1312. [Law - Rome]
3 vol., folio: -1/487-[1 bl.], 489/1018 [= 1016], 1019/1666 [= 1664]- pp. (occ. faint dampstaining, some faint mouldy spots in upper bl. margin of vol. III, occ. tears in bl. margins and ms. annot., ms. index on f. [56v] in vol. I).
18th-c. speckled calf, gilt orn. spine with raised bands and labels, sprinkled edges (covers with scratches and some soiling, corners and edges sl. rubbed, rebacked). Nice copy with wide margins.
A magnificent edition of all three volumes of the "Pandects" (the codification of Roman law undertaken by order of Emperor Justinian and promulgated in the year 533), based on a 6th-century manuscript of the "Corpus iuris civilis" held at that time in the Medici Library in the Palazzo Vecchio at Florence. Leading legal scholars from all over Europe were looking forward to this publication on the basis of this archetypal manuscript. First-rank publishers were considered, such as Estienne in Paris, Froben and Episcopius in Basle, Gryphius in Lyon or Giolitio in Venice. Finally, Duke Cosimo I de' Medici, owner of the manuscript, decided to print it in Florence. He invited Laurentius Torrentinus, a bookseller in Bologna who was originally from the Low Countries, to take up the challenge. Torrentinus began printing as ducal printer in 1547 and published this impressive folio edition in 1553. The edition was the work of Lelio Torelli, but was attributed to his son Francesco, who signs the epistle dedicated it to the Duke of Florence. This is the most prestigious humanist edition, carried out with the collaboration of the greatest Spanish humanist Antonio Agustín. It was printed with fine French types in Aldine-style, engraved by Robert Granjon and Michel Dubois, and illustrated with numerous very well-designed woodcut initials, including the splendid representation of Justice surrounded by the arms of the Medici and the Imperial Eagle (p. 1), and woodcut devices on title and final verso. It is arguably the finest production of the ducal printer. Producing such a massive work certainly involved considerable investment. Torrentinus should be considered one of the greatest printers of the Renaissance, publishing works by celebrated authors such as Giovio, Guicciardini and Vasari.
Ref. USTC 803599. - Edit16 13438. - Adams J-578. - STC Italian (BL) 560. - William Kemp, "Where and How to Print the Florentine Pandects: Paris, Basle, Lyons, Venice or Florence?", Livre - Revue historique, 2019 (http://livre.societebibliographique.fr/2019-01).
Prov. W. Klerck (ms. ownership entry). - Unidentified monogram (ms. ownership entry, dated 1774).
Joined: Slits, Frans - Laurentius Torrentinus. Drukker van Cosimo hertog van Florence ± 1500-1563. Gemert, Vos, 1995. (4 vol.)
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