APPIANUS OF ALEXANDRIA (fl. 2nd century A.D.). Historia Romana. -De bellis civilibus. Translated from Greek into Latin by Petrus Candidus Decembrius (1399-1477). Venice: Bernard Maler, Erhard Ratdolt and Peter Löslein, 1477.
2 volumes, royal half-sheet 4° (280 x 195mm). 132 and 212 leaves (collation as GW). Roman type 1:109, 32 lines, printed marginalia, c2r left blank by the printers to indicate a lacuna in the text. Two white-on-black woodcut borders, on the first page of each volume, incorporating an empty shield and wreath to accommodate an owner's coat-of-arms, fine white-on-black woodcut initials. (Minor worming at the end of each volume.) The paper in the freshest possible condition, unpressed, some deckle edges preserved.
BINDING: contemporary blind-tooled goatskin over wooden boards, perhaps Venetian, fawn (vol.1) and russet (vol.2), the covers of the two volumes similarly but not identically decorated with shared small tools, multiple fillets in compartments of spine, one pair of vellum endleaves in each volume, printer's waste pastedowns in vol.I, (all clasps except one missing, some defects to front cover and spine of vol.II, back cover stained.) Provenance: Antonio Pillone (binding); Odorico Pillone (edges); Sir Thomas Brooke (bookplate); Berès 1; M. de Bry (Procaptu lectoris booklabel, 5 Dec. 1966 Ader sale, lot 10).
VECELLIO FORE-EDGE PAINTINGS: Roman warriors in front of a large tent (vol.1), combat scene in a Roman street (vol.2), author's name inscribed vertically, top and bottom edges red marbled with blue (1), grey marbled with blue (2).
FIRST COMPLETE EDITION (part 2 first published by Vindelinus de Spira in 1472). The Parthicus section in part 1 is not by Appian but a later Byzantine addition. The blocks for the woodcut borders are used for the first time in this edition. EXTREMELY FINE SET, the two volumes having been together from the beginning (surviving volumes have often become separated or been joined up later). BMC V, 224; Essling 221; Goff A-928; GW 2290; Sander 482. (2)