Antwerp: Printed for the Plantins by Joannes Moretus, 1591. First Edition thus. Full Calf. Beautifully presented collection of 72 etchings by Pieter van der Borcht the Elder (who signed the plate on p. 357), from one of the gems of Renaissance illustrated books, a very early juvenilia, Ovid's Metamorphoses abbreviated. Oblong 16mo: 209-212,215-218,221-246,251-310,315-362,[17, index and approbatio]pp, with 72 full-page plates on 71 leaves (the versos of which carry the letterpress texts related to the plates on the rectos); the final plate is the full-page Plantin device, with the legend 'Labore et Constantinia.' Newly bound by Fitterer in full mottled calf with richly gilded spine. A defective copy (priced accordingly), but rich in beautiful plates and beautifully bound. Funck 374-375. Hollstein III, 100, nos. 200-377. Adams O-504 (misidentifuing the format as oblong 8vo]. Delen II, 92-93. The vast majority of pages are interleaved with period blanks, which are neither paginated nor signed. The missing plates and texts from this sequence would have appeared on O3 (Pictura), O6 (Hercules and Achelous), Q4 (Ganymede), Q5 (Hyacinth), V4 (The Destruction of Troy), and V5 (Polymnestor). In total there would have been 181 plates, which includes the etched title page through the plate illustrating the Plantin device. Our copy, p. 209 through the Plantin device plate woiuld have had 78 plates.Thus, 6 plates are missing from this sequence. Near Fine. Item #BB0216
Rare full-page plates from the first illustrated edition of this summary of stories from the Metamorphoses, once ascribed to the medieval grammarian Aelius Donatus and later to Lactantius Placidus, the ostensible author of a medieval Latin glossary, but both attributions proven incorrect by Gerlinde Bretzigheimer.) The etchings are by Pieter van der Borcht (c. 1530–1608), the Flemish Renaissance artist, who signed the plate on p. 357. (Van der Borcht went to work for Christopher Plantin at an early age and designed many of the printer's typographical ornaments.) "One of the gems of Renaissance illustrated books, adapted anonymously .from Ovid for the young and dedicated by the printer to two young boys, Luis and Martin Perez de Baron. N. B. With few exceptions (always identified), we only stock books in exceptional condition. All orders are packaged with care and posted promptly. Satisfaction guaranteed. (Fine Editions Ltd is a member of the Independent Online Booksellers Association, and we subscribe to its codes of ethics.).