London, South Kensington
8 October 2014
LAONICUS CHALCOCONDYLAS (c.1423-1490)
L’Histoire de la Decadence de l’Empire Grec et establissement de celuy de Turcs… De la traduction de B. de Vigenere Bourbonois et illustrée par luy de curieuse recherché trouvées depuis son deces. Avec la Continuation de la mesme Histoire depuis la ruine du Peloponese jusques a l’an 1612. Par Thomas Artus. Tome I [- Second Tome… jusqu’a l’Année 1649. Par F.E. du Mezeray, Avec l’Histoire du Serrail par le Sr. Baudier…] Paris: chez Mathieu Guillemot, 1650. 2 volumes, 2° (355 x 225). Half-titles, engraved illustrated title-pages, woodcut initials, head- and tail-pieces, folding engraved view of Constantinople by Jacob Isac, folding plate of Turkish battle formations and 91 engravings, of which 24 are portraits of Sultans to accompany their biographies. (Closed tear to view of Constantinople, a few page tears, corner torn from two leaves affecting a few words, ink stain to fore-edges of a few quires in Vol. I.) Contemporary mottled calf, covers with double gilt ruled, gilt-panelled spines, red calf labels (upper hinge Vol. II with short splits).
RARE EDITION of the principal source for Byzantium from the 13th-15th centuries, by the Athenian nobleman whose work was updated from the first Latin printing of 1556 to this much expanded edition. The French editions are known for their portraits of Sultans, in the 1650 edition ranging from 1300-1649. The costume engravings after Nicolas de Nicolay, originally drawn by him during the 1551 French mission to Constantinople, were printed in the first and successive French editions and became a standard of excellence. NO COPY OF THIS EDITION CAN BE TRACED IN AUCTION RECORDS (ABPC/AE-online). This copy appears to be complete, collating with the copy in the Herzog Bibliothek, Germany, the ONLY COPY LISTED ON COPAC. Brunet I, 1436.22; Atabey 214 (1662 edition); Koç 59 (1662 edition); Lipperheide Lb18 (1662 edition).
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