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Predicting the future: copy from the Broxbourne Library of the rare 1511 edition
of one of the most important prophetic astrologies of the 15th and 16th century

Pronosticatio in latino rare & prius non audita: quae exponit & declarat nonnullos coeli ifluxus: & i[n]clinatione[m] certaru[m] constellationu[m] magne videlicet co[n]iunctionis & eclipsis: quae suera[n]t istis annis: quid boi maliue hoc tempore & in futuru[m] huic mu[n]do porte[n]dant: durabitq[uam] pluribus annis.
[colophon:] Venice, [Niccolò & Domenico dal Gesù = Nicolo & Domenico Sandri dal Jesus], 23 August [1511?]. 4to. With the large Dal Jesus white-on-black woodcut device, 45 half-page or nearly full-page woodcuts in the text, most with letterpress captions above or below, the first showing Ptolemy, Aristotle, the Sibyl, Birgitta of Sweden and Brother Reinhart receiving divine inspiration, with an explanation on the facing page in a 4-piece ornamental floral woodcut frame. Modern half red morocco. 39, [1 blank] ll.
€ 15,000
Rare first (1511?) Venice edition, printed by Nicolo and Domenico dal Jesus, of Johannes Lichtenberger's Latin Pronosticatio, one of the most important and successful prophetic and astrological works of the 15th and 16th century, with about twenty Latin editions from 1488 to 1532. It was written by the German astrologer Johannes Lichtenberger (ca. 1440?-1503), born Johannes Grümbach, who is particularly known for his astrological-eschatological writings and served as a parish priest during the last years of his life. He is said to have written horoscopes as astrological consultant to several important noblemen, but we know little about him and cannot confirm the stories that have come down to us. His most famous work is the Pronosticatio, which was an extremely successful work of prophecies, a genre that flourished in that period.
With marginal annotations by a 16th-century hand and the bookplate "Bibliotheca Broxbourniana ex dono A & R E" of John Patrick William Ehrman (shown by his initials "J.P.W.E."), who inherited the Broxbourne Library from his father Albert Ehrman (1890-1969). Binding only slightly worn around the edges and corners and with a very small black spot on the back board, some marginal water stains on the last leaves, but otherwise in very good condition. A rare and charming edition of a lavishly illustrated and very popular prognostication. BMC STC Italian, p. 358; ICCU 008439 (4 copies); EDIT16 CNCE63223 (7 copies); Victor Masséna, Prince of Essling, Les livres à figures vénitiens 1252 (dated "1511"); Machiels L236; Sotheby's, Catalogue of valuable printed books from the Broxbourne Library illustrating the spread of printing II, 659; USTC 838164 (9 copies); cf. Lisa Pon, "Alla insegna del Giesù: publishing books and pictures in renaissance Venice" in: The papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, 92 (1998), pp. 443-464, no. 9 (dated "1520?"); Jonathan Green, Printing and prophecy: prognostication and media change 1450-1550 (2012), pp. 39-61; Thorndike IV, pp. 474-480; not in Adams.
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