Venice: A. Vercellenius, 1503. 452, leaves. Folio. Medieval vellum manuscript over boards, rebacked in vellum at an early date, manuscript label. Boards rubbed. Bookplate on front pastedown. Titlepage lightly soiled and with contemporary hand-coloring. Minor soiling and foxing to text, contemporary underlining and annotations throughout, sometimes trimmed closely with loss to annotations. Very good. Item #WRCAM48804
An important illustrated history of the world, containing in this edition some of the earliest published references to Columbus' voyage and the discovery of the New World. First published in 1486, this is the fifth illustrated edition to be produced in Italy, but the first to contain any of the Columbus references. The original text, tracing world history from Adam, was written by Philip of Bergamo (1434-1520) and later brought up to date by other hands. The Columbian references, which occur on leaves 441-442, briefly describe the first voyage of Columbus and the lands he discovered for Spain. It places this work among the handful of texts to describe the discovery of the New World in the first decade after Columbus' return and the publication of his Letter in 1493. Besides the New World references, this work is a magnificent example of Italian woodcut printing, with four impressive full-page woodcuts of the Creation, Expulsion from Eden, the Death of Abel, and the Tower of Babel. There are also ninety-five smaller woodcuts of city views, forty-seven of which are repetitions, but with larger views of Verona, Genoa, Rome, Milan, and Venice. Some of the blocks were used in earlier printings, but the four large cuts are unique to this edition. A rare, very early Americanum with notable illustrations. EUROPEAN AMERICANA 503/2. MORTIMER 195. SABIN 25083. HARRISSE ADDITIONS 11. JCB (3)I:36. PROCTER 12387. ADAMS F748.