Rare Books -- Upper Shelf

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- Plutarch (1587) -

- Boccaccio (1587) -

- La Fontaine "Fables" (1759) -

Marmontel, Jean Francois.
"The Incas: Or, the Destruction of the Empire of Peru" (1777) -

- Faerne "Fables" (1744) -

- L'Arte de Comedia by Caihava (1786) -

- MacCauley's "History" (1769) -

Sir Charles Grandison (1754) -

- The Koran (1838) -

- Mashere Scieniche (1736) -

- Boccaccio (1587) -

Il Decameron, Boccacio’s most famous work, was penned between 1351 and 1353. The title comes from the Greek deca meaning ten, and hemera meaning day which refers to the framework of the story. Set in the year of the Black Death [1348], seven ladies and three gallants meet in a Florentine Church where they decide to flee the city to the hills of Fiesole. There they entertain themselves by recounting stories all of the ten days. The Decameron is composed of more than one hundred novelle composed of anecdotes, fabliaux, folk stories and fairy tales–all of ancient lineage for the contemporary audience of the fourteenth century.
The compilation includes many influential and celebrated stories that were recycled, especially by Shakespeare. “Bernabo of Tenou was the plot of Cymbeline; “Gillette of Narbonne” of All’s Well that ends well. As late as 1820, John Keats used Isabella or the Pot of Basil as the substance of his poem as well as the title.

Lesser known than his contemporary and companion Petrarch, Boccacio nevertheless is credited with the initial introduction of their style and content, the first in the Italian or European canon of literature. He is entitled to a place beside Petrarch as founder of the Italian Renaissance.

The Giunti publishing family were the great rivals of the Aldine Press as the Giunti aggressively captured large portions of the lucrative Italian governmental and Church's printing business. Their printing enterprise spread from Italy, to Spain and France between 1489 to 1628. From their base in Florence and Venice, family members set up printing presses in Burgos, Salamanca, Madrid, Valladolid, Lerma and Lyons.

16 p.l., 585, [79] p.

  Mounted title page; Signatures: * 2, 3, 4 ^ [8]; ** 2, 3, 4 ^ [8]; a 2, 3, 4 ^ [8]; b 2, 3, 4, ^ [8]; c 2, 3, 4 ^ [8]; d 2, 3, 4 ^ [8]; e - z 2, 3, 4 ^ [8] / aa, bb, cc - hh, 2, 3, 4 ^ [8]; ii [misbound] r 497 v 498; ii 2 [499]; ii 3, [501]; ii 3 v [506]; [ii 4 r] 507; [ii 4 v] 504; [ii 5 r] 505; [ii 5 v] 502; ii 4 r [503] v [508]; [ii 6 r] 509 : kk, 2, 3, 4 ^ [8]; ll, mm, 2, 3, 4 ^ [8]; nn 2, 3, 4 ^ [8], [nn 8 verso] 176; oo recto [75] verso [578];] oo 2, oo 3 ^[6]: oo 5 r [585] v, register followed by colophon with place printer & date; oo 6 recto [blank], verso, printer’s device. end of pagination. // [79]pp., Tavola Sopra Il Libro Chiamato Decameron Proemio: signatures: pp 2, 3, 4 ^ [8]; qq - ss 2, 3, 4 ^ [8]; tt 2, 3, ^ [6]: tt 5 r: errori; tt 5 v errori con’t, followed by register, colophon with place, printer & date; tt 6 r [blank], v, earlier printer’s device.

References : Adams B174.


"The Incas: Or, the Destruction of the Empire of Peru" (1777) -

Marmontel, Jean Francois. The Incas: Or, the Destruction of the Empire of Peru ; in two volumes. Dublin: Printed for Messrs. Price, Whitestone, W. Watson et. al., 1777. Bound in contemporary full tree calf, red and black calf gilt spine labels, in paneled gilt. 12mo., in two volumes: vol I, xxxi, 263; vol II, 289pp.


