London, South Kensington
8 October 2015
JANUS LACINIUS (14TH-15TH CENTURY?)
Praeciosa ac Nobilissima Artis Chymiae Collectanea de Occultissimo ac Praeciosissimo Philosophorum Lapide. Nuremberg: Gabriel Hayn, 1554. 4° (204 x 155mm). Woodcut printer's device on title, initials and full-page illustration. (Occasional light browning.) 19th-century boards reusing manuscript leaf of liturgical music on vellum (some rubbing and staining). Provenance: Cathena (inscription on endpaper) — A. Lauria, Paris (bookseller’s stamp).
FIRST EDITION of a rare and fundamental text on alchemy. Another work by Lacinius was published by the Aldine press in Venice in 1546 but, although the title is similar, Pretiosa Margarita Novella de Thesauro, ac Pretiosissimo Philosophorum Lapide, the contents are different. Lacinius may have been a pseudonym and he was thought to be Giovanni da Crotone, a Franciscan friar from Calabria. Duveen p.332 (‘This collection seems to differ considerably from the 1546 edition’); VD16 L34; Wellcome 3608; not in Caillet.
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