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Lot 0006
Crescentiis (Petrus de) Ruralia Commoda [Italian] Il libro della agricultura, first Italian edition, collation: [*]6 a10 b-c8 d6 e-g8 h6 i8 l-n6 o8 aa6 bb8 cc6 dd-ff8 gg-ii6 ll-oo6 aaa6 bbb8, 201 leaves (of 202, lacking final blank), text in two columns, 43 lines, type: 2:106/107R, blank spaces for capitals, with guide letters, fol.125 with slight stain causing smudging to text on both sides, some foxing and occasional stains, mostly marginal but in a few places on text block, small marginal burn-hole to last few leaves, some finger-soiling, early 19th-century Italian red morocco, gilt-tooled border to covers, spine with simple gilt rules and lettering, marbled pastedowns and flyleaves, inner gilt dentelles, blue edges, corners and spine ends slightly rubbed, folio (328 x 227mm.), Florence, Nicolaus Laurentii, Alamanus, 15 July 1478.

⁂ First edition printed in Italy, and the first edition in Italian or Florentine vernacular.

The translator is anonymous but this version was highly praised for its purity and elegance by the Venetian humanist Pietro Bembo. This fine volume passed through the hands of several famous bibliophiles, such as Dimitrij Petrovič Burturlin, formerly director of the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, and later resident in Florence, where he possibly purchased this copy. In August 1839 the Parisian sale of his impressive library was announced by the Journal de la Librairie: "Il sera vendu, vers la fin de l'année, la magnifique bibliothèque de feu M. le comte de Boutourlin, composée de plus de vingt-cinq mille volumes [...]On peut affirmer que depuis la vente Mac-Carthy, il n'a pas été livré aux enchères, en France, une collection de livres rares et de manuscrits, comparable à la bibliothèque de M. de Boutourlin; elle est des plus riches en éditions du quinzième siècle". The copy was later acquired by another distinguished book collector, the renowned Dante scholar Lord Vernon, one of the leading figures in the Anglo-Florentine community. Very scarce on the market.

Provenance: bookplates of the following: Russian senator and diplomat Count Dimitrij Petrovič Buturlin (1763-1829; see Catalogue de la bibliothèque de feu M. le Comte D. Boutourlin. Deuxième partie, Paris 1840, lot 533, "in-fol. m.r.", sold for the high sum of 26 francs; Lord George John Warren, 5th Baron Vernon (1803-1866; see Catalogue of a choice selected portion of the famous library removed from Sudbury Hall, Derbyshire: including illuminated and other manuscripts, and rare printed books; the property of Lieut. Lord Vernon, London, Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge, 10-12 June 1918, lot 165); purchased for the sum of £28 by the London bookseller Francis Edwards, 24 July 1918; the Italian bookseller Giuseppe Martini (see Catalogo della libreria di Giuseppe Martini. I. Incunaboli, Milano 1934, lot 142).
Rothamsted acquisition date not noted

Literature: ISTC ic00973000; GW 7826; HCR 5837; BMC VI 627; Bod-inc C-483; IGI 3266; Goff C-973; Klebs 311.1; B.IN.G 581; Simon Bibliotheca Bacchica 581.

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Crescentiis (Petrus de) Ruralia Commoda [Italian] Il

Estimate £8,000 - £12,000
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Auction Curated By:
Rupert Powell
International Head of Books and Works on Paper
Justin Phillips
Early and Continental Printing
220 Queenstown Road
London, SW8 4LP
United Kingdom
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