Historiarum sui temporis libri decem. Pars prima. [all published].

CONTI Natale (1572.)


Please contact us in advance if you would like to view this book at our Curzon Street shop.

4to (200 x 150mm.) [6], 301, [1]ff. italic letter throughout except for final leaf, printer's woodcut device on title-page, large historiated woodcut initials, contemporary (?Austrian) blind-panelled pigskin, central panel filled with decorative rolls, wide outer roll-tooled borders composed of stamps of Salvator, David, SS. John and Paul with captions (225 x 22mm), spine painted over (upper joint weak, a few surface marks)

Venice: (G. B. Sessa for) G. Varisco,

The uncommon first edition of this contemporary history, written in ten books which covered the years 1545 to 1557. A second edition appeared in 1581 in which the work was expanded to 30 books taking the history up to the present day, and an Italian translation was later made of both parts. The Latin text was reprinted in Strassburg in 1612.

The dedicatory preface, written from Ravenna, and dated 1 July 1572, is addressed to Don Juan of Austria, whose military exploits against the Ottoman Empire are highly praised; in October 1571 Don Juan had put an end to the Turkish threat at the battle of Lepanto. The narrative is filled with accounts of engagements with the Turks, but there are accounts of relations with England (see book VIII) , the discovery of places in the New World, while the final event to be described is the great flood of the river Tiber in 1557.

The recto of the final leaf has a note 'Ioanes Baptista Sessae humano lectori' which is printed in Roman type and asks the reader to forgive misprints. It is clear that Sessa printed the book.

Natale Conti (1520-82) published an account of the siege of Malta in 1565 which appeared in two Latin editions in 1566 (Venice & Nurnberg) and in a German translation (Dillgen, 1567) and a number of other works, including the influential work on mythology.

The excellently preserved roll-tooled pigskin binding has a roll-tool composed of four large stamps, which is very similar to two rolls described by Haebler I, p. 214/5, nos. 15 and 17, on bindings in the Graz Universitätsbibliothek, on books dated 1566 and 1569.

Provenance. Ownership note on title-page of the Jesuits of Innsbruck, dated 1619, 19th century stamps on title of the Franciscans at Hall (in the Tyrol) and various library pressmarks on front pastedown. On the flyleaf are two quotations written in the same hand, one attributed to Horace but in fact a proverb ('Omnia cum perdas, famam servare memento')and the other a fuller expression of the same idea from Cicero Pro Quinctio cap. 15 'quid homini potest turpius... On the front pastedown are 3 elegiac couplets in latin and an old personal ownership inscription partly removed. Censimento CNCE 13167.

Stock Code: 45354

close zoom-in zoom-out close zoom