TAGLIENTE, Giovanni Antonio (1465/70-after 1527). Lo presente libro insegna la vera arte delo excellente scrivere de diverse varie sorte de litere. Venice: Giovanni Antonio and brothers Nicolini da Sabbio, 1527.
4o (216 x 157 mm). Collation: A-G4. 28 leaves. Italic type, occasional roman, greek and rotunda types. Woodcut calligraphic title, 28 full-page cuts of calligraphic examples, of which 7 white on black grounds, 5 smaller calligraphic samples, one full-page cut of writing equipment, the woodcuts by Eustachio Celebrino after Tagliente, woodcut initials, one large white-on-black grotesque initial used twice, the remainder mostly white-on-black with knotwork decoration. (Minor marginal staining and soiling, short marginal tear to G1, single tiny wormhole through last leaf, marginal wormhole through first 3 leaves.) Contemporary Italian limp parchment laced-case binding, title lettered on upper cover in an early hand (soiled and creased); modern morocco-backed folding case. Provenance: N. Poncelet (contemporary signature on lower flyleaf); Otto Schaefer (sale, Part I, Sotheby's New York, 8 December 1994, lot 176).
Third edition of one of the most influential writing manuals of the 16th century, among the most beautiful of all calligraphy manuals. Tagliente served as writing master to the Venetian Chancery, and he had his manuals published for the use of diplomatic scribes. Hence the inclusion of models and instructions for a variety of European scripts as well as Hebrew (strikingly engraved in white letters on a cribl black ground), Arabic, and Gothic letters. The brilliant woodcuts by Celebrino were used in the 1524 and 1525 editions. Bonacini 1813; Essling 2185; Sander 7167.