PONTANUS, Johannes Jovius (1429-1503). De oboedientia. Naples: Mathias Moravus, 25 October 1490.
Median 4. (225 x 164mm). Collation: a-n8 (a1 blank, a2r author's dedication to Roberto Sanseverino, prince of Salerno, a4r text, n6v colophon, n7-8 blank). 103 leaves (of 104, without n8 blank). 25 lines. Type: 12:106R. 4- and 5-line initial spaces. A few contemporary and later manuscript guide-letters. (One or two small marginal wormholes, narrow faint dampstain to upper margins of first and last few leaves.) Contemporary Italian dark brown blind-tooled goatskin over wooden boards, covers panelled with triple blind fillets, border of repeated knotwork tool enclosing 3 identical lozenges built of a different repeated knotwork tool, one (of two) fore-edge clasps (rebacked, lacking catches, free endleaves renewed, covers wormed and rubbed with some loss of leather). Provenance: contemporary humanist marginalia, occasional underlining -- 19th-century Italian price note and a few marginalia -- Baron Horace de Landau (1824-1903, bookplate) -- Ned J. Nakles, (sale Christie's NY, 17 April 2000, lot 143).
FIRST EDITION. Giovanni Pontano served as secretary, tutor, and diplomat to the Aragonese court, and was the most important humanist of 15th-century Naples. Mathias Moravus was a professional scribe in England and northern Italy before his interest in the new art of printing led him in 1474 to produce, in partnership with Michael de Monacho, the first book to be printed in Genoa (Nicolaus de Ausmo, Supplementum Summae Pisanellae). Moravus published three of Pontano's works in Naples, within a period of 5 months in 1490-91, in the same format and layout, modelled after Neapolitan humanist manuscripts. HC 13257*; BMC VI, 865 (IA. 29442); CIBN P-568; Fava & Bresciano 145; IGI 7996; Goff P-920.