1534 Catullus, Tibullus, Propertius. Printer Simon de Colines, Paris. Provenance


A 1534 printing of the works of Catullus, Tibullus and Propertius. Aldus first grouped these classics, but the tradition of printing them as one continued and here we have Simon de Coline, of Paris, issuing an edition with his printer's mark.

About the Work -

"Catullus, particularly in his poetry to his lovers, often shocked readers, as his writing was frank and explicit. Tibullus also wrote love poetry, and his style was clear, finished, and unaffected, with a natural grace and tenderness. Propertius wrote four books of poetry, the first dedicated to his lover Cynthia, and his works were all written in elegiac couplets. Perhaps Lister was experiencing some love pangs himself during his travels, or he was seeking models for his own poetic attempts." - Oxford web posting titled Every Man's Companion; Works of Catullus, Tibullus and Propertius

About the Printer's Mark -

Time, as a Satyr, mowing down the grass and flowers of the field (Biblical allusion to people). Motto says "Hanc aciem sola retundit virtus", roughly translated, "This axiom is beaten only by virtue", and a cross is seen in the background. The only virtue man has is imputed virtue, through the cross. In other words, Jesus' imputed virtue is the only way to beat the winnowing of time.

Provenance -

Two ex-libris plates. The earlier being the Hopetoun plate; the Houpton library was sold by Sotheby in 1889 and was notable for including a Gutenberg-Fust Latin Bible and the edition princeps Virgil 1469.

The second plate is that of James TenBroeck Hillhouse, designed by the New Haven artist William Fowler Hopson in 1898. I've sold a beautiful Zaehnsdorf owned by him, and there is a nice Stikeman binding with his plate displayed on the web.

Bibliographic Details -

Universal Short Title Catalogue number 186477. Seven copies noted, one in the U.S. at Houghton Library.

Adams C1142

Pettegree, Walsby, Wilkinson - 60513

Moreau - IV 913

Physical Attributes -

Measures approx. 15.5 x 9.5 x 2 cm. Leather binding. Boards with blind fillet frame. Spine with five raised bands; five compartments with central pointelle floret, one with the titles (abbreviated) in gilt on red morocco. Text block edges gilt. Marbled endpapers. Printer's mark on title page. One dragon initial. All edges gilt with a (earlier?) marbling under them.

Pages - 168 (but USTC counts 160 because they subtract the preliminary material, which is numbered (including the title page).

Collation - a-u8

Condition -

See pictures. Boards with edge and corner wear, some rubbing. Chipping at top and bottom of spine. Joints are cracked. Fading to spine gilt. Ex-libris plate on pastedown. Ex-libris plate on verso of flyleaf. Bookseller notes on binder's paper at front, "(rf?) rare", "Catullus 10/6".

Toned throughout with occasional rust spots. A little thumbing. Occasional moisture mark at edge, possibly from gilt application. Title page with name at top and some inserted names of works at titles, but very faded (old hand). Occasional ink spot. Occasional dog-eared page. Nice wide margins. g2 and g7 printed out of order causing pages 51 and 55 to be switched, likely printer's error when you consider how gatherings are sewn. (Ember?) spot on 117, small, text readable (less than 1 cm). Rear blank binder's paper torn at upper corner.

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