[CHRONICLES]. Cronica del serenissimo rey don Juan el segundo. Logrono: Arnao Guillen de Brocar, 10 October 1517. Folio, 298 x 225 mm. (11¾ x 9 in.), 19th-century brown calf richly gilt, device of dagger flanked by gryphons at center of cover, repeated on spine, title laid down on heavy paper, with slight loss to outer woodcut border and small tear at inner border, last leaf cut out around text and woodcut and laid down, 1-inch clean tear to d6, repaired tear to i8 and o7, a few marginal tears and repairs, most headlines shaved or cropped, staining to gutter margins, some soiling and browning throughout.
FIRST EDITION. Collation: 10 A-B8 a-hh8 ii4. 278 leaves, foliated. Semi-gothic type, double column, chapter headings printed in red throughout. Title printed in red below large woodcut of two authors presenting a book to a King on a throne, within an assemblage of 9 white on black ornamental strip borders, full-page woodcut of the Crucifixion within strip borders on 10v, signed I.D., woodcut of Juan II on horseback surrounded by small woodcuts of eight royal relatives framed by strip borders, large woodcut printer's device at end, very large opening woodcut initial at head showing Juan II, smaller (8- and 5-line) historiated and ornamental initials throughout, a few printed in red; with the inserted leaf between a4 and a5 as described by Heredia. A few contemporary marginalia. Brunet II, 1837-8 ("très-rare"); Lyell, Early Book Illustration in Spain, p. 286 and fig. 225 ("one of the most sumptuously printed of the early Spanish books"); Palau 64966; Salvá 3117; Heredia 3131 (Salvá copy: like this one with the title and last leaf cut round and mounted).
VERY RARE first edition of an important Spanish chronicle, formerly attributed to Fernan Perez de Guzman (one of the compiler-editors of the text, taken from various authors), an attribution since disputed on grounds of literary style: cf. Palau, who details the contributors to the work and comments that this edition is "uno de los libros mas espléndidos y correctos que salieron de las prensas del famoso Arnao Guillén de Brocar." The edition was printed by order of the Emperor Charles V, who may have contributed to the printing costs. Two or three copies were printed on vellum, probably for the emperor's use as presentation copies. The last copy to be sold at auction was the Phillipps copy in 1977, which lacked 3 leaves.