JUSTINIANUS (483-565). Institutiones, with the Glossa ordinaria of Accursius. Venice: Jacobus Rubeus, 4 July 1476.
2° (396 x 268mm). PRINTED ON VELLUM. Collation: a-b10 c8 d6 e-f10 g12 h10 i6 k8 (a1r blank, a1v table, a2r text, k7r colophon, k7v-8 blank). 90 leaves (blank k8 misbound at front). 75 lines of commentary, double column, printed guide-letters. Printed in red and black. Type: 3:104G, 5:88G. FINELY ILLUMINATED BY A VENETIAN ARTIST showing influence of the Pico Master, a 15-line presentation miniature of Emperor Justinian opening the text, full-length bar border of burnished gold and blue, the lower margin with 2 putti holding cornucopiae flanking an armorial (armorial erased), 2- to 7-line coloured initials on burnished gold ground with extensions, commentary initials in red or blue with red or purple penwork decoration, paragraph marks in red or blue. (Small, light stains in i6, small marginal wormhole in a few leaves only.) 18th-century red straight-grained morocco, gilt rule frame, spine lettered in second compartment, gilt edges (some light staining and wear, particularly at spine and corners, front free endpaper loose). Provenance: unidentified contemporary Italian owner (armorial erased) -- Maffeo Pinelli (1736-85; sale 2 March 1789, lot 5909 'exemplar splendidissime impressum in membranis', £36 to:) -- Samuel Tyssen, Narborough Hall, Norfolk (d.1880; sale Sotheby's 7 December 1801, lot 1626, £31.10 to:) -- Robert Heathcote (sale Sotheby's, 16 December 1805, £15.15 to:) -- Michael Wodhull (1740-1816; signature and purchase note 'of [Thomas] Payne', '£21:-:-, Apr. 29th 1806'; by descent to J.E. Severne [sale Sotheby's, 11 January 1886 to:]) -- Albert Muller (collation note 18 Jan. 1886) -- [James E. Keating, Phoenix, AZ (cf. Goff, sold 1965) -- sale Amsterdam, Van Gendt, 22 March 1978, lot 1739, DF44,000].
THE PINELLI-WODHULL COPY, FINELY ILLUMINATED AND PRINTED ON VELLUM, OF A FOUNDATION TEXT FOR WESTERN LAW. It is one of only two copies known printed on vellum, the only one complete. The Institutiones form part of Justinian's codification of the Roman legal system which served for centuries as the basis for all civil law study and practice. No copy in the British Library, or elsewhere in the UK, and only one copy in the USA (Harvard Law Library). HC *9501; GW 7592; CIBN C-602 (vellum and paper copies, both imperfect); BSB-Ink. C-635; IGI 5497; Brunet III, 611 (this copy); Van Praet, Bib. nato., I, 42 (note referring to the present, Pinelli copy: 'superbe exemplaire') -- Goff J-514 (this copy, then the only copy recorded in America).