1531 Bocace (Boccaccio), De La Genealogie des Dieux. Richly illustrated!


The second French edition, after the Verard edition of 1498, De La Genealogie des Dieux, (Boccaccio's Genealogia Deorum), an important, groundbreaking work on Greek and Roman Gods; this edition is notable for reusing the imagery of the 1498 edition with many woodcuts in the incunable style.

About the Work -

"This treatise on the genealogy of the pagan gods was the fruit of immense reading, and, as there then existed nothing like it where one could learn to know the mythology of the ancients, its success was prodigious. Boccaccio cites several authors who no longer exist and draws from them traits that are only found in this book. He was reproached for it, as though he invented them. It is now easier to recognize that he was quoting from ancient authors whose works have now been lost." (translation of p. 481, Biographie Universelle, Ancienne et Moderne..., Desplaces, 1843).

"Genealogia Deorum, his most erudite work, is an encyclopedia of mythological lore, providing a mine of information." - William Salloch

About the Printer -

"In many respects Jean or Jehan Petit is one of the most remarkable of the early French printers, whilst from the time he started to the final extinction of his descendants as printers covers a space of 336 year... Jehan Petit kept fifteen presses fully employed, and found a great deal of work for fifteen others." p.112, Printer's Marks: A Chapter in the History of Typography, 1893

Provenance -

Catalogue description tucked within, mounted on the card of the antiquarian seller William Salloch. Salloch, and his wife, Marianne, were New York dealers and founding members of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America.

Sale ticket "Library of Roman Vishniac" (12 April 2022, estimate $3,000-$5,000) tucked within, Bonhams. Roman Vishniac is best known for capturing on film the culture of Jews in Central and Eastern Europe before the holocaust. He was a photographer, biologist, art collector and teacher of art history.

It seems likely Vishniac had the book rebound as Salloch mentions a green morocco binding.

Bibliographic Details -

Two imprints were given to this issue, one of Petit, and the other Philippe Le Noir. Universal Short Title Catalogue numbers 56666 and 1050; together 15 copies found in the world's best libraries.

Brunet, Manuel du Libraire... (1878) - Volume I, column 139

Pettegree, Walsby, Wilkinson, French Vernacular Books..., 6030

Girard, Imprimes a Paris de 1472 a 1600..., P509

Illustrations -

Title Page - In The Bookworm (1890, Volume 3), W. Frognall Melhuish informs (page 125) that the border was designed by Geoffrey Tory, as well as many of the initials.

The title page is after an allegorical work by Urs Graf, showing mythological and biblical scenes, some of which depicted are - Virgil is suspended in a bucket by the daughter of the emporer of Rome, the suicide of Pyramus and Thisbe, the judgement of Paris and David and Goliath.

Full-Page Illustrations - a1v(v=verso), o6, s2, B3, E3, H1, N6

3/4 Page Illustrations - e1, h1, k2v, u5, z4

In-line illustrations - a5, b4 (repeat), b5, c1, c2v, c5, d2v, d5v, e3, e5 (repeat), g1v, h6, m5, n2 (repeat), o3, p3, t6v, v3v, v5, y3v, B5v, C3, E1, I4, K6

Woodcuts on d2v, p3, and B5v are new to this edition (sick man, boar hunt, lady with dog); the boar hunt was first published in the 1521 Menus Propos (Pierre Gringore), where it was attributed to Gabriel Salmon.

Most other woodcuts are after the 1498 Antoine Verard first edition of the same work (of which a scanned edition can be accessed on Google Books).

Physical Attributes -

Measures approx. 25.5 x 18.5 x 3 cm. Leather binding. Brown leather binding. Board framed with cross and diapering roll (same roll applied to spine bands, board edges and turn-ins). Spine with five raised bands. "Boccace Des Dieux" in gilt in one compartment of spine. All edges gilt. Marbled endpapers.

Printer's mark of Petit at last leaf.

Petit's "Bastard Type", in two columns.

Pages - 228, 6 leaves of table/printer's mark

Collation - a-z6, A1-Q6

Condition -

See pictures. Binding with a slight haze of older polish. Top-edge of text block darkened by dust. "457" in graphite on blank binder's endpaper.

Title page trimmed into illustration at fore-edge; top margin with several ink marks and thumb mark at common location.

Toned throughout, occasional fox spot and thumb.

Fore-edge trimmed tight throughout, occasionally trimming marginal printed commentary.

Signature at M3 corrected in old hand. "121" in graphite at top edge of cxxi. "228" in graphite at top of ccxxviii. "231" at top of leaf signed Qiii. Last printed leaf (Q6) - "234" at top, 1" moisture mark at top, no text affected, and 2" repaired tear at fore-edge.

Some pages more toned than others. Slight wave to text block.

Shipping from United States

Processing time

1-3 business days

Customs and import taxes

Buyers are responsible for any customs and import taxes that may apply. I'm not responsible for delays due to customs.

Payment Options

Secure options
  • Accepts Etsy gift cards

Returns & Exchanges

I gladly accept returns

Just contact me within: 7 days of delivery

Ship items back to me within: 14 days of delivery

I don't accept exchanges or cancellations

But please contact me if you have any problems with your order.

Conditions of return

Buyers are responsible for return shipping costs. If the item is not returned in its original condition, the buyer is responsible for any loss in value.

Privacy policy

We do not collect any private information. For billing, Etsy provides the service. We only receive notice that payment was made. The shipping address is provided to us by Etsy, based on what they buyer submitted during check-out. We do not store these addresses. That is the extent of the information that we receive during a transaction.

Legal imprint