- Faerne "Fables" (1744) -

18th century engravings by Claude Du Bosc
Faerne, Gabriel. Cent Fables En Latin et en Francois, choisies des Anciens ; et traduites par Mr. Perrault; Avec de nouvelles Figures en Taille-douce (Claude Du Bosc). Nouvelle Edition. London: C. Marsh et al., 1744. Contemporary full green crushed morocco, edges scuffed with small loss to back board , spine titles in gilt, raised bands, gilt rule; marbled end pages, marbled edges, wide margins. Sq. 8vo., [2] 20, 238, index to fables; 45 [2]. Engraved frontispiece, title page, 100 engraved plates by Charles Du Bosc. Text in Latin and French, translated by Charles Perrault.

This edition contains, as did the 1743 Du Bosc edition, a good deal of material beyond the fables, including the preface of the London editor, the Carmina and Opuscula of Faerno, dedications, letters, and testimonia. Perrault first published his French translation of Faerno in 1699 and again in 1714. In all there are five books with twenty fables in each. Du Bosc's copper engravings depict mostly animals illustrating the fables, and are 'very beautifully done'. Faerno's Latin verse fables were first published in 1563, two years after his death. Perrault's translation was published previously as stated above, but, according to the title page, this is the first edition with these illustrations. Charles Perrault had the good taste to recognize that it was impossible to compare his translation, or even the original, with the fables of Jean Of the Fountain.
Ours, says it, resemble a dress of good fabric, a well cut and well bent, but simple and all plain: his have something moreover, and it adds to it a rich person and fine embroidery which raises the price of them infinitely. Scarce.
$ 550.00

Gabriele Faërne, Italian writer of the Rebirth.
Modern Latin poet born in Crémone in XVIe century, died on November 17, 1561, had much success by his scholarly writing on the humanities. He was invited by the cardinal Jean Ange of Médicis (Black and white IV), which attracted him to nearby Rome. The foundation of his celebrity is a Collection of Fables in Latin worms iambic, of a remarkable elegance, which appeared for the first time in Rome, 1564. It excelled correcting the old authors and their best manuscripts. One cannot dispute in Faërne to have been one of the best modern Latin poets. The pope gave the responsibility to choose the most beautiful fables of Esope and to put them in worms. Faërne, discharged, successfully this task. But his untimely death did not enable him to complete its work. The incomplete work was published two years after his death on order of the Black and white Pope IV. This collection was translated into French worms by Perrault, Paris, 1699 as Fables of Faërne. It went through several editions as noted above. There are several excellent resources for the history and biographies of the fabulistes.

- L'Arte de Comedia by Caihava (1786) -

Caihava De L'estandoux, Jean-François. De l'Art de la comédie, nouvelle édition. Ouvrage dédié à Monsieur. À Paris, De l'Imprimerie de Ph.-D. Pierres, 1786. 2 vol. in-8, xii, 403 pp.; [4], h.t., t.p., 427,[1] pp. Contemporary tree calf, spine extra gilt, red and green morocco pastedowns for title and author, marbled end papers. A very elegant set. Cailhava (1731-1813) playwright, poet, and critic wrote Treatise of the Art of Comedy and a study on Shakespeare.

FICORONI (Francesco de'. Le Maschere Sceniche e le Figure Comiche d'antichi Romani. Rome: A. de Rossi, 1736. Large 4to, orig. boards.
Collation: 6 prel. leaves, pp. [1--8]. 9--227, (1); 84 engraved plates.
Bibliography Reference: Brunet II, 1245. Lipperheide 2288. Vinet 1825.
First Edition of this highly important study of the classical Roman theater. The 84 finely engraved plates that form the second part of the volume show every conceivable kind of mask worn by the actors to portray roles in the classical drama and there is one double-page plate showing the masked actors on stage.

The plates are irregularly and misleadingly numbered. Plate III is numbered “II”; there are two plates 44; and plate 80 is omitted in the numbering; but the total count of 84 plates agrees with the collation given by Cicognara, No. 1652.


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