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First edition of Guicciardini's celebrated 16th-century description of the Low Countries

Descrittione ... di tutti i Paesi Bassi, altrimenti detti Germania Inferiore.
Antwerp, Willem Silvius, 1567. Folio. With the title, the large coat of arms of Philip II, and his portrait set within a woodcut architectural frame with allegorical figures on separate pages, 5 double-page woodcut maps (including 1 folding), 4 double-page woodcut views of cities, 6 double-page woodcut plans of cities, and 2 double-page illustrations of buildings (1 woodcut, 1 engraved). Further with 15 woodcut divisional title-pages for the illustrations and descriptions of the regions and cities set within a woodcut ornamental frame and numerous woodcut decorated initials (at least 4 series) Later overlapping vellum, sewn on 3 parchment tapes laced through the joints. [3], [1 blank], [16], "296"[= 339], [1 blank], [19], [1 blank] pp.
€ 7,500
First edition of the first illustrated description of the Low Countries. This popular guide to the Netherlands was written by the nobleman Ludovico Guicciardini (1521-1589), an Antwerp-based merchant from Florence, Italy. Most of the cities shown in the plans and views had never before been depicted in a book. Not only was Guicciardini's book a great success, going through dozens of editions in a wide variety of languages, its maps, plans and views were also copied for decades, both for use in other books and for separate publication.
With some occasional manuscript annotations and underlining of the text in brown ink, foxed and browned throughout, with a tear along the gutter of the view of 's Hertogenbosch (Bolduc) barely affecting the illustration, some small holes and brown spots on some pages, very slightly affecting the text, some wormholes in the inner gutter margins of the last third of the work, the fourth page (blank after the portrait of Philips II) has been reinforced and the plan of Bruges has been reinforced along the gutter. Otherwise in good condition. Belg. Typ. 1360; Deys, Guicciardini illustratus 1; Tiele, Bibl. 420; STCV 7036217 (2 copies, 1 incomplete); USTC 405351 (numerous copies); cf. H. de la Fontaine Verwey, "The history of Guicciardini's description of the Low Countries", in: Quaerendo XII (1982), pp. 22-51.
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Related Subjects:

Cartography & exploration  >  Geography, Topography & Views | Low Countries
Low countries  >  Belgium | Cartography & Topography | Netherlands