Lot 42 of 221:
Early & desirable edition of Euclid's Elements 1572  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$1,920
$2,000 - $3,000

Euclidis elementorum libri XV. Unà cum scholijs antiquis à Federico Commandino Vrbinate nuper in Latinum conuersi, commentarijsque quibusdam illustrati


Pisauri [Pesaro, Italy]

Jakob Criegher [for Camillo Franceschini]



[12], 255 leaves. *-**6, A-Z4, Aa-Zz4, Aaa-Sss4 (-Sss4, a blank). Woodcut diagrams throughout; woodcut title-page border. (folio), 29.5x20 cm (11¾x8"), old vellum.

First edition of Comandino's translation of Euclid, one of the great editions of the text. Although thus far only the chief book-producing centers like Venice had been involved in printing Euclid, this new translation into Latin of the fifteen books of the Elements was produced in Pesaro, a provincial seaport on the Adriatic near Urbino. The woodcut architectural title page, features classical figures holding instruments of science, designed for this edition and signed by engraver and printer Jakob Criegher; the name of the dedicatee, Francesco Maria della Rovere, duke of Urbino, appears across the top of the pediment, while the Rovere oak tree with crossed branches rises above the pediment; dedicatee's device within oval medallion featuring a flame vanishing into the air with the motto "Quies in sublime" (see Dennistoun, J. Memoirs of the dukes of Urbino). There are 11 large historiated initials (48 x 48 mm), containing putti with drawing and measuring instruments, also possibly designed for this volume (see Harvard catalog). Text extensively illustrated throughout with 865 geometric diagrams. Text of Euclid printed in roman type in two sizes, with commentary in smaller italic type. Occasional old ink marginalia within, some fairly extensive, a few pages spattered with ink. Lacks the final leaf, a blank.

Lot Amendments

Normal discoloration and wear to vellum; title page with a few short tears and marginal loss, it and following leaf with repairs/reinforcements on verso, repairs to a few additional leaves within; some foxing within, a few pages with discoloration; overall very good, an uncommon and desirable edition of the greatest of early mathematical works.

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