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Caviceo, Jacopo. [Libro de Peregrino] Dialogue treselegant intitule le Peregrin, traictant de lhonneste et pudicq amour concilie par pure et sincere vertu, traduict de vulgaire Italien en langue Fra[n]coyse... Paris: [Pr. by Nicolas Couteau for] Galliot du Pré, . 4to (25 cm, 9.8"). , 169, [1 (facs.)] ff.; illus. $10,000.00
First French edition of Caviceo's best-selling, often translated, and widely influential romance. The author had a complicated life which included dropping out of law school shortly before he could be expelled, becoming a court historian and diplomat in Parma, being banished from that city for seducing a nun (and possibly more than one), voyaging in the Middle East and India, and embroiling himself in various political intrigues before working his way to the post of Vicar General in cities including Rimini, Ravenna, and Florence. His classically inspired novel, first published in 1508 and dedicated to Lucrezia Borgia, is a romance in which Peregrin tells the ghost of Boccaccio all about his globe-spanning quest to satisfy his passion for the fair Genevre — with the plot incorporating the author's own travel experiences.
This first known French edition is uncommon: WorldCat reports => only three U.S. institutional holdings. The translation from the original Italian was done by "Maistre Francoys Dassy" — François Dassi, secretary to Jean d'Albret, King of Navarre, and to Louise Borgia, Duchess of Valentinois. The text is printed in an elegant lettre bâtarde and ornamented with numerous decorative capitals, with the title-page printed in red and black. In addition, this printing features three large woodcuts: Opposite the first page of the first chapter is a split scene showing the lovers as a youthful pair in the distance and as a mature couple in the foreground (with the lady holding her angelic baby in her lap), while another scene shows the hero making preparations for pilgrimage, and the third shows his search throughout "tous les pays habitables" for his lost love. The final leaf, bearing the printer's device, appears here in facsimile.
Binding: 19th-century calf, spine with gilt-stamped title, raised bands, and small circular gilt-stamped decorations in compartments; board edges and turn-ins with gilt rolls and covers framed and panelled in blind with gilt-stamped corner fleurons. All page edges stained red, red silk placemarker present and attached. Binding done by Koehler (with his stamp on front free endpaper).
Provenance: From the library of American collector Albert A. Howard, small booklabel ("AHA") at rear.
Brunet, I, 1701-02; Index aurel. 134.656; Moreau, Editions parisiennes du XVI siecle, III, 1158. This ed. not in Adams or Mortimer, French 16th-Century Books. Bound as above, spine and edges rubbed, sides scuffed. Endpapers with pencilled annotations and with binder's small rubber-stamp as above; title-page with date faintly inked in an early hand. Final leaf (printer's device) in facsimile, title-page with lower outer corner with small loss of paper in blank area repaired via excellent leaf-casting, and a similar excellent leaf-cast repair to two inner areas of last text leaf with a few letters supplied in pen and ink facsimile. One leaf with small printing flaw affecting a handful of words without loss of sense; three leaves at back with small semi-circular areas of worming touching a few letters, also without loss of sense. Pages very clean and type very clear. => A scarce and desirable volume. (37747) Please RESHELVE This.
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