SALVIANO, Ippolito (1514-1572). Aquatilium animalium historiae, liber primus. Rome: Ippolito Salviani, 1554 [but colophon: January 1558].
2° (416 x 273mm). Hand-coloured engraved title with portrait of Salviani surrounded by marine emblems grouped in an architectural border, the border surmounted by an empty cartouche. Signatures A-G printed in italic and Greek letter in tabular form, main text in roman interspersed with italic and Greek. 81 hand-coloured, full-page engraved illustrations attributed by Brunet to Antoine Lafréri, containing a total of 98 numbered figures. Woodcut initials and type ornaments, Salviani's Hercules device on II8v. (A few heavy spots to first quire, some leaves in the table reinforced at gutter or guarded, a number of illustrations lightly browned or soiled, some light offsetting and occasional waterstaining, Y7-AA4 with heavier staining at lower outer corner, GG7 with pink discolouration at margins.) 18th-century English crimson morocco gilt, triple fillet borders with small star ornaments at corners, panelled spine with repeated thistle tool, gilt turn-ins, marbled endpapers, gilt edges (corners and lower joints a little rubbed).
A FINELY-BOUND, COLOURED COPY OF THE FIRST EDITION. The death of Salviati's patron, Marcello Cervini, in 1555, must have added to the delays which meant that printing was not first completed until 1557, despite the 1554 date on the title-page. Thirty-six of the illustrations are printed as plates with versos blank; those on O8v, R2r, and AA8v are with letterpress cancel slips pasted over engraved captions. Mortimer notes that 'the plates show traces of signature marks and numberings from an earlier, uncompleted edition or an earlier arrangement within this edition.' There is an earlier issue with colophon dated October 1557, and Brunet believed that the first issue was actually published without a colophon leaf. Although the work was eventually dedicated to Pope Paul IV, in most copies Cervini's arms are retained in the cartouche. This copy is unusual in having an engraved title without the arms. It seems probable that the hand-colouring was executed prior to its rebinding in rich morocco in the 18th century. Adams S-190; Brunet V, 101-102; Graesse VI, p. 253; Mortimer/Harvard Italian 454; Nissen ZBI 3555; Wood p. 549 (calling for 83 plates).