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Fine Books, Western Manuscripts & Works on Paper

Wednesday 25th January 2017: 1:00pm GMT

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Full Lot Details

Suidas. Lexicon Graecum [graece], edited by Demetrius Chalcondylas, 516 ff., 45 lines, Greek type, capital spaces, some with guide-letter, woodcut printer's device to verso of ZZ5, α1 stained and with section torn away from lower margin and repaired, marginal water-staining, some spotting, 19th century panelled calf, gilt, rebacked, preserving original backstrip (chipped at end and with a few closed splits), corners repaired, rubbed at extremities, [BMC VI, 792; Goff S-829; HC 15135], folio, Milan, Johannes Bissolus and Benedictus Mangius, for Demetrius Chalcondylas, 15 November, 1499.

Editio Princeps of this monumental Byzantine encyclopaedic dictionary, which is the largest incunable in Greek. It was the only book printed at the Milanese shop of Bissolus and Mangius, as it is likely that the production of this vast work seems to have put an end to their professional relationship. This is reflected on fol.1, which contains a dialogue by Stephani Negri (a pupil of Chalcondylas) between the bookseller and a student justifying the three ducats price for this hefty tome. Chalcondylas was professor of Greek at Milan, whose Isocrates of 1493 had sold so slowly that in 1535 it was re-issued with a new title-page.

Full Lot Details

Suidas. Lexicon Graecum [graece], edited by Demetrius Chalcondylas, 516 ff., 45 lines, Greek type, capital spaces, some with guide-letter, woodcut printer's device to verso of ZZ5, α1 stained and with section torn away from lower margin and repaired, marginal water-staining, some spotting, 19th century panelled calf, gilt, rebacked, preserving original backstrip (chipped at end and with a few closed splits), corners repaired, rubbed at extremities, [BMC VI, 792; Goff S-829; HC 15135], folio, Milan, Johannes Bissolus and Benedictus Mangius, for Demetrius Chalcondylas, 15 November, 1499.

Editio Princeps of this monumental Byzantine encyclopaedic dictionary, which is the largest incunable in Greek. It was the only book printed at the Milanese shop of Bissolus and Mangius, as it is likely that the production of this vast work seems to have put an end to their professional relationship. This is reflected on fol.1, which contains a dialogue by Stephani Negri (a pupil of Chalcondylas) between the bookseller and a student justifying the three ducats price for this hefty tome. Chalcondylas was professor of Greek at Milan, whose Isocrates of 1493 had sold so slowly that in 1535 it was re-issued with a new title-page.