1496-97 Juvenalis Cum Tribus Commentariis... (Satyra(e)). Bevilaqua, Venice.


Handsomely bound incunable of Juvenal's Satyra(e), printed circa 1496-1497 (per the Incunable Short Title Catalogue), by Simon Bevilaqua in Venice, and protected in an equally attractive slipcase.

This edition includes the commentary of Georgius Merula, Domitius Calderinus, and Georgius Valla.

About Juvenal's Satyrae -

Juvenal is credited with sixteen known poems; all are in the Roman genre of satire, which, at its most basic in the time of the author, comprised a wide-ranging discussion of society and social morals in dactylic hexameter.

About the Printer -

Simone Gabi, called Bevilaqua, of Pavia, began printing in Vicenza in 1487 He later moved to Venice and printed until I506 After a period as an itinerant printer he established a shop in Lyons, in I5I5.

Physical Attributes -

Measures approx. 29.5 x 21 x 2.5 cm, ISTC lists it as a folio; page size is 29.2 x 20.2 cm. Slipcase with leather spine, five raised bands and title in gilt, boards covered in tan cloth. Vellum binding. Boards with double frame of double gilt fillet; inner frame with corner fleur-de-lis. Spine divided into six compartments by double gilt fillets, each with a central floret in gilt. All edges red. Refreshed endpapers. 146 leaves. Collation - AA4, aa-zz6, &&4 (collated, complete).

About the Typography -

“White-on-black woodcut floriated initials; initial spaces, some with guide-letters. Text bordered by 62 lines of commentary.” - OCLC

"Types: 19:105R, 16:112R, 17:80R, Roman type with some text in Greek, woodcut initials." - Bonhams

Reference Works (from ISTC) -

Goff J665; IGI 5600; Sajó-Soltész 2003; IDL 2833; IBE 3396; SI 2340; Coll(U) 919; Madsen 2411, 2412; Voull(B) 4415; Günt(L) 3157; Walsh 2523; Oates 2099; Bod-inc J-318; Sheppard 4476; Pr 5410; BMC V 521; BSB-Ink I-692; GW M15767; HC 9712*; Zehnacker 1379; Rhodes(Oxford Colleges) 1061

Scarcity -

It is well held in the world's libraries, with many copies listed throughout the world.

Condition -

See pictures. Slipcase handsome with only a few fingernail rubs to spine and light rubbing to base (where it sits upright). Binding looks fresh. Text block edges are bright.

Endpapers renewed. Ex libris plate on pastedown (The Robin Collection). Receipt of purchase from a "A. Tavares de Carvalho" (Portuguese dealer of Old Books and Prints) mounted to the FEP. Also, pencil bookdealer marks on FEP "Carvalho", "(?) 1499". Carvalho also wrote his name at the gutter between FEP and first unpaginated blank endpaper (which is renewed/new).

Name and date (1633) at top of title page, also 1" ink mark at fore-edge and spot at edge (same place); a little thumbing at bottom right of title page (light). Some light foxing and occasional toning throughout. Occasional thumb at bottom and bottom corner. Moisture mark right at fore-edge of aa5-6, going approx. 1 cm. into the page. bb gathering toned more than others. dd6 the strikethrough remains on one sentence. ee gathering has a moisture mark at bottom edge, round, marginal only, no text affected. Also, ee has a light moisture mark at upper right corner, no text affected. hh2 with bottom corner clipped, no text affected. The moisture mark at bottom edge continues to appear throughout book intermittently, no text affected, about 1 to 3 inch spot at very bottom edge. 1" ink spot fore-edge margin of t2. Moisture mark at top-edge reappears at yy and towards end does extend about 1" into text. zz1 mis-signed yy, struck through and "z" written next to it. Last 5 leaves with worming at bottom and fore-edge, no text affected.

Occasional moisture mark at edges throughout. Mostly quite light, significant occurrences noted above.

Strikethroughs and blotting (purging) end by mm gathering. Rear half of book cleaner, free of annotations. Some ink staining in the text through to gathering mm; it seems like purging (Catholic banned books), blotting and strikethroughs, have been undone but stains remain although text is now visible. Some form of cleaning was likely done to this book.

I listed all the condition notes I could find, perhaps even nitpicking. The book is handsome, with a nice sleeve and attractive binding. It will add nicely to any incunable library.

Also, the expurgation is an interesting talking point. You could reference to a banned books list and make the connection; from the portions that have been purged, I would guess that a commentator, not Juvenal, was banned.

There is also opportunity for scholarship regarding the 1633 ownership annotation on the title page.

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