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Francesco Berlinghieri (1440 - 1500)

Lot 12: BERLINGHIERI, FRANCESCO (1440-1501) Geographia. Florence: Nicolaus Laurentii, Alamanus, [before September, 1482]. Folio, 419 x 275 mm.


October 8, 1991
New York, NY, US

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(16 1/2 x 10 7/8 in.). 126 leaves (plus two extra inserted leaves): ie>2; aa10 bb-dd8; ee6 ff-gg8 hh6 ii4; a6 b8 (b7 + 2) c-d8; X4; e8; 2X4; f10. Types 4A:115RA; 4B:115RB; 6:111 RA. 51 lines and headline. Double column. Spaces for initial capitals, with guide letters. 31 engraved maps on 30 mapsheets. Sixteenth-century title printed in red on 1. Additional inserted blank leaf after fol. ie>2 and sixteenth-century register/colophon leaf at end, both genuine (disjunct). Red morocco gilt, edges marbled and gilt, by Trautz-Bauzonnet, rubbed, washed, the world map slightly cropped as usual, maps 9, 10, 11 and 31 possibly supplied from another copy, map 10 (Italy) with severe repaired tears and portions in facsimile, repairs to maps 4, 14, 19, 24 and 31 with affected portions supplied in facsimile, scattered marginal repairs, repairs to blank leaves ii4 and f10. Berlinghieri's text is a verse adaptation in Italian of Ptolemy's Geography, with additions by Marsilius Ficinus. This is the first edition of Ptolemy to contain maps reflecting contemporary knowledge, the 27 Ptolemaic maps being supplemented by "modern" maps of Palestine, Spain, France and Italy. It is also the only edition with the maps printed on the original Ptolemaic projection with equidistant parallels or meridians. The maps have been attributed to Francesco Rosselli, but the identity of the engraver is still disputed. This copy is from the later issue, with the additional register/colophon leaf and a new title printed in red on the recto of the first leaf, blank in the first issue. Both of these leaves are printed in a type that "is certainly later than 1500" (BMC), and thus cannot be from the press of Nicolaus Alamanus ("Nicolo Todescho" in the colophon), whose last book was printed in 1486; their printer has not yet been identified. BMC and GW both describe the register/colophon as being printed on leaf f10, but Sabin cites a copy comparable to this one, in which the register and colophon are printed "on the recto of the first leaf of an appended sheet, of which the second leaf is blank on both sides" --Sabin 66501; The World Encompassed 39; Phillips Atlases 352; H 2825*; Goff B-342; BMC VI, 629; GW 3870.

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