AUGUSTINUS, Aurelius (Saint, 354-430). De civitate Dei. Venice: Nicolaus Jenson, 2 October 1475.
Chancery 2o (299 x 209 mm). Collation: [1-28 (1/1 blank, 1/2r table of rubrics, 2/8 blank); 3-3110 (3/1r text, 31/8v colophon, 31/9-10 blank)]. 303 leaves (of 306, without blank leaves 2/8 and 31/9-10). 46 lines and headlines, double column. Types: 2:84G (text), 4:110R (headlines). 2- to 11-line initial spaces, most with printed guide letters. Lombard initials, some pearled, a few flourished, and paragraph marks supplied in red, capital strokes in yellow in early quires. Original manuscript quiring preserved. Bound at end is a manuscript leaf on vellum from a 14th-century ?French manuscript of the Corpus juris canonici. (Staining to lower blank margins, worming in last 5 quires.) Early 20th-century English Arts-and-Crafts style russet morocco, smooth spine lettered in gilt, turn-ins gilt ruled, binding perhaps by Katharine Adams for Dyson Perrins (spine faded, slight wear, hinges cracking), deckle edges evident at fore and lower edges throughout.
Provenance: Reverend Walter Sneyd (bookplate, his library sold at Sotheby's, 16-19 December 1912) -- C. W. Dyson Perrins (bookplate and label with catalogue number from 1914 Catalogue) -- (Bernard Quaritch, Ltd., collation note).
Sixth edition, second Venetian edition. In his own time, Nicolaus Jenson, Venice's second printer, was not less respected for his simple, clear gothic types than for the roman types for which he was later celebrated. The present edition was issued a few months after Sixtus IV conferred upon the Frenchman the title of Count Palatine (announced in a letter printed at the end of the Decretales of March 1475). In 1475, following a three-year lull provoked by the crisis in the book trade, Jenson's press resumed the steady pace of the first two years of its activity, producing a total of 13 known editions.
Variant settings are known of 1/2r, line 1 and of the colophon: this copy corresponds in both to the main entries of GW and BMC.
A LARGE COPY, OF DISTINGUISHED PROVENANCE. HC 2051*; BMC V, 175 (IB. 19686); CIBN A-682; Dyson Perrins 9; Harvard/Walsh 1578-1579; IGI 972; Lowry 42; Pr 4096; Goff A-1235.