De mysteriis aegyptorum, Chaldaeorum, Assyriorum.



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Woodcut device of Jean de Tournes on title page, and alternative 'nescit labi virtus' device on verso of final leaf, woodcut ex libris of Giovanni Battista Capalli adhered to verso of title page. 

8vo (125 x 90mm). 543, [1]pp. Contemporary limp vellum with overlapping edges, title in MS on spine, lacking ties (vellum stained in places). 


Lyon, Jean de Tournes, 

An uncommon Lyon edition of Syrian neoplatonist Iamblichus' (245-325A.D.) defence of the superstitions and rituals of late antiquity. First printed by Aldus in 1497, Iamblichus here advocates for pagan faith enacted through theurgy, or rituals, covering demonology, witchcraft, contemplation, abstinence and animal sacrifice, among others.  From the library of Giovanni Battista Capalli (1625-95) of Arezzo, with his woodcut ex-libris. 

Bertarelli finds the first examples of the woodcut exlibris in Italy appearing in the late sixteenth century (in 1595; Bertarelli, Gli Ex Libris Italiani, p.82); others identify 1622/23 as the appearance of the first such forms ('C.M.', 'Ex Libris', Bulletin of the Detroit Museum of Art 10.7, 1916). A manuscript inscription or supralibros was more commonly found than an exlibris as a mark of ownership in Italy in this period (Bertarelli; Bouchot).

Provenance: Giovanni Battista Capalli (1625-95), deacon at Arezzo; founding member of the Arezzo Accademia degli Arcadi, a branch of the literary society founded in Rome with the patronage of Queen Christina of Sweden. Capalli wrote poetry under his own name and, like other members of the Accademia, a pastoral pseudonym, Erimone Palio; was a correspondent of famed polymath and poet Francesco Redi (1626-97; author of Bacco in Toscana) to whom he sent several of his compositions; two of his orazioni were published (in 1682, 1689) and a collection of epigrams in 1684. Surviving examples of his writing and correspondence indicate that he was part of an extensive literary circle; one dedicatee of his verse was Faustina degli Azzi de' Forti, a poet and member of the Accademia. Other extant examples of surviving books from Capalli's library indicate that the placement of the ex libris here on the blank verso of the title page, is typical. 

Unobtrusive waterstain to outer and lower blank margins of final few quires, not touching text.

Adams, I5. Cartier, 557 no.539.


Stock Code: 239404

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