SABELLICUS, Marcus Antonius Coccius (1436-1506). Rerum Venetiarum decades. Venice: Andreas Torresanus de Asula [for the author], 21 May 1487.
Royal 2o (395 x 255 mm). Collation: s6 a-h6 i-k8; A-H6 I-M8 N10; O4 (r blank, v text, O4r colophon, O4v blank); s2 (errata). 238 leaves (of 240, without the two-leaf errata as usual). 48 lines and headline. Printed side-notes. Type: 5:111R (text), 9:93GB (errata). 8- and 5-line initial spaces with printed guide letters. (Marginal repairs to first 3 leaves, minor marginal worming in first 10 and last 50 leaves, short marginal tear to i1, occasional light foxing.) Late 18th-century French green morocco gilt, covers panelled with triple gilt fillet, spine tooled in 8 compartments, red morocco lettering-pieces in the 2nd and 4th, the remainder tooled in gold in the style of Derome with floral tools, ribbons and swags, turn-ins gilt, gilt edges (each cover with one small repaired scrape, small chip at head of spine, minor wear to upper joint and extremities).
Provenance: Paris, Bibliothèque royale (18th-century red inkstamps, the first cancelled) -- Bernardo Mendel (bookplate).
FIRST EDITION of Sabellico's popular history of Venice. He composed it in less than 15 months, and obtained for it the first recorded author's copyright. In recognition of the service he had rendered the Republic in writing its history, Sabellico (a non-Venetian) was granted the second public lectureship in the humanities at the school of San Marco and the curatorship of the Bibliotheca Marciana, along with a sizeable pension. Though faulty in many respects, Sabellico's history, the first such work to receive the encouragement of the Venetian government, marked the transition of Venetian historiography from chronicle to history in the modern sense.
The two errata leaves were printed in a gothic type at a somewhat later date, and are absent from the majority of copies.
HC* 14053; BMC V, 308 (IC. 21644); CIBN S-1; Harvard/Walsh 1887-1889; IGI 8487; Pr 4713; Goff S-5.