image1 image2 image3



Thomas. Priscorum heroum stemmata. Rome: per Iohannem Besicken & Sygismundum Mayr, 18 February 1494.

Quarto (213x140 mm), [28] leaves the last blank. Collation: a8, b-c6 , d8 . Colophon: Imperssum Rome per Iohannem Besicken & Sy- / gismundum Mayr Anno. M.cccc.xciiii. Die vero / xviii. mensis Februarii.  Roman type (111R), 27 lines, seventy-six woodcuts, one full page representing Romolus asleep beneath the Capitoline oak surrounded by a border showing fifteen shields emblematic of Roman history; four measuring 60x47 mm, at the beginning of books II-V, showing Junius Brutus, Appius Claudius, Julius Caesar and Constantinus; and seventy-one small oblong woodcuts of various Romans [repeats of 13 different blocks]. There are top and outer border-pieces, and an initial with the arms of Cardinal Paulo de Campo Fregoso, and a complete border at the beginning of the text. The top border on verso of first leaf contains a pair of compasses with the motto PER NON FALLIR, flanked by two wolves.  Contemporary marginalia in red ink, top of spine chipped but a very good copy in XX century brown calf, gilt title on front cover and on spine from the library of C. W. Dyson Perrins (ex libris).

First edition of this concise history of Rome, from Romolus to Teodosio, narrated through the support of the pictures of its kings, consuls and emperors. The edition is an achievement of the Dominican friar Thomas Ochsenbrunner, who was born in Basel. It is difficult, though, to identify the author of the xylographies: their style indicates that, beyond a doubt, the author belonged to a German area. It is one of the rare illustrated incunabula printed in Rome and reprinted later in 1510. Johannes Besicken started printing in Basel in 1483, and remained there until 1485. Having transferred to Rome, he entered into partnership with Sygismun Mayr; together they printed only four books, between 1493 and 1494. After having published a book in collaboration with Andreas Freitag (Bonus, Prognosticon, 1496) and having worked with Martinus de Amsterdam, between 1500 and 1501, Johannes Besicken carried on by himself his activity until 1512 at least.

IGI 6945; BMC IV, 139; HC 11934.

Price: 16 000.00 EUR