VALTURIO, Roberto (d.1482). De re militari libris XII. Paris: Christian Wechel, July 1532.
2° (282 x 185mm). Title with woodcut printer's device and type ornaments, device repeated on final leaf. Woodcut illustrations, some full-page, and initials. (Variable light offsetting, spotting and browning, some light, mainly marginal, staining, some headlines shaved.) 19th-century crushed maroon morocco by Chatelin, spine titled in gilt, gilt edges (lower board edges and tail of spine lightly rubbed). Provenance: inscription on flyleaf in an 18th-century hand 'Liber raro, Gerdes p.m. 350' (referring to Daniel Gerdes's Florilegium historico-criticum librorum rariorum (Gröningen and Bremen: 1763); Berlin, Royal Library (stamp and cancellation on title margin); Richard Heber (1773-1833, 'Bibliotheca Heberiana' inkstamp on flyleaf, sale Sotheby's, commencing 10 April 1834, lot 7423); C.W. Dyson Perrins (1864-1958, sale Sotheby's, 5 November 1946, lot 427, £30 to Chas. Sawyer).
THE HEBER-DYSON PERRINS COPY OF THE FIRST EDITION OF VALTURIO'S WORK PRINTED IN FRANCE. The remarkable woodcuts which illustrate the book are 'reversed free copies' (Mortimer) of the blocks used to illustrate the second edition (Verona: Boninus de Boninis, 1483), which were in turn copied from the first edition ([Verona]: Johannes, 1472). Cockle notes that the illustrations of the first and second editions were 'said to be from da Vinci's drawings', and their ingenuity is certainly commensurate with this attribution: 'they represent the machines of war used by the ancients, with mediaeval modifications, and are remarkably quaint and instructive' (op. cit.). Adams V-224; Mortimer, Harvard French 535; cf. Cockle 501 (1472 edition, with note on other editions, including this).