Amsterdam International Antiquarian Book & Map Fair

Selected Highlights


Antiquariaat Fokas Holthuis
Daal en Bergselaan 78
NL-2565 AG Den Haag
The Netherlands


Fokas Holthuis & Paul Snijders


+31-70-3466020 +31-70-3466020



Editio princeps printed by Aldus Manutius
IAMBLICHUS De mysteriis Aegyptiorum, Chaldaeorum, Assyriorum. (And other texts by a.o. Proclus, Porphyrius, Synesius, Psellus, Speusippus, Priscianus of Lydia, Alcinous, Pythagoras, Xenocrates and Marsilio Ficino. Edited and translations by Marsilio Ficino.). Venice, Aldus Manutius, September 1497. 29 x 21 cm. Full calf (probably bound in the early 18th century, with some restorations). 186 p. Bookblock edges sprinkled red and blue. Last blank missing. Owner's inscription on title dated 1558. Inscription on flyleaf by former owner James Ralston Skinner, dated 1875. Bibliographic notes and auction clippings on flyleaves. Gutter between flyleaf and book block exposed. First page a bit stained and with some small repairs. A few marginal notes. In general a remarkably clean and white copy.
Editio princeps of a.o. Iamblichus, Porphyrius and Proclus. An early Aldus Manutius edition of great harmony and simplicity, an important collection of translations and editions by Marsilio Ficino (1433-1499) of various Platonist philosophers, sprinkled with texts of his own and concluded with the first printing of Ficino's essay 'De Voluptate' (written in 1457). Goff J216.
Title page with index of the book, followed on verso by the printed dedication to Giovanni de' Medici, later Pope Leo X. At the beginning of the text a large woodcut open initial. Spaces for initials with guide letters (not filled in). Set from Roman type, with a few Greek words. 36 lines of text per page. After the colophon a quire register. Of this incunable, three minor variants exist with corrections of mistakes; in this version, the word 'absene' on page K ii was corrected in print to 'absente'. But the third i in the page that was mistakenly signed aiii (p. 3) has been marked only with pen to correct it to aii. In a later version, this was corrected in print.
The 1558 inscription on the title is hard to read; the name could be something like Petrus Gum(...) (?) Mecklenburgius, with an interesting monogram involving a P and a noughts and crosses grid (tic-tac-toe). James Ralston Skinner (1830-1893) was an attorney from Cincinnati, important in the theosophic world and a correspondent of Blavatsky. Skinner wrote a number of books about Egypt (especially the pyramid of Gizeh), about metrology and about the kabbala. He bought this book from the Leipsic antiquarian firm of List and Francke.
Exhibitor: Antiquariaat Fokas Holthuis

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