[Herbarius, Italian]. Herbolario volgare, Nel qual e le virtu de le herbe, & molti altri simplici se dechiarano, con alcune belle aggionte novamente de latino in volgare tradutto. (Venice: Giovanni Andrea Vavassore & Fratelli, 1534).
8vo, 141 x 104 mm., contemporary vellum, lacking ties, marginal soiling, some dampstaining, small repairs to title-leaf (possibly supplied along with its conjugate aa6), some small wormholes, a few headlines shaved, y1 and lower flyleaf restored at gutter, corner of penultimate leaf repaired.
Third edition in Italian. Collation: a6 A-X8 Y6. 180 leaves, unfoliated. Gothic rotunda type 73 mm. Title woodcut of St. Cosmas and St. Damien, full-page woodcut preceding text of the seated Madonna and child (copied from a cut that first appeared in a Venice 1492 Decameron), 151 three-quarter-page woodcuts, 149 of plants, that of chapter 89 showing honeybees, chapter 151 with woodcut of a wine cellar, the cuts to chapters 8 and 18 printed upside down, printer's device on recto of last leaf, woodcut ornamental initials in various sizes.
RARE ITALIAN VERNACULAR EDITION OF THE LATIN Herbarius. The first Italian translation of the traditional Herbarius latinus was published in Venice in 1522 in quarto format. Following its Latin predecessors, the text is arranged in alphabetical order of plant name -- hence the order differs slightly from that of the original Herbarius. Later sixteenth-century editions, apparently all Venetian, were printed in a smaller format, clearly designed to accommodate the needs of a more actively herborizing public. This edition, identifed by Klebs as a new translation, was the first to be illustrated with a different series of woodcuts, based on the Hortus Sanitatis cuts; it is the only edition to use these woodblocks, which were copied for the 1539 and three following editions. (See also Part II, lot -- for a very late 17th-century survival of the Italian herbario). In these Italian editions the traditional chapter 89, on Matricaria, is replaced by a chapter on honey, and a new chapter numbered 151, on wine and vinegar, has been added. ALL OF THESE VERNACULAR EDITIONS ARE EXTREMELY RARE. Only one other copy of this edition, lacking 6 leaves, has been sold at auction in the past 50 years.
Dyson Perrins collection 257 (imperfect); Hunt 34 (imperfect); Klebs/Becher 16; Nissen BBI 2317; not listed in NUC, no copy in the British Library.
Provenance: "Difva Ludovico Amadovi", early inscription on lower flyleaf; later French and Italian annotations at front -- Doctor Tinel of Rouen, bookplate on front flyleaf -- Robert de Belder.