7 June 2006
MATTIOLI, Pietro Andrea (1500/1501-1577). Commentarii in sex libros Pedacii Dioscoridis Anazarbei de medica materia. Venice: Vincenzo Valgrisi, 1565.
2° (352 x 242mm). Letterpress title with woodcut printer's device [cf. Vaccaro p.361]. Woodcut full-page portrait of Mattioli and 1,012 illustrations, many full page-width. Woodcut initials and printer's devices on 6G4v and 6H6v. (Some light spotting, marking, and variable browning, some light dampstaining, minor marginal worming on first quire, 2Y4 with short clean tear.) Contemporary vellum (a little marked and bowed, some rubbing causing small surface loss, lacking ties, rebacked retaining original spine); 20th-century morocco-backed box. Provenance: occasional early marginalia -- R. Wright (inscription on upper pastedown, gift in 1930 to:) -- The Horticultural Society of New York (bookplate recording gift, shelfmarks and small inkstamp on title verso).
FIRST ENLARGED EDITION. 'The 1565 edition is the first augmented by Mattioli's fuller notes and has always been the most valued for its completeness' (Hunt). The 1565 edition of the Commentarii is considered the best for both its text and its fine woodcut illustrations (first used here in a Latin edition), which extend across the full width of the page: those of plants are by Giorgio Liberale and Wolfgang Meyerpeck (originally cut for Mattioli's New Kretterbuch (Prague: 1563, see the previous lot), with the exception of 'Eruca sylvestris') and 'those of the Animals are new' (BM(NH)). Adams D-672; Arnold Arboretum p.471; BM(NH) III, p.1268; Brunet III, 1538; Hunt 94; Cleveland Collections 93; Nissen BBI 1305; Pritzel 5985.
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