TIBULLUS, Albius (c. 55/48-c. 19 B.C.). Elegiae et vita. - C. Valerius CATULLUS, (c. 84-54 B.C.). Carmina. - Sextus PROPERTIUS (c. 54/57-after 16 B.C.). Elegiae et vita. - Publius Papinus STATIUS (c. 45-96 A.D.). Sylvae. [Milan: Philippus de Lavagnia] for Johannes de Colonia and Johannes Manthen, 1475.
Royal half-sheet 4° (267 x 183mm). Collation: [1-48] (1/1r blank, 1/1v life of Tibullus by Girolamo Squarciafico (fl. second half of 15th century), 1/2r Tibullus Elegiae, 4/8 blank); A-F8 G-H6 (A/1r blank, A/1v life of Propertius by Squarciafico, A/2r Propertius Elegiae, H6v colophon); a-c8 d-e6 (a1r blank, a1v life of Catullus by Squarciafico, 6-line verse by Guarino of Verona (1374-1460), Catullus Carmina, e5v-6 blank); A-F8 G-H6 (Statius, H6 blank). 188 leaves. 35 lines. Type: 3:108R, printed guide-letters, quire signatures stamped at extreme lower outer corner (often cropped). Opening 5-line initial on 1/2r in gold with white-vine decoration on blue, green and red ground, remaining 2- to 4-line initials alternating in red and blue. (Outer bifolia of quires reinforced, first leaf on guard with discreet repair at fore-edge, very occasional light stain, quiring often trimmed.) Modern tan pigskin, spine bands outlined in blind terminating on sides, spine lettered in gilt, earlier lettering-piece mounted on front pastedown, earlier speckled edges, linen slipcase, quire guards. Provenance: Padua, Congregation of Regular Lateran Canons of S. Giovanni di Verdara, inscription dated 1478 recording the book as a gift of Pietro da Montagnana (d. 1478) -- a few annotations in Statius, not in the hand of Montagnana -- C.S. Ascherson (bookplate) -- George Abrams (booklabel, sale Sotheby's, 16-17 November 1989, lot 32).
SECOND EDITION of this collection of the greatest Latin elegiac poets, reprinting that of Vindelinus de Spira (1472). Third edition of Tibullus, Catullus and Propertius, and second edition of Statius. Filippo de Lavagnia was the second printer at Milan, undertaking work both on his own account and on behalf of others. He printed this edition for the entrepreneurial Venetian printers Johannes de Colonia and Johannes Manthen; although his name does not appear, the type and paper make the attribution certain. Among several contracts pertaining to Filippo which survive is one Bonus Accursius signed on 6 December 1474 in which Filippo engages Accursius for one year to be the press-reader of all works of poetry or rhetoric to be printed by Filippo. The individual texts are found in varying order in different copies, and occasionally singly. The contemporary illumination in the present copy and the gift inscription at the end verify that this volume retains its original order.
Within three years of publication, this volume had been acquired by Pietro da Montagnana and given by him to the monastery of the Regular Lateran Canons at Padua. Pietro, a teacher of grammar at Padua, had already given the monastery a substantial collection of (manuscript) books in both Greek and Latin in 1457, and continued to make gifts to the end of his life; his gift of the present volume was made the year he died. Cf. R.W. Hunt, 'Pietro da Montagnana: a donor of books to San Giovanni di Verdara in Padua', Bodleian Library Record, IX, 1973, pp.17-22. For Squarciafico's Lives of the poets, see J. Allenspach and G. Frasso in Italia medioevale e umanistica, 23, 1980, 233ff, esp. p.247. HC 4759; BMC VI, 702 (IB. 26118a-c); GW 6387; IGI 2614; Goff C-322 and S-699.