London, South Kensington
8 June 2004
TAGLIENTE, Giovanni Antonio (1465/70-aft. 1527). Lo Presente Libro insegna la vera arte de lo excellente scrivere, Venice: Stephano da Sabio, November 1533. 4° (192 x 131mm). Collation: 14, 1/2-14, signed B-O, woodcuts of various scripts, including Greek, Hebrew and Arabic alphabets, full-page woodcut of scribal tools, full-page woodcut of Rhodes on verso of last leaf. (All leaves discreetly strengthened at hinge.) 20th-century vellum.
Tagliente, a professional writing master who had taught in the Venetian Chancery, wrote this book for the use of other professionals. All the surviving copies of the work were printed in Venice, which, being exposed as it was to Eastern influences, might explain its immediate success. It underwent many reprints. Johnson and Bonacini describe copies with four lvs. of an alphabet extracted from Sigismondo Fanti's book Theorica et pratica inserted after fo. 14; this extract is not present here. Johnson p.28-9; Bonacini 1820; Sander 7170; Barker p.178-184; Morison p.61-64.
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