17 November 2004
ENGLISH AND CONTINENTAL LITERATURE
AGRIPPA, Henricus Cornelius (1486?-1535). De occulta philosophia libri tres. [?Cologne: Johannes Soter], July 1533.
2° (274 x 181mm). Roman type. Title with woodcut portrait of the author. Letterpress astrological tables and woodcut figures, including 7 cuts showing the proportions and properties of the human body. 8- to 4-line woodcut historiated initials. (Title restored, cut short at lower margin and probably supplied from another copy, lower margin of aa2 with small repair, early quires waterstained at corners, some gatherings browned, A2 with ink splashes, without blank G6.) Contemporary vellum with paper label on spine and yapp edges (a reimboitage). Provenance: washed inscriptions on title; occasional annotations in a contemporary hand.
FIRST EDITION TO CONTAIN ALL THREE PARTS, the first part having originally been published in 1530, twenty years after this famous defence of magic was written, probably under the influence of the author's friend, Johannes Trithemius, abbot of Würzburg. The privilege of the Emperor Charles V, to whom Agrippa was archivist and historiographer, is printed in French on the title verso, a double anomaly as Caillet says for a Latin work printed in Germany. Adams differs in giving the place of publication as Basle. There are several issues with the same anonymous imprint. Adams A-386; Caillet 93; VD-16 A1180.
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