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Lot 27: Incunabula.- Tortellius (Johannes) Orthographia, Rome, Ulrich Han and Simone Nicola Cardella, [after 10 August], 1471.

Important Books, Western Manuscripts and Works on Paper: Day One

by Forum Auctions

November 15, 2016

London, United Kingdom

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Description: Tortellius (Johannes) Orthographia, collation: [1-210, 3-48, 510, 68, 76, 8-910, 108, 1110, 128, 136, 14-1610, 178, 186, 198, 2010, 218, 22-2710, 288, 2912, 30-3210, 3312], 304ff., fol. 33/11 blank, text in double column, 53 lines, the dedicatory epistle (fol 1/1v) in single column, type: 150G (title), 103R (text), 103Gk (quotations and Greek etymologies of Latin words), fol. 1/2r with 5-line illuminated initial on gold ground with floral extension, lower margin of same leaf with unidentified coat-of-arms, pen-flourished initials alternately in red and blue, overall a good copy, slightly water-stained, a few wormholes in covers and opening leaves, outer upper corners with modern pencil foliation, contemporary half calf over wooden boards, traces of straps, metal clasp preserved on rear board, spine covered with leather in 19th century, folio (391 x 280mm.), Rome, Ulrich Han and Simone Nicola Cardella, [after 10 August] 1471. ⁂ Excedeengly rare first edition of the Orthographia, the monumental Latin dictionary composed between 1449 and 1495 by the humanist Johannes Tortellius (c.1400-1466), who served as a librarian to Pope Nicholas V, to whom the work is dedicated. Tortelli's lexicon is very similar to Lorenzo Valla's Elegantiae, and includes a list of Greek-derived Latin words in the second part. In this edition the printer Ulrich Han made use of a Greek font for the first time, similar to that employed in Rome by Sweynheim and Pannartz. "That of Han, which seems to occur for the first rime in the Tortellius of 1471 [...] has only twenty-three letters, as the o of the roman type is used always" (R. Proctor, The Printing of Greek in the Fifteenth Century, Oxford 1900, p. 29). The Orthographia was edited by the Augustinian Adamo da Montaldo, and the copy-text used for the publication is today preserved in the Vatican Library. The Orthographia had an immediate success and quickly became a reference guide for the study as well as the printing of Greek classics. Literature: HC 15563; GW M47210; BMC IV, 23; IGI 9682; Goff T, 394; L. Capoduro, "L'edizione romana del 'De Orthographia' di G. Tortelli e Adamo de Montaldo", in M. Miglio (ed.), Scrittura, biblioteche e stampa a Roma nel Quattrocento, Città del Vaticano 1983, pp. 37-56.

Notes: Category: Literature, Manuscripts and History

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