1471 THE BIRTH OF ROMAN TYPE THE PROSE MODEL OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE
MARCUS TULLIUS CICERO. Epistolae ad Familiares. [Venice]: Nicolaus Jenson, 1471. 4to (280 x 170), later limp vellum, preserved in a blue velvet box, ff. [201 of 204, missing the first three leaves, reproduced in facsimile]. Roman type 1:115R, 33 lines
A LARGE FRAGMENT OF JENSON EDITION OF CICERO'S LETTERS TO HIS FRIENDS AND FAMILY, THE PERFECT MODEL OF WRITING IN THE RENAISSANCE AND THE MOST RELIABLE SOURCE FOR THE PERIOD PRECEDING THE FALL OF THE ROMAN REPUBLIC.
The French printer Nicolas Jenson (see also the previous lot) is best known today for his perfecting of the roman typeface, that inspired the printers of later generations, including Aldo Manuzio and the Arts and Crafts movement at the end of the 19th century.
CONDITION: Some few leaves repaired at blank margin; last leaves repaired, affecting some letters. Despite the defects, a very good copy, printed on extra-strong paper.
PROVENANCE: A long inscription in a minuscule humanistic hand at recto of the last leaf. Several contemporary annotations and drawings at blank margins.
REFERENCES: IGI 2812; BMC V 169; BSB-Ink C-325; GW 6806; Goff C508; HCR 5168; Essling 21; Pellechet 3594; CIBN C-345; Hillard 620; Gunt (L) 3295; Ohly-Sack 862; Kind (Gottingen) 280; Oates 1627; Bod-inc C-261; Sheppard 3247; Proctor 4069. ISTC ic00508000. On the Epistulae ad Familiares as a prose model, see PAUL F. GRENDLER, Schooling in Renaissance Italy: Literacy and learning 1300-1600. Baltimore & London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989, pp. 217- 222.