HOMER (?8th century B.C.). Opera, in Greek. Edited by Demetrius Chalcondylas (1423-1511).

Lot Number 86
Author HOMER
Title HOMER (?8th century B.C.). Opera, in Greek. Edited by Demetrius Chalcondylas (1423-1511).
Year Published 1488
Place Printed Florence
Printed By [Printer of Virgil (C 6061), perhaps Bartolommeo di Libri, and] Demetrius Damilas for Bernardus and Nerius Nerlius (with financial support of Giovanni Acciaiuoli),
Description HOMER (?8th century B.C.). Opera, in Greek. Edited by Demetrius Chalcondylas (1423-1511). Florence: [Printer of Virgil (C 6061), perhaps Bartolommeo di Libri, and] Demetrius Damilas for Bernardus and Nerius Nerlius (with financial support of Giovanni Acciaiuoli), 9 December 1488 [but not published before 13 January 1488/89, date of the dedication].
Comments 2 volumes, median 2o (310 x 213 mm). Collation: (Vol. I) A-D8 E10 (preliminaries, usually bound in front of the Iliad); AA-ZZ8 ETET6 (AA1r Odyssey, XX2r Batrachomyomachia, XX6r Hymns to Apollo, ETET5v colophon in Greek, ETET6 blank). (Vol. II) A-Z8 ET8 z8 R8 (Iliad). 231 (of 232, without blank E10) leaves; 208 leaves. 39 lines. Types: 121Gk (text, recast by Damilas on a larger body, with the addition of a few sorts, from the same matrices as Paravisinus type 1:117Gk), 96R (dedication, Di Libri type 1), 110r (signatures, Printer of Benignus, type 1). 2- and 10-line initial spaces. Late 18th-century Roger Payne-style binding of English gold-tooled straight-grained red morocco, multiple borders, gilt edges, inside border, marbled endpapers (some very minor rubbing at extremities). Provenance 16th-century Greek and Latin manuscript marginalia in both volumes, possibly in the hand of the same annotator, in a neat Italian humanist italic hand; Sir George Shuckburgh, Bart (1751-1804), who also had a Gutenberg Bible, later the first copy to cross the Atlantic by plane, in his collection; his descendants and sold through Goodspeed's for presentation to; William Wyatt Barber, Jr., headmaster of St. Mark's School (manuscript presentation bookplates, 1968). EDITIO PRINCEPS of all texts, with the exception of the Batrachomyomachia, which was printed earlier in a Greek-Latin edition. THE FLORENCE HOMER IS THE MOST IMPORTANT FIRST EDITION IN GREEK LITERATURE. Its editor, Chalcondylas, had enjoyed the patronage of the humanist Cardinal Bessarion at Rome before arriving in Florence in 1475. He was considered by Aldus Manutius the leading scholar of his day, and counted among his pupils Thomas Linacre, Pico, Politian, and the future pope Leo X. A fresco in Santa Maria Novella in Florence by Ghirlandaio pictures him, together with Ficino, Landino and Politian. In preparing his text Chalcondylas consulted Eustathius' monumental 12th-century commentary, which enabled him to clarify uncertain readings in the Iliad and the Odyssey, but he warns in his preface that the texts of the Hymns and of the Batrachomyomachia still leave much to be desired. Earlier castings of the Homer type, whose design may have been modelled on Michael Apostolis' script (see N. Barker, Greek Script & Type, pp. 28-31), had been used by Damilas and Paravisinus for Lascaris' Erotemata (Milan 1476), the first book printed entirely in Greek, and by Bonus Accursius for his first editions of Aesop and Crastonus. Damilas took the matrices and perhaps the punches with him to Florence, where he recast the type for the Homer, adding several new sorts; it was subsequently used in only three other works. (Cf. Proctor, The Printing of Greek in the 15th Century, pp. 66-69, and R. Ridolfi, La Stampa in Firenze nel secolo XV, chapter 7.) HCR 8772; BMC VI, 678 (IB. 27657); CIBN H-173; IGI 4795; Flodr, Homerus I; Harvard/Walsh 2990-2991; PMM 31; Goff H-300. -2
References
Provenance THE PROPERTY OF A LADY
Estimated Price USD 150,000.00 - 250,000.00
Actual Price USD 158,500.00

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AUCTION DETAILS

Auction House Christies
Website http://www.christies.com
Auction Name Books and Manuscripts Session I
Sale Number #2607
Auction Date December 7, 2012 - December 7, 2012
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