OPPIANUS (fl. 2nd century). Halieutica, sive de piscatu. Translated from Greek into Latin and with additions by Laurentius Lippius. Colle di Val d'Elsa: Bonus Gallus, 12 September 1478.
Chancery 4° (196 x 138 mm). Collation: a-h8 (a1r translator's life of Oppianus, a1v translator's preface to Lorenzo de'Medici, a2v argumenta, a3r text, h2v distichs by Lippi, h7v elegiac verses by Lippi to Petrus Carbonellus, royal secretary, and by Philippus Poscus to Lippi, h8r colophon to the reader by P. Poscus, register). 64 leaves. 32 lines. Type: 1:90G. 2- to 5-line initial spaces with printed guide-letters. (Hinge of last leaf strengthened with strip from a 15th-century manuscript on vellum, short marginal tear along the guard, minor light soiling and foxing to first and last leaves.) 20th-century brown morocco. Provenance: Albert and John Ehrman, Broxbourne Library (inscription, shelf number, bookplates, sale Sotheby's, Part I, 14 November 1977, lot 101) -- Ned. J. Nakles (sale Christie's New York, 17 April 2000, lot 152).
FIRST EDITION; THE FIRST PRINTED BOOK ON FISHING; AND THE EARLIEST PRINTED SPORTING BOOK. This edition is probably the second of only six books printed at Colle di Val d'Elsa in the 15th-century. The poem consists of a comprehensive treatment of fish and fishing including advice on methods of catching fish. The work's 15th-century editor, Lorenzo Lippi, dedicated his translation to Lorenzo de Medici and added a series of recipes, distichs on animals, fruits, minerals, precious stones. etc., and a life of Oppian. Their interesting secular subject matters are noteworthy, and Scholderer surmised that they must have been commissioned for members of the local intelligentsia, including 'the apothecary Giovanni de Pietro, the humanist Lorenzo Lippi... and probably also the paper-maker Francesco di Meo' (Fifty Essays, p. 209). Rare: only two other copies of the first edition have appeared at auction in over 25 years. HC *12015; BMC VII, 1079 (IA. 33513-14); BSB-Ink. O-51; CIBN O-30; IGI 7006; Pr 7242; Westwood and Satchell, Bibiotheca piscatoria, p.163, mentioning this copy; Goff O-65.