DIOGENES CYNICUS (d. c.323, attributed to). Epistolae. Translated from Greek into Latin by Franciscus Griffolinus. - Epistolae Bruti et Hippocratis. Translated by Rinuccio d'Arezzo. 'Florence: Antonius Francisci, Venetus, 22 June 1487' [Venice: Tommaso di Piasi, 1492].
4° (205 x 143mm). Collation: AA-FF8 GG6. 54 leaves. Type: 1:107R. 30 lines. 2- and 3-line initial spaces with printed guide-letters, quire signatures stamped by hand.
BINDING: Parisian binding c. 1555 by the Mahieu Aesop Binder for Jean Grolier; gold-tooled polished calf over pasteboard, azure and open tools, authors and title lettered at centre of front cover, Grolier ownership .IO.GR.ET.AMICORUM. at lower edge of front panel, his motto at centre of rear cover, 5 double spine bands, compartments with fleuron, board edges with thin tool alternating with single gilt fillet, pastedown and 2 flyleaves at each end, watermark of a circle containing '4' with pendant quatrefoil, gilt edges (very lightly stained); modern brown cloth folding case. G.D. Hobson, Maioli, p. 38, no. 1; Austin 161; Cinq siècles d'ornements, no. 31; Hobson/Culot2 49; Musea Nostra, p. 31.
PROVENANCE: Jean Grolier (binding) -- Louis Duret (1527-86?, medical doctor) -- Jacques Grozelier (16th-century title inscription recording his purchase of the book at Paris from the library of Duret) -- Jean Louis Anthoine Coste (sale Paris, 17 April 1854, lot 1100) -- C. Riva, of Milan (sale Paris, 8 January 1857, lot 1512) -- Félix Solar (sale Paris, 9 November 1860, lot 555) -- Joseph Techener, Paris bookseller (sale of stock, Paris 4 April 1865, lot 1568, to:) -- L. Potier, Paris bookseller (not in his sale) -- Louis Lebeuf de Montgermont (sale Paris, 27 March 1876, lot 764) -- Baron Achille de Seillière (sale Sotheby's, 28 February 1887, lot 372) -- Damascéne Morgand, Paris bookseller (Bulletin V, 1889-92, no. 17996; Répertoire méthodique, 1893, no. 6389) -- Edouard Rahir (booklabel; Bulletin Morgand, n.s. 20, 1920, no. 191) -- Charles Gillet (1959 Paris Grolier exhibition, 122) -- Edmée Maus (monogram booklabel).
One of four extant bindings for Grolier by the Mahieu Aesop Binder, the only one in private hands. The binder was named by G.D. Hobson from a copy of Aesop, Basel, 1501 (now in the Newberry Library, Chicago), bound for Thomas Mahieu, principal secretary to Queen Catherine de Medici, bibliophile and close friend of Grolier. Cf. Nixon, PML, 31; Hobson, Renaissance Book Collecting, app. 1c, lists the four bindings for Grolier.
Third edition of the Epistolae of ps-Diogenes, with spurious letters given to Brutus and Hippocrates. Tommaso de Piasi reprinted Antonio di Francesco's 1487 edition, including the colophon; at some point in the press-run the date was corrected to 1492. Fewer than 10 editions, all printed in 1492-94, are known by this printer. HC(Add) 6193; GW 8397; BMC V, 475 (IA. 23529); Klebs 337.2; Goff D-218.