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Lot 0014
Crescentiis (Petrus de) De Agricultura, collation: aa4 a-l8 A-L8, 180 leaves, text in 2 columns, 43 lines, type 3:108R, 9:81R, title with large woodcut of a farm, 39 smaller woodcuts within text, woodcut decorative initials, small section of corners of title and final f. repaired, F5 lower corner repaired, some light marginal browning and finger-soiling, 4to (220 x 160mm.), [Venice], [Matteo Capcasa (di Codeca)], [MLCCCCV, but 31 May, 1495].
⁂ A complete copy of this rare edition, institutional copies of which are often defective. The Ruralia commoda of 1495, the last 15th-century Venetian edition to appear, was printed by Matteo Capcasa from Codeca (near Parma), and is highly praised for its illustrative apparatus, including a large and very interesting woodcut on the first leaf showing a contemporary Italian farmstead. A number of the other vignettes illustrating the text were newly designed for this edition and depict different agricultural practices as well as architectural details and garden structures. The woodcut showing a scene in a garden, with a vine pergola in the background (Book VIII, ch. 2) is particularly noteworthy for its depiction of a typical pleasure garden of the Italian Renaissance. On the other hand, some vignettes illustrating the work are not related to the content, being re-issues of woodblocks executed for previous works from Capcasa's printing house, such as the Fior di virtù of 1490. This copy belongs to a small group with the date in the colophon misprinted as 'mlcccv'.

Provenance: Rothamsted acquistion date 1934 (from the booksellers Davis & Orioli, with letters loosely inserted)

Literature: ISTC ic00975000; HCR 5839; GW 7828; BMC V 486; IGI 3268; Goff C-975; Klebs 311.3; Essling 842; Sander 2235.

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Crescentiis (Petrus de) De Agricultura, first

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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