27 - 28 June 2006
OVID (43 BC-ca 17 AD). Heroides. Commentary by A. Volscus, Hubertinus. J. Badius Ascensius et al. Venice: Giovanni Tacuino, 12 June 1525.
2o (305 x 212 mm). Woodcut title border, 22 woodcuts in text and one woodcut and letterpress diagramatic map on Q1r. (Some light soiling and occasional pale spotting, some ink detailing added to woodcuts by an early owner.) Contemporary North Italian, possibly Venetian, half binding: blind-tooled goatskin over wooden boards, wreathed portrait bust of Ovid looking left cut in relief from the wood in the center of the front cover against a gilt circular background inscribed with the author's name and the title (some wear, lacking clasps); fleece-lined cloth folding case. Provenance: Francesco Carafa, Duke of Forlí (19th-century bookplate); Teodoro Becu, Buenos Aires (bookplate on box, collation inscription).
No other Renaissance example of carving a portrait directly into the wooden cover of a binding appears to be recorded. The binding and endpapers are unquestionably contemporary with Tacuino's edition, but the dating of the fine medallion portrait and inscription is less certain. The woodcuts are the same as those used in Tacuino's 11 July 1501 edition. BM STC Italian p. 480; Essling 1150; Sander 5286.
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