19 November 2003
La Spagna Historiata. Venice: Christophorus de Pensis, 10 March 1503.
4° (197 x 152mm). Full-page title woodcut of Charlemagne on a battle field, half-page woodcut of a knight kneeling before Charlemagne, and 50 smaller woodcuts from 41 blocks. (Some browning and spotting, mainly limited to 4 quires.) 17th-century limp vellum (little worming on front cover); modern green cloth slipcase. Provenance: Dr. Otto-Schäfer-Stiftung, e.V. (OS monogram stamp).
UNIQUE COPY OF THE FIRST ILLUSTRATED EDITION of this chivalric poem in ottava rima on the exploits of Charlemagne in Spain. Ten of the woodcuts are signed 'F'. The woodcuts derive from several earlier works, and include a number from the highly influential series illustrating the 1493 Livy, Deche (Goff L-238), and La Trabisonda (1492; BMC V, 468). The early printed editions reproduce two different recensions of the text, one of which is ascribed to Sostegno di Zanobi of Florence. Three 15th-century editions (two in the Sostegno recension, one as here) survive, all in one copy only and none illustrated. Rava 7025bis (this copy, then being offered by Lauter, booksellers at Munich).
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