1562 · Romae
The first Aldine edition of this published at Rome, here in its earlier state with errata on S4r: It is printed in roman type with marginal notes, with guide letters in initial spaces, and => with the famous anchor and dolphin device at large size on both the title-page and the final one. At Rome the Aldine press was essentially an extension of the papacy, which capitalized on its fame to disseminate, with great cachet, Vatican-approved texts in the publication war that was such an integral part of the Protestant and Catholic Reformations.
Among the very few English writers that the Aldine press published was Cardinal Pole (1500–58), who served as the papal legate to England during Mary's brief reign and participated in the Council of Trent. In addition to Pole's De concilio, which consists of a series of questions and answers about the Catholic faith with numerous scriptural references, this offering contains a lengthy preface from Paulus Manutius to Pope Pius IV, a foreword addressed to Giovanni Maria Cardinal del Monte and Marcello Cardinal Cervini (later Pope Julius III and Pope Marcellus II), and a lesser-known work by Pole entitled De baptismo Constantini Magni imperatorus.
Binding: 19th-century calf, spine compartments elegantly stamped in gilt and now lettered in blind where a label once lay; covers bordered with a gilt rule, board edges with an attractive gilt roll. Marbled endpapers and all edges speckled brown.
Evidence of Readership: About a fifth of the pages have been underlined or marked in early ink.
Provenance: Early ownership signature of R.P.D. Thomas de Perusio Abb. and large handsome old rubber-stamp of the Bib. M. Morcini de Perusia (i.e., Monastero di Monte Morcino. Biblioteca, Perugia, Italy) on title-page; most recently in the library of American collector Albert A. Howard, small booklabel ("AHA") at rear.
Adams P1744; Renouard, Alde, p. 185, no. 3; UCLA, Aldine Press: Catalogue of the Ahmanson-Murphy Collection (2001), 672; Kallendorf & Wells, Aldine Press Books, 428. On the Aldine press at Rome, see: Curt Buhler, "Manutius and his first Roman printings," Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, 46, pp. 209–14. Bound as above, rubbed and refurbished, paper of the hinges (inside) cracked and front top joint (outside) starting but covers firmly attached. Bookplate on front pastedown overlain by a label covering its information; some ink dots to fore-edge occasionally running into margins. Provenance and readership markings as above. Light to moderate age-toning, especially along foremargins, very small hole affecting title-page and first three leaves of text. => Interesting Aldine imprint of the Counter-Reformation. (Inventory #: 37789)