c.1250-c.1316). Colle di Val d'Elsa: Johannes de Medemblick, July 1478.
DIOSCORIDES (fl. 1st century A.D.). De materia medica. Edited and with commentary by Petrus de Abano (c.1250-c.1316). Colle di Val d'Elsa: Johannes de Medemblick, July 1478.

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DIOSCORIDES (fl. 1st century A.D.). De materia medica. Edited and with commentary by Petrus de Abano (c.1250-c.1316). Colle di Val d'Elsa: Johannes de Medemblick, July 1478.

2 works in one volume, super-chancery 2° (315 x 222mm). Collation: a10 b-c8 d4 e8 f-g6 h8 A-B6 C-F8 G2 (a1 blank, a2r text, F8r colophon, F8v-G2 list of subjects). 102 leaves (of 104, lacking final quire G2). Type: 1:90/91G, 2:180G. Double column, up to 59 lines of commentary surround. 2- to 4-line initial spaces, most with guide-letter, unrubricated. (First and last page soiled, some staining, a1.10 and c1.8 rehinged.) 'Dioscorides' written on first blank in a contemporary hand.

[Bound second with:]

Donum Dei sive De febribus. [Milan?: Printer of the 'Donum Dei, c. 1500]. Collation: a8 b-d6 e-f4 (a1 blank, a2r text, f3v tabula, f4 blank). 34 leaves. 51 lines, double column. Type: 1:92R. 3- to 6-line initial spaces with printed guide-letter. (D1.6 rehinged, some light spotting, tiny wormhole.)

Binding: contemporary Italian, probably Belluno, half goatskin over inner-bevelled wooden boards, tooled with single diagonal fillet, 4 clasps with shaped catches on back cover (lightly rubbed).

Provenance: Antonio Pillone (1464-1533; binding) -- Odorico Pillone (1503-1593; fore-edges) -- Sir Thomas Brooke (1830-1908; bookplate; sold by his heirs in 1957 to Pierre Berès).

Vecellio fore-edge painting: a sick-bed scene of a man lying in bed with blue and white bed linen and elaborate green drapery above, abbreviated title written below lower clasp, upper and lower edges marbled in red and brown.

FIRST EDITION OF DIOSCORIDES, THE FIRST BOOK PRINTED AT COLLE DI VAL D'ELSA, and the only book printed at this press. The text printed here is the medieval alphabetical reworking of the Latin translation. It exerted considerable influence on Greek medicine, beginning with Galen, and on Arab and Hebrew work. By the 15th century Dioscorides's influence was also transmitted through various herbals, such as the Herbarius and Hortus sanitatis (cf. Cranz and Kristeller, Catalogus translationum, IV, 6-9, 15). 'The books printed at Colle are of considerable intrinsic interest, especially for the history of medical printing' (BMC VII, lxxiv). FIRST EDITION of the Donum Dei, an anonymous treatise on fevers and the only work assigned to this eponymous press. This volume belongs to the earliest of the groups distinguished by Hobson, all in plain half-leather bindings, one of which contains a notarial deed dated Belluno, 8 December 1470. Bibliothèque Pillone 17. Dioscorides: HC *6528; GW 8436; BMC VII, 1078 (IB. 33502); CIBN D-166; BSB-Ink D-184; Bod-inc. D-104; Klebs 342.1; Goff D-261. Donum Dei: H *6948; GW 9044; IGI 3572; BSB-Ink T-410 (after 1500); not in Goff. RARE: no copy in the British Library, in France or in America.

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Henrietta Greene
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