4 June 2008
MARTIALIS, Marcus Valerius (40-104). Epigrammata. Venice: Aldus Manutius, December 1501.
Aldine 8° (162 x 97mm). Italic type 1:80. 6- to 7-line initial spaces with guide-letter. (A1-2 slightly short at fore-margin.) 19th-century olive straight-grained morocco gilt by Charles Lewis, signed on front turn-in, sides with shaped fillet panel, spine lettered and elaborately gilt, wide turn-ins, crimson paper liners, gilt edges (very slight rubbing at spine). Provenance: Bologna, convent of San Domenico (stamp on final blank verso).
FIRST ALDINE EDITION, printed in italic type and published by Aldus in his libri portalis series. The novelty of Aldus's publication of uncommentated slender-octavo editions of Latin and Greek classics and Italian poetry in Francesco Griffo's italics (apparently specifically modelled on Aldus's own hand), forms a clear break from the incunable tradition. Inspired by the script and size of humanistic vellum manuscripts that had come into fashion from the late 14th century onwards, the typographical innovation was immediately and widely imitated in Italy and beyond. Adams M-689; Ahmanson-Murphy 47; Renouard 30:7.
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