19 November 2003
HYGINUS, Caius Julius (fl. 2nd century, attributed to). Poeticon astronomicon, edited by Jacobus Sentinus and Johannes Lucillus Santritter. Venice: Erhard Ratdolt, 22 January 1485.
Chancery 4° (210 x 142mm). Collation: a-g8 (A1r blank, a1v woodcut sphere, a2r text, g7v verses to the reader by Jacobus Sentinus, g8r colophon, g8v blank). 56 leaves. 32 lines. Type: 8:91R (text), 3:91G (inscriptions), 10:65(G) (inscription on sphere), 91Greek. Woodcut diagram of a sphere on title and 47 astrological woodcuts. 11- to 5-line woodcut, white-on-black initials. Manuscript correction to caption of sphere as in other copies. (Some staining and soiling.) Early 20th-century brown morocco-backed marbled boards, red edges. Provenance: 3-line contemporary inscription (on old endpaper, summarising the content of the book) -- John Hewett (pencil inscription dated 1951 on pastedown).
Third edition, corresponding closely to Ratdolt's 1482 edition, the first illustrated. RATDOLT'S BLOCKS ARE THE FIRST TO ILLUSTRATE THE ALLEGORICAL FIGURES OF THE CONSTELLATIONS AND PLANETS. They are well suited to Hyginus's partly scientific, partly mythological guide to the heavens based on the writings of Aratus and Eratosthenes, and were widely copied. The diagram of the sphere was an addition to this edition, while the cut of Scorpius is a replacement in reverse. HC *9063; BMC V, 289 (IA. 20540); BSB H-460; CIBN H-335; Essling 286; Sander 3473; Stillwell H-488; Redgrave 48; Goff H-561.
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