Basel: Nicolaus Kesler, 1509. ,156, leaves. Folio. Early 18th-century Danish royal binding of speckled calf, spine elaborately gilt with crowned double monogram of Christian VI at head, bottom four compartments gilt with Danish royal arms; front and rear covers gilt and stamped in blind, with a central inlay of speckled and plain calf cut to a lozenge and semi-circle design. Royal stamp on front pastedown, pencil note ("Dupl bibl R") on front free endpaper. Internally crisp and clean except for some worming throughout and waterstaining on lower corner of final few leaves. A near fine copy. Item #WRCAM36355
Second Latin edition of Simonetta's principal work, following the first edition printed in Milan in 1492/93. The mention of the West Indies on the verso of leaf 101 is of interest in documenting early published references to the New World. This mention is found in one of 179 letters written by the author interspersed throughout the text, which is primarily concerned with a history of Christian persecution. Simonetta's correspondence is addressed to a wide circle of Simonetta's contemporaries, including close acquaintances, family members, and renowned figures of the Renaissance such as Lorenzo de Medici, Ludovico Sforza, and Pico della Mirandola. The topics of the letters range over a variety of topics including classical history, mythology, geography, medicine, physics, and astronomy. Although not cited in EUROPEAN AMERICANA, the reference to the New World is also found in the first edition, published in Milan (not before 11) January 1492. The Milanese year was reckoned in the modern style from the mid-15th century, though still from Christmas prior to 1500, and perhaps the Milanese printer simply forgot to update the year accordingly. Still, the appearance of a reference to the New World in the pre-1500 edition is puzzling, as there should not be any mention of the West Indies before the first publication of the Columbus Letter in March 1493. A very good copy of this early 16th-century Americanum, in a fine 18th-century royal binding. EUROPEAN AMERICANA lists only four copies (New York Public Library, Hispanic Society, University of Wisconsin, and the British Library). EUROPEAN AMERICANA 509/10. ADAMS (CAMBRIDGE) S1184. PROCTOR 14078.