Next month, Bloomsbury Auctions is holding a sale of Continental Books and Manuscripts, in which 75 of the 187 lots were part of the collection of the highly respected bibliophile and collector, André Rooryck.
Those 75 include two of the three most coveted texts in the auction: two late 15th century printings of important rare books, though from different eras.
First is a copy of Suetonius's history of the first 12 Roman Emperors, corrected by Bonus Accursius for Philippus de Lavagnia, for a 1475 issue (for which Accursius was to receive 60 gold ducats).
The work contains some written script in the margins, some of which is written in Greek in red ink. Despite minor soiling and wormholes, the piece is expected to bring £7500-£10000. Suetonius's text is one of the most important sources of information for the Roman Empire of that time.
The expected top lot in the sale is from a similar printing date, but a rather more contemporary text for the publishers: On Simony (de Simonia. de Probatione spirituum. de Eruditione confessorum) by French scholar, theologian and poet Jean Charlier de Gerson.
Gerson (1363-1429) was a major figure in the conciliar movement and one of the most prominent theologians at the Council of Constance which ended the Papal schism. His works are considered representative of his age, and the handsome, small quarto edition is expected to sell for £8,000-12,000.
Also for sale is a rare edition of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey. Specifically, a four volume set which was one of 25 created for the Grenville family, bound in sumptuous contemporary red straight-grain morocco, gilt, by C Hering.
'This is the most critical edition of Homer which the University of Oxford has published...We are indebted to the editorial talents of the noble family of the Grenvilles for this erudite performance...' was Thomas Dibdin's assessment.
Most of the Grenville family library was passed on to the British Library, and partly for this reason, the rare work is expected to achieve a hammer price of £8000-£10000. The sale takes place in London on September 9.
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