Published by Germany Johann (Reinhard) Grüninger, 1498
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The First Illustrated Edition of Horace HORACE. Opera cum quibusdam annotationibus [of Jacob Locher]. Strassburg: Johann (Reinhard) Grüninger (misspelled Gürninger), 12 March 1498. First illustrated edition of Horace and the first edition printed in Germany. Edited by the poet Jacob Locher, called Philomusus (1471-1528). It is also the first edition based on German manuscript sources, one of which was a ninth-century codex from the monastery of Lorsch. Folio (11 11/16 x 8 5/16 inches; 297 x 210 mm.). 220 leaves ([6], CCVII, [1, blank], [6] leaves). Gothic and roman types. Three columns. Seventy-four lines of commentary on either side of text. With 168 woodcut illustrations from 101 blocks by the Terence Master, put together in various combinations, including some repeats. Capital spaces with guide letters. Initials supplied in red and blue. Woodcut printerís device (Davies 168) on verso of fol. CCVII. Eighteenth-century paste paper over pasteboard. Spine lettered in manuscript. A few leaves slightly browned, slight dampstaining in the upper corner toward the end, with some minor marginal lossa. Short tear to fol. LXXXIX, affecting foliation and just entering woodcut on recto and just touching two letters on verso, short marginal tear to fol. CLXIX, not affecting text, early paper repairs to blank verso of final leaf. Occasional early ink marginalia, early ink drawing in the margin of fol. CXXXI verso, early ink inscription (crossed out) on fol. CXXXII verso, early ink calculations on fol. [C]XLIX verso and fol. [C]L. Early ink ownership inscription at foot of title and ink inscription, dated 1498, at head of title. Leather bookplate of Eduard J. Bullrich on front pastedown. Early ink annotations on front free endpaper. Overall, an excellent copy. Housed in a black cloth clamshell case. In addition to the importance of the text, the great appeal of the book lies in its remarkable woodcut illustrations. Particularly noteworthy is the large woodcut on the title, representing the author seated at his desk, which recurs at the beginning of each of the subsequent eight books. On fol. 2 is a cut showing the Nine Muses with an enthroned Calliope crowning a kneeling Horace. The dedicatory epistle has the arms and portraits of the dedicatee, the Margrave of Baden, and of the editor, Jacob Locher. Following Locherís treatise on metrics is a large woodcut showing the poet facing his famous patron Maecenas, with two attendants. The beginning of the second ode has a depiction of Cassius and Brutus stabbing Caesar, wearing an oriental costume, complete with scimitar and turban, as well as the Imperial crown. All of the illustrations show persons and scenes of classical Rome in costumes and surroundings of the fifteenth century. Forty-nine of the blocks were used in Grüningerís Terence (1496), seven are from Locherís Libri philomusi (1497), eight are from Brantís Stultifera navis (1497), six are from the Plenarium (1498), and thirty-one are new. BMC I, p. 112. Brunet III, col. 311. Dibdin, Bibliotheca Spenceriana, II, pp. 87-95. Dibdin, Greek and Latin Classics, II, p. 89. Fairfax Murray, German, 205. Goff H-461. Hain 8898. Harvard/Walsh 182-183. Polain 1989. Proctor 485. Schäfer 167. HBS 66537. $60,000. Bookseller Inventory # 66537

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Opera

Publisher: Germany Johann (Reinhard) Grüninger

Publication Date: 1498

Binding: Hardcover

Edition: 1st Edition

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Heritage Book Shop, founded in 1963 by Louis and Benjamin Weinstein, is an internationally renowned antiquarian book shop specializing in fine copies of rare books and first editions. Member ABAA / ILAB.

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