17 June 2003
PLATINA, Bartholomaeus (1421-1481). Vitae pontificum. [Venice:] Johannes de Colonia and Johannes Manthen, 11 June 1479.
Chancery 2o (306 x 205 mm). Collation: a10 b-o8 p6 q-y8 z10 &8 aa-ee8 ff6 240 leaves. 40 lines. Roman type 8:109, Greek type 110 (on c4v). Two 7-line and numerous 2- and 3-line initial spaces, some with printed guide letters. a3r with large illuminated initial "N" and large floriated border with coat-of-arms. Initials supplied in red and blue. ("Editio princeps" stamped in ink on a1r/v, some minor pale spotting.) Modern blue polished calf gilt (front cover detached). Provenance: some early marginalia; 2-page manuscript index at end; M.Grignat (note on a1r); William J. Shaw (note on flyleaf); Castlegould (bookplate); Helen Gould Shepard (bookplate); Jay Gould (1836-1892), American financier (Lyndhurst bookplate).
FIRST EDITION of the first systematic papal history. Platina (Bartolomeo Sacchi of Piadena) was Vatican Librarian under Sixtus IV and was influential in the restructuring of the library that was undertaken by that Pope. The dedication manuscript to Sixtus IV is still preserved at the Vatican Library. HC 13045*; BMC V, 235 (IB. 20355-56); CIBN P-443; Harvard/Walsh 1712-13; IGI 7857; Pr 4336; Goff P-768.
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