Strasbourg : Johann Mentelin, 1469
Folio [312 x 214 mm] with (4) bl. ll., 160 leaves [a-q10] the last blank. 2a : 34 lines. Type : 112b. Marginal worming at end; 1st leaf soiled & with patch in upper margin; superior corner folded. Contemp Ms table of topics on 3 blank leaves bound in at the beginning of the volume. Back of the last leaf is covered with contemporary manuscript annotations. Large capitals in red, small capitals, initial-strokes, paragraph-marks, and underlines in red.
A copy described by Panzer has a manuscript colophon : Presens Valerii Maximi opus pre-clarissimum, in nobili urbe Argentina Reni terminatum, anno m.cccc.lxx, xvii kalendis Julii, per virum quendam egregium, impressorie artis maiistrum, foeliciter est consummatum.
Full ivory vellum from the 18th century.
Exceedingly rare complete and precious editio princeps of Valerius Maximus, printed in 1469 (Brunet), on the press of Johannes Mentelin in Strasbourg. Not after 1470, mention Goff, V22 and BMC I 27.
Hain 15773; Brunet, Supplément, 833.
Large capitals in red, small capitals, initial-strokes, paragraph-marks, and underlines in red.
Johannes Mentelin (1410-1478) was the first Alsatian printer.
It’s during the year 1469 that Mentelin will print the editio princeps of « Faits et Dits mémorables » by Valerius Maximus (15 B.C. – 35 A.C.), one of his rare non religious productions.
It’s a beautiful volume of 160 leaves, the last blank, 34 lines per page.
The author made his work from the most famous accounts of Latin and Greek historians ; he divided it into nine books and ninety five categories. The different categories particularly represent the vices and the Virtues, public or private institutions, religion, homeland, family, etc.
This editio princeps always reached high prices : $ 6 500 at H.P.K in 1965, 51 years ago (the price has been multiplied by 30 since then); 17 pounds 17 shillings at G. Hibbert in London in 1829 (a very high price at the time); 870 gold Francs Brienne-Laire; 630 gold Francs of Servais in 1808 (at that time a bibliophile book could be bought from 5 gold Francs).
A precious and beautiful volume, with wider margins than the copy of King Georges III at B.M.C. (312 mm to 308 mm), complete with the final blank leaf, rarely present and which is missing from Georges III’s copy